The Michigan Daily Friday, September 25, 1987 Page 8
By John Logie
Being a dB isn't easy. It's much
much easier to be a Simple Mind.
Record labels don't collapse on you.
Band members on the order of Chris
Stamey and Gene Holder don't leave
at inopportune moments. Fans don't
ask too much. But the dB's can't be.
Simple Minds because they don't
have simple minds. .
dB's leader Peter Holsapple has
watched less talented bands shuttle
past his band, but he isn't worried.
"When people are ready for us they
will catch on to us. If it takes people
a while, maybe it's because there's
substance there...there's a lot to
absorb. We're not the most obvious
group in the world, although
sometimes it sounds like we could
be. I think that it takes... careful
listening to get into a dB's record,
and that's great. We like to promote
The dB's have just released their
fourth album, The Sound of Music,
and like its three predecessors, the
record has received critical raves. The
band's new record label, I.R.S. is in
a far better position to promote the
band than the late greats Bearsville
and Albion. Holsapple is hitting the
road with drummer Will Rigby, his
friend and bandmate for twenty-three
years, bassist Jeff Beninato, known
to many as "the guy who replaced
Stamey" but praised by Holsapple as
having developed into a lynchpin of
the band, and new member Harold
Kelt who Holsapple describes as "a
double threat - he plays both guitar
and keyboards, and he's really really
good." The result will undoubtedly
be an intensification of focus on
Holsapple, who has had to overcome
an initial discomfort with center-
"You could say I was more a
sheep than a leader - more sheep
than shepherd. It took me a while to
grow into the position of leader of
the band, which I am now. Chris's
departure was tough on everybody,
but it seemed like the right time for
him and for us... I guess I feel more
natural in a songwriting or studio
situation, cause when I'm out
playing live people... you know,
tend to look."
Holsapple's talent as a performer
and songwriter belies his
uncertainty. Though he describes
himself as "just one of those guys
who's banged on folk guitar for all
his life," he has become more than a
banger. In addition to rootsy rock,
The Sound of Music features
surprises like the affecting ballad, "I
Lie" and a stunning country-tinged
duet with Syd Straw, "Never Before
and Never Again." But Holsapple
also can come up with the bent
sarcasm of "Bonneville," an ode to
the great salt flats.
Holsapple has been playing guitar
for the past 23 years, starting out by
learning Rodgers and Hammerstein's
The Sound of Music on a
Silvertone purchased for him by his
mother, much as Elvis Presley's
mother purchased the budding King
an el cheapo guitar. The King lurks
on The Sound of Music album
coi'er, making appearances on
Holsapple's shirt and on the wall, in
glorious blue polyester, because
Holsapple is fond of the Pelvis.
"I think everybody loves Elvis,
no matter where you are. South,
West, East, everybody realizes as
time goes by what a great singer he
was, what a great interpreter of
songs, what a great performer... We
have a tape of Elvis's greatest shit,
which is pretty amazing. It's all
sorts of bad songs from the
movies.., like "There's No Room to
Rhumba in a Sports Car,"
"Dominick the Impotent Bull,"
"He's Your Uncle Not Your Dad."
The chain between the two Sound
of Musics is virtually unbroken.
Holsapple took a short break, when
a girlfriend told him he should quit
the music business. Eventually he
came around. Why? "I hated the girl,
man. After a year and a halflI hated
the girl. I had to do something. My
fingers were aching. I was dying to
play. I was going nuts. Yeah, yeah,
And perhaps this is the most
important thing about the Peter
Holsapple and the dB's. He can't
stop. The dB's are returning to
Rick's tomorrow night, and
Holsapple is genuinely excited by
the prospect... "Please let the folks
in Ann Arbor know that we're really
glad we're coming back." Holsapple
said, "we've always had fun there,
we have some good friends there...
free John Sinclair!"
Dash Riprock are scheduled to
open for the dB's at 10 p.m.; tickets
Will Rigby and Peter Holsapple of the dB's are the only two remaining
of the band's original line-up. The dB's will play at Rick's tomorrow
VOLUNTEER FOR MINORITY
" Campus Visits
* Phone Contacts
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* Special Projects '
Wed., Sept. 30
Undergraduate Admissions Office
For Anything Less
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Find out why -
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