Chronicling the creative process for Pop Zeus, the forthcoming Guided By Voices/Bob Pollard tribute comic- including sketches, concepts, finished art and whatever else is in my brain at the moment.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pop Zeus MVPs Revealed! #6- Jim Pollard



Without a doubt, Jim Pollard, Bob's younger brother, is the unsung behind-the-scenes hero of Guided By Voices. His varied contributions to the band's recorded output (only playing one live show as the Needmores) span the entire history of GBV. And ironically, if he didn't sustain a NBA-destined basketball career ending injury, it would never have come to pass.

After leaving Arizona State following his knee injury, Jimmy became a member of Guided By Voices at his brother's behest, recording guitar and bass on a ton of tracks from 1986 until 1994. During that time, he also cowrote scores of classic GBV songs including Blatant Doom Trip, Buzzards And Dreadful Crows, Club Molluska, Hey Aardvark, Johnny Appleseed, Marchers In Orange, Murder Charge, On The Tundra, and Radio Show to name but a few. And Jim contributed some of the most distinctive sounds of the early Geebs- rhythmically pounding Bob's back to get the unusual vocal sound on Chicken Blows, playing the distinctive Casio notes on Can't Hear The Revolution, the percussion intro to Maggie Turns To Flies, and providing the yell that kicks off Rocket Head. He even made an appearance on the final album Half Smiles Of The Decomposed- dropping the amp on Sons Of Apollo.

But prior to his stint as "spiritual leader" of GBV, Jim penned and recorded many songs with Bob Pollard and Mitch Mitchell as Acid Ranch. And later, in 2000, he was a co-songwriter and performer on the Howling Wolf Orchestra side project along with Nate Farley and Bob. Jim also lent a helping hand in the Airport 5 project helmed by Bob and Tobin Sprout. And to top it off, he helped produce Bob's 3rd solo record Kid Marine and was assistant engineer for Bob's 4th solo effort Motel Of Fools.

Obviously, Jim Pollard shares a heck of a musical legacy alongside his brother in the 20-year history of Guided By Voices. And therefore he is an invaluable addition to the slim ranks of Pop Zeus GBV MVPs. Thanks for all you've done Jimmy!

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