Four Bobby Bird Albums Sexual, and one not-so.

The story behind four of Bobby Bird's most iconic album covers.

THE ARIES VARIES

I was in a career slump when I put this one out, leaning real hard into my "sexual" vibe, which is ironic cause during this time I was so blue I wasn't having much sex at all. Not even with myself.  

            It's actually not a bad album, but one of the reasons I think it didn't do squat on the charts is cause the cover is so incongruous with the contents. You buy this album, put it on the turntable with your new sweetheart waiting there all plump and heaving on the loveseat, and I'd right-quick kill the mood with lyrics like, "The TV Dinner's got more than me, if I've got soul left it's a flea beside a flea." Next thing you know zippers are going up instead of down, sweetheart can't get to the bus stop fast enough, and you're telling your pals, "Bird's new album is a bummer, man."

            Also, while I do like some of the sad songs on this thing, I hate the title, hate that I took advantage of what I call a "manipulative rhyme." Manipulative how? Well, it's a defect of the human mind that when things rhyme we tend to find them more true or interesting than things that don't. Example: "I think that I shall never see, a poem as lovely as a tree." You hear that and think, "Yep, trees are better than poems. Makes sense." But when you actually stop and think about it, it ain't true at all. I've read poems that've brought me to my knees. I've seen trees just as lovely, of course. But to compare poems-in-general with trees-in-general is really just a stupid activity. Not as stupid as a meaningless title like "The Aries Varies," but stupid nonetheless.

LOW ON THE TOTEM POLE

After the failure of "The Aries Varies" Colony persuaded me to double down on sexuality. I was annoyed with this strategy, but then Seth got the idea of putting a rubber over my head for the album cover, and that cracked me up.  Little did I know how hard it would end up being to actually do it. First we bought those big ol' jumbo rubbers they make for studs, but they were still too small to fit over my big fat head. So we had a super-duper one made at a Hollywood prop house, the same place that made the monsters for John Carpenter's classic film, "The Thing." Visiting that place was a trip. They let me play around with a remote control beetle as big as a canteloupe. I had it skittering all around, nipping it's mandibles at Seth's ankles, pissing him off. [1]

            When it came time to come up with a title, since I felt bullied into making another sexual album, I picked one that the label would interpret as sexual, but one I knew was about being a loser. Of course, being a loser is a great and oft-exploited theme in pop music, and quite frankly one that I relate to a lot more than being some playboy or what have you.

            And speaking of losing, this album did worse than it's predeccessor. I tried to tell the geriatrics at Colony that they'd blown it, that I was right, and that half-baked sexual theatrics  were leading us nowhere fast. They told me that, "all their numbers" informed them that my fans loved when I was sexual.

            "Let me see these numbers!" I yelled. "Cause all I got over here is a big fat zero!"

            They hung up on me gently, without emotion, and later that day I got a fax instructing me that in order to meet my "contract requirements" a third, and even more sexually overt album needed to be produced, and that it would be "vastly less complicated with my cooperation."

SUPER SEXUAL

Boom. There you have it. You can't get anymore sexual than that, can you? And just so Colony would have no argument if this album also failed, I made every song on it super sexual to boot. Track one, "Lickety-Lick," track two, "Pound to the Rythym" and on and on like that so that by the time you'd read the down to track twelve you'd be in a full-on blush, bright red and feeling like a pervert just for holding the damn album in your hands.  I even took Colony's advice and called myself "Bob" instead of "Bobby" on the cover since they said "Bob" came across as more masculine, and therfore more sexual, I suppose.

            Bobs aside, just as I predicted, the dumb thing bombed. Colony didn't know what to do with me after that. I asked them if they wanted me to do a one-eighty and sing a whole album like Tiny Tim. Said the cover could feature me nibbling bits of candy with my junk tucked between my legs. We'll call it "The Little Eunich's Turkish Delight," I said. They never could tell when I was joking, and this was no exception. They told me to hold off on producing any further music. I told them, "No problem!" before diving headfirst into a bottomless Tom Collins, marishchio cherries bouncing off my ears.

THE STONE & THE SANDMAN

The Sandman brings you sleep, dreams. The stone brings you, I don't know, good luck? I got just about nothing to say about this album. Sorry. You know the famous lyrics probably, "You can't untell a tale, you can't outslow a snail. Sometime you're the fire, sometimes you're the hail. If I could put every tear in my little red pail, I'd pour 'em in the ocean, and set my little sail. Yes, I'd promise the Queen India, and set my little sail."

            Those whimsical nursery rhyme lyrics propelled me out on a lonely tour where I ended up trying to buy a friend--a monkey named Chonto. This filmmaker kid named interviewed me about it all some years back and made a short film about it. 

            Google, "Chonto." Give it a watch. But be careful. The "YouTube" where it resides has become a pretty dangerous place these days. I used it love it, all full of old commercials and wedding videos and recipes for chili by folks kinda nervous to be in front of the camera. But now it's full of what I call "soft psychopaths" performing cruel antics for children so innocent they don't know they're looking at evil. Don't worry 'bout the kids, the kids'll outgrow it. Fear what those floppy haired motherfuckers are going to do with their fame, or how violently they're going to flail when it peters out. I'm rich enough I've considered hiring hitmen. But then I remember that that would make me even worse than them, and my job is to pray to Jesus Christ that they find the brighter path, same as I did. "Forgive them, Lord. They know not what they do." You're a fan of me, of Dylan? Forget it. Our lyrics aren't even firefly butts next to the nuclear fission of Jesus's word. 

            Anyways, on the YouTube tip, just remember, beware any video that begins with the word, "Hey, guys!" And that there's my gospel. 

[1]           Side note, years later, out of the blue, having never even met the guy, Howie Mandel sent me a brand new Porsche with a note that read, "Thank you for you know what." I did not "know what," so I showed the note to Seth and he showed me how Howie'd made it big by putting a rubber glove over his head. So I guess my album cover is where Mr. Mandel got the idea. Seth said that since it was him who’d actually come up with the idea for the head-rubber I should give him the car. I told him, "ideas are what you get your ten percent pound of flesh for, my dude," and drove the Porsche into a brick wall three months later. Totalled it.