Bob Pfeifer

After Words

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Bob Pfeifer is dressed in a suit having his coffee on the cover of After Words, a record that sounds like it was recorded during a coffee break. Unlike Steve Diggle's Flag of Convenience or Johnny Thunders' In Cold Blood, released independently at around the same point in time, Pfeifer doesn't sweat, fails to emit any rock & roll emotion, dishes out trite lyrics, and is one of the all-time worst singers to ever put his voice on record. How bad is this disc? Where Len Barry's Ups and Downs and the Grass Roots' Rob Grill's Uprooted were failures as artistic efforts, at least those guys created enjoyable hits over the years. Their mistakes were forgotten while the good music they created allows them to tour and entertain. There is no entertainment here. One track is passable: "Always Lonely for You," a country song where the band actually sounds half alive, despite Pfeifer's off-key vocal. Followed by "She Always Smiled," one starts to think if this is a parody. Tragically, it isn't. The Masked Marauders on Deity/Reprise was hilarious; the Harvard Lampoon's "Magical Misery Tour" is sublime in its humor; but After Words, by a man who later worked as a record executive with Alice Cooper, Ornette Coleman, and so many other real artists, is such a dud that Cooper theoretically could have used it to get out of his own record deal. People used to play Yoko Ono records to clear out a party, but you can get serious cash for vinyl from Yoko Ono on eBay. Along with great musicianship, Yoko's records have a spirit and she never recorded anything as lackluster as Bob Pfeifer's stale techno "I'm Better for You," or "Nobody Knows (Where Love Goes)," which, to quote Mark Twain, is "a long lugubrious howl." Play it next to Willie Alexander's classic song "Nobody Knows" to see the difference between real talent and someone just shucking. "I Gotta Know" is even worse, an attempt at stuttering รก la Roger Daltrey and Randy Bachman so ludicrous the listener ends up just feeling bad. Like some five-year-old doing a community audition and the audience politely putting up with it, even free speech and the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution do not give an individual license to be this embarrassing in public. It bottoms out with a song called "Maybe It's Stupid," which, if you can believe it, brings this bad puppy to even lower depths. Has to be experienced at least once to get the full impact of the sheer audacity at play here. You've heard the expression "records were made to be broken," this one deserves to be snapped in half.

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