Bob Griffin is a Milwaukee rock bassist who has avoided some, but not all, of the confusion associated with a common name by preferring the shorter, friendlier Bob to Robert; other players with the same name, many of them rockers, seem to prefer formality. These include the Robert Griffin from Cleveland whose rock career began at approximately 13 and the New Orleans jazz pianist who has recorded several albums fronting a trio. The Milwaukee bassist is best known for playing with the BoDeans, a group that evolved out of a collaboration between Wisconsin high-school students in the first half of the '80s.
Drummer Guy Hoffman was Griffin's rhythm section mate, backing the precocious songwriting front line of Sam Llanas and Kurt Neumann. Like many aspects of the Milwaukee rock scene, the evolving careers of many of these players interconnect, if only because some of them shared quarters in the same hotel, rumored to be a mob front. Hoffman later went on to replace Victor de Lorenzo as drummer in the Violent Femmes, the BoDeans' rival in the lakefront city for local rock & roll glory. Violent Femmes bassist Brian Ritchie may have also been Griffin's rival for cool local bass player status. Both performers were members of bands signed to Slash, at that time involved in a manufacturing and distribution deal with the mighty Warner Bros.
In 1987, Griffin and company were being produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, who would perform the same chore for the Violent Femmes. Both groups enjoyed commercial success during this period, the BoDeans touring with U2 and backing up Robbie Robertson of the Band on a solo album. New members joining near the end of the decade were keyboardist Michael Ramos and drummer Danny Gayol. The band has remained active for more than two decades, patching a new drummer onto the seat of the band's trousers whenever necessary.