An unpublished self-promoting, interest-conflicting, heavily
ironic mutual interview written for the L.A. Weekly by Bruce and
Robert, taking turns at the typewriter (the good old IBM Selectric), sometime
back in like 1982.
|The Lopez Beatles are a band from Southern California. The band members are vocalist/guitarist Bruce D. Rhodewalt ("The Domestic One"), guitarist/accordionist Robert Lloyd ("The Allergic One"), drummer Jim Goodall ("The Tolerable One") and bassist Doug Freeman ("The One Who's Going to Law School One"). They are frequently accompanied by the dulcet warblings of Michele Seipp and Anne Bogart, a.k.a. the Lo-Pets. They perform songs about fictitious kidshow hosts, replicas of historic monuments in theme parks, noted local abstract expressionists and love. None of them smoke.|
Robert: How did I come to join the Lopez Beatles?
Bruce:Well, I decided one day that I had had enough of this not being in a band stuff. I had fun doing it -- playing in bands -- in high school, but there wasn't time in college. When I began writing for the Weekly, there was plenty of time. So I said, "I'm gonna start a band, and we're gonna do what I like -- none of this Gothic Armageddon Doom garbage." You were typesetting and I was doing Great for Rock, and I went in and said, "I'm starting a band and we're going to do children's music and TV themes, and I'm really excited about it. But where am I going to find musicians?" You kindly offered your services. I think you realized that this was the commercial rock band you had been seeking all along, right?
Robert: No, I think that I was just a little dazed from all that typesetting and didn't know what I was saying. Then it was too late. Who was the next sucker?
Bruce: A bass player who didn't work out, but she let us use her rehearsal studio. I think we pretty much agreed after that, and after years of exposure to Bill Wyman and John Entwhistle, that bass players weren't really worth the trouble. After that we enlisted my roommate at the time, Lloyd Ehrenberg, who was not at all related to you, as I understand it.
Robert: Actually, I thought Lloyd was related to me, and I was rather excited because I thought that would make it a lot easier to borrow money from him. As it turned out, he didn't have any money -- just a trumpet and an upside-down guitar like his idol Jimi Hendrix. On the whole, I thought his trumpet playing sounded a lot more like Hendrix than his guitar playing. Whatever happened to him? Lloyd, I mean. I know about Hendrix.
Bruce: Lloyd moved to San Francisco a few months ago, right when we were finally beginning to "hit it big." He went to work in advertising. Basically, I guess he sold out. But there's at least one guy in our band who will never sell out. And who's that, Robert?
Robert: You could only be referring to our drummer, Jim Goodall, possibly the greatest living drummer ever to come out of Tarzana, California. Better than Corky Laing and Frosty put together. Where would Lopez Beatles be without Jim and his fabulous "less is more" drum kit?
Bruce: They wouldn't be practicing in my living room, I can tell you that for sure. Jim initially rebelled against our idea about restricting him to playing only his snare drum. So we let him use a cymbal, too. You know how drummers are -- pretty soon he was using a bass drum "just on a couple of the louder songs," and even a floor tom. I'm happy to say that he still doesn't have a high-hat, and his kit still sends sound men into gales of laughter. They stop laughing, though, when they see the back-up singers we've attracted. Tell me about the Lo-Pets.
Robert: Me tell you about the Lo-Pets? All I know about the Lo-Pets is one day you showed up with these two petite lookers and said, "These are the Lo-Pets," and who were we to say otherwise? It wasn't long after you brought the Lo-Pets around that, in a fit of blind ambition, you lied and told Wayne Mayotte that we had a bass player so he'd let us play Club 88 and were forced to admit that bass players maybe weren't so bad after all, right?
Bruce: Yeah, basically I guess we sold out, 'cause we had one by the time we played there.
Robert: True, and what a bass player! David Vaught, a real pro. I mean, the guy had played with Helen Reddy. No wonder we panicked when he had to quit -- something about "eating" or "paying rent" I think he said.
Bruce: Especially with our very first Whisky gig looming on the horizon like Opportunity Knocking. The problem was more easily solved than we might have expected when my old pal Doug Freeman from Los Alamitos High accepted our offer. Doug hadn't played bass in about nine years -- although he is a master guitarist -- but he didn't let that stop him, if you recall. Dave's last show with us was at C.A.S.H., where Janet Cunningham decided we were the best band in the city and Snickers showed us how to play "Muscle Woman." The Whisky show was two days later and, if I may be so bold, was a stunning success.
Robert: No, no, you're quite right. I was there, and my impression was exactly the same. Awesome, a magnificent achievement.
Bruce: Just what is it, in your opinion, about the Lopez Beatles that appeals to so many people?
Robert: Well, offhand I'd say it's a combination of our well-groomed appearance, consummate musicianship and exceptional material. Lopez Beatles has -- or is it "have"? -- something for the whole family, including the ones who aren't invited over anymore. Also, those Lo-Pets sure don't hurt things any. I don't see how the Lopez Beatles can fail to capture the hearts of every single person in the English-speaking world, do you?
Bruce: No, and even some of the married ones. But seriously, while it is fun and all that, I think it may be a bit frivolous for some. People with "F.T.W." tattoos, for example. But you gotta admit it's different.
Robert: Do I?
Bruce: No, but ... you don't have to walk around with any fat lips either. I'm giving you a choice.
Robert: Oh ... uh ... okay ... yeah, it's different. Boy!
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