Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins

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Country- und Surf-Rock-Ikone Chuck Prophet meldet sich 2017 mit einem neuen Album zurück. »Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins« lautet der Titel seines mittlerweile 14. Solowerkes, dem Nachfolger zu »Night Surfer« von 2014.

Für alle, die mit dem Namen im Titel nichts anfangen können, hier ein kleiner Ausflug in die Musikgeschichte: Robert Gaston »Bobby« Fuller war ein US-amerikanischer Rocksänger, Gitarrist und Frontmann der The Bobby Fuller Four. Er starb am 18. Juli 1966. Die Umstände seines Todes wurden bis heute nicht geklärt. Dafür gab es im Laufe der Jahre zahlreiche Theorien, von Selbstmord bis hin zu Mord durch Bandmitglieder, einen eifersüchtigen Nebenbuhler oder die Drogenmafia.

Der mysteriöse Fall diente Chuck Prophet als Inspiration für seine insgesamt 13 neuen Songs. Sie handeln vom Tod Fullers, vom Tod der Poplegende David Bowie und von der Ermordung des Security Guards Alex Nieto aus San Francisco, die international Schlagzeilen machte.

Auch die erste Singleauskopplung von »Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins« reiht sich perfekt in die Themenwahl ein. »Bad Year For Rock And Roll« ist eine Hommage an die vielen großartigen Musiker und Rocklegenden, die im letzten Jahr ihr Leben ließen.

Aber der Tod ist nicht das einzige Thema auf der Platte. Sie handelt außerdem von zum Scheitern verurteilter Liebe, untröstlicher Einsamkeit und rasender Gewalt.

Für die Aufnahme verschlug es Chuck Prophet an einen besonderen Ort: das Hyde Street Studio in San Francisco, wo vor vielen Jahren seine erste Aufnahmesession stattgefunden hatte. Unterstützung erhielt er dabei von seiner Band The Mission Express, die aus den Musikern Kevin White (Bass), Vicente Rodriguez (Schlagzeug, Gesang), James DePrato (Gitarre) und seiner Frau Stephanie Finch (Gesang, Keyboard, Gitarre) besteht.

Keine ganz einfachen Themen, die sich Chuck Prophet für sein neues Album ausgesucht hat. Auf »Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins« entpuppt er sich aber dennoch wieder einmal als exzellenter Geschichtenerzähler und natürlich Musiker.

Chuck Prophet describes his new disc BOBBY FULLER DIED FOR YOUR SINS as “California Noir.” He says, “the state has always represented the Golden Dream, and it’s the tension between romance and reality that lurks underneath the surface in all noir films and paperbacks, and that connects these songs. Doomed love, inconsolable loneliness, rags to riches to rags again, and fast-paced violence are always on the menu on the Left Coast.”

Who is Bobby Fuller? He’s the star of the ultimate Rock and Roll Babylon feel-bad story.

The title track came out of an obsession Prophet shares with co-conspirator klipschutz. Prophet explains, “One day we were sitting in my so-called office South of Market listening to LPs, when out of frustration –I picked up a guitar and shouted, ‘I hear that record crackle, the needle skips and jumps!’ and klipschutz shot back, ‘“Bobby Fuller died for your sins!’”

One thing led to another, and ten months later he found himself at the legendary Hyde St. Studios in the heart of the Tenderloin “slaving over a hot two-inch tape machine, cutting tracks with Brad Jones, Paul Q. Kolderie, and Matt Winegar riding herd.” And pumping it all into the echo chamber. No computer in sight and two-inch tape boxes stacked up to the ceiling.

Prophet realizes that the title track makes a heavy claim, and laughs at the suggestion it might shine new light on the mystery long surrounding Bobby Fuller’s early demise. Fuller, who migrated from El Paso to L.A. in the early 1960s, has been described as “a greaser in a world of Beach Boy bangs and Beatle boots, hopelessly out of step with the times.” Found dead in his car at the age of 23, to a devoted coterie of fans, old and new, he’ll always remain the skinny guy singing “I Fought the Law,” on countless teen dance TV shows, and radio playlists. Ruled a suicide, his death has haunted investigators (and biographers Miriam Linna and Randall Fuller) since 1966. “Some resolution would be nice,” Prophet says, “but I run a band, not a Cold Case squad.”

The Mission Express, Prophet’s band, which includes his wife Stephanie Finch, provided the backing. “Talented, difficult people who all played their hearts out. You can hear it,” he says. And recording at Hyde Street – walking distance from his apartment – was a homecoming of sorts. “I did my first session there, in high school no less,” says Prophet. He even dragged out his ’64 Stratocaster, a guitar that Jonathan Richman said sounds, “like gasoline in the sand, like a motorcycle at a hot dog stand.”

Prophet says, “there’s a serious Link Wray jones that you might not hear in here too. But it’s there. Guitars and drums. Rock and roll. I just haven’t found anything that hits me the same way. That two guitar, bass and drums feeling.”

With titles such as “Bad Year for Rock and Roll,” “Post-War Cinematic Dead Man Blues,” “We Got Up and Played, and, “If I Was Connie Britton,” Prophet allows that, “there just might be some songs on this one. John Murry, who is never at a loss for words, says the goal is to make a record you can be proud and unsure of at the same time. Naked and belligerent, but sweetly so… I can’t improve on that.”

“Bad Year for Rock and Roll” is a timely homage to rock greats lost this year, Prophet name-checking David Bowie in the opening lines: “The Thin White Duke took a final bow / there’s one more star in the heavens now…I’m all dressed up in a mohair suit / watching Peter Sellers thinking of you.”

The album closes with the blistering “Alex Nieto,” which Prophet calls “my first protest song. I know you’ve listened to me rant about Twitter and how I believe San Francisco is under siege by techie man-children and billionaires.” But still, he never dreamed he’d be in the middle of a culture war with real bodies. Born and raised in the City, Alex Nieto was on his way to work as a security guard when he ended up with 59 bullets in and around him, all fired by the police. There’s a lot more to the story, and the details are available to anyone who wants to know. The song is a two-chord homage to a good man who should still be alive.

Just one more sign of the apocalypse.

More items
Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins LP+MP3 € 19.90 Info
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Let Freedom Ring CD € 15.90 Info
Age Of Miracles LP € 29.90 Info

One Response to “Album”

  • Thomas sagt:

    Hallo Edgar,
    ich habe mir die DVD gekauft. Allerdings sind dort 32 Songs drauf – nach „Song 28. Paradise“ kommt der Song „Hollywood Bungalow“ und dann weiter wie mit der DVD-Setlist.
    Eine kleine Anmerkung meinerseits. 😉

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Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins
YEP CD 2490
€ 16.90

1. Bobby Fuller Died for Your Sins
2. Your Skin
3. Open Up Your Heart
4. Coming Out in Code
5. Killing Machine
6. Bad Year for Rock and Roll
7. Jesus Was a Social Drinker
8. In the Mausoleum (For Alan Vega)
9. Rider or the Train
10. If I Was Connie Britton
11. Post-War Cinematic Dead Man Blues
12. We Got Up and Played
13. Alex Nieto