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Guided By Bob


We all know that Bob Pollard of Guided by Voices is, well, guided by voices. Logic therefore dictates that if you want to be guided by voices, first you have to be guided by Bob. We took to the streets to find out what, if any, practical advice Bob has given us over the years.


ē The closer you are, the quicker it hits ya. (Alien Lanes)

The streets of Swindon are no place to try out this. Lorries routinely cut you up at any given opportunity in any case round here, and we couldnít find any volunteers to stand in the middle of the road and wait for the inevitable. Weíll just have to trust Bob on this one. Result: trust in Bob. He knows best.


ē Closely examine the contact point of the opposing rams. (Do The Collapse)

Now, however un-PC this might seem, weíve always been a bit partial to a little bloodsport. You know the sort of thing Ė which fly reaches the top of the window first, which goldfish might be the first to headbutt the top of the tank cover in a desperate bid for freedom, whether the fucking dog next door will ever stop its yapping without being throttled first. Sheep jousting has, however, never lain high on our list of priorities. Not that it has never appealed, of course, but the sight of two ovine creatures running towards each other hammer and tongs isnít a common sight round here. Let alone being able to examine the point of contact between them. We hung around in a field trying to catch ourselves a couple of rams, but they all ran away, we got strange looks from passers-by and shot at by the farmer. So we went home a little dejected. Result: abject failure. And shotgun wounds.


ē Iíd like to take you on a quick spin sometime to show you what itís got (Sandbox)

For the moment we shall ignore any sort of double entendre, intended or not, and concentrate on the true meaning, ie motor cars. Mavisís rather fetching Nissan Micra is pictured right. Now we are sure that Mavis in her quest to snare Bob would love to take him for a ride in it and show him all the lovely features. The way the backs of the seats move up and down. The stereo which has fast forward, play, FM, medium and long wave, which is especially useful to listen to the shipping forecast and test match commentary on. The way the back seat folds down to give a larger boot. The question remains: how could Bob reciprocate? What sort of car does he have? And could that crushed thing on the front of Do The Collapse possibly be the infamous Sunbird? Result: really needs Bob to fulfill this one. We can fantasise though.


ē Just one spark makes a hell of a fire (Sandbox) Uh-oh. Kids, donít try this at home. For a start, fires are hot and you could burn your fingers. Secondly, you could also burn down your house. Which may in fact be a good thing if you live in a hovel insured up to the eyeballs. But not a good thing if youíre not. So, in the interests of purely scientific research, you understand, we found a pile of rubbish on the local recreation ground, shoved some paper and lighter fluid under it, and tried to light it with one spark. Now, I donít know if youíve ever tried creating just one spark, but itís not as easy as it sounds. A lighter will only do the trick if thereís no fluid in it. And, committed smokers to the nth degree, none of us were willing to empty/snort ours into oblivion in the interests of a mere zine article. We tried rubbing two sticks together, but they were damp and we got blisters. So we just chucked our lighters in and watched it burn. Boy, what a fire. We had to scarper quick though when the fire brigade arrived to put out the clubhouse. Result: up before the beak next week for arson.


ē Fake capes baby theyíre hard to wear, put them on and everyone will stare (Under the Bushes...)

Capes. Cloaks. Call them what you will, they belong to a fashion that was dated three hundred years ago. Highwaymen wore capes. Wizards wore capes. Hell, Batman and Superman both wear capes, and they also wear their underwear on the wrong side. QED. Quite what a fake cape may be escapes us, unless itís imitation fur or something, and who would go out wearing a fur cloak for Godís sake? Damn right everyone would stare. Quite probably youíd be hauled off to the local lunatic asylum while you were at it and force-fed gruel until you were forced to admit that, in fact, Northern Uproar are the pinnacle of British twentieth century musical achievement. Now we donít possess a cape, so we had to make do with a rather large white sheet. We walked round Swindon in it for a bit, and we would like to concede the following. 1) Our cape was in fact fake, ie not a real one, and therefore it was rather difficult to wear. It wouldnít stay round our shoulders properly and dragged on the ground and got all mucky. 2) Capes arenít seen in Wiltshire very often, so people did stare. And after about ten minutes we were so embarrassed we had to take the damn thing off. Result: spot on Mr Pollard!


ē Unless you got the answers donít patronise the mountain man (Devil Between My Toes) Try as we may we couldnít fathom this one. The nearest mountains are in Wales, and frankly we want to go to Wales as seldom as possible. And we donít have too many answers and lots of questions (sample: whatís the circumference of the average orange?). So, like, if mountain men are supposed to be the fount of all knowledge, like in Tibet, what the fuckís the point in going to them to ask a question you already know the answer to? Result: youíre talking out of your arse Mr Pollard.


THE FINAL RESULT is that, while we have great respect for him and his music, quite frankly Robert Pollard is not a suitable target for cult-like idolisation or pre-milennial proclamations. But we love him all the same, donít we?

Trust in Bob. He knows best.
Sheep jousting has never lain high on our list of priorities
could that crushed thing on the front of Do The Collapse possibly be the infamous Sunbird?
up before the beak next week for arson
whatís the circumference of the average orange?