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Interview with Joe Rowe, October 24, 2016

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:16 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: So, where'd you grow up?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe discusses growing up in New Jersey in the 1970s and '80s. He talks about his family life as well as records by Billy Joel, Red Foxx, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Bruce Springsteen that influenced his music taste early in life.

Keywords: New Jersey; North Carolina; childhood; family; parents

00:13:54 - Learning to play drums

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Partial Transcript: How did you learn to play drums?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe further details his early musical influences and describes his process of learning to play drums, which progressed from playing by ear to taking lessons and joining the marching band at Tucker High School. Rowe and Pernice also discuss the varying sounds of snare drums and drum pads.

Keywords: high school; marching band; percussion; snares

00:21:26 - University of Georgia music programs

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Partial Transcript: And I actually played for one year, my freshman year in college, I played in the Red Coat marching band.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe describes playing in UGA's disciplined Red Coat Marching Band as well as taking classes toward a music major, which he realized was too formal and complex to fit his musical background and aspirations. Rowe also mentions starting to play in cover bands and dropping out of college.

Keywords: Hugh Hodgson School of Music; Red Coats; college; cymbals; marching band

00:29:17 - Stone Mountain music / Music equipment

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Partial Transcript: Did you play when you went to Stone Mountain for that year?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe discusses playing Rush music with his neighbors in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and talks about various drum sets and techniques he has used over the years. Rowe and Pernice also discuss the value of guitars and the wear and tear on their music equipment.

Keywords: Yamaha; drum sets; guitars; open playing

00:40:06 - Early involvement in Athens bands

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Partial Transcript: I guess I don't think I met you until maybe '88 or something like that.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe and Pernice discuss where they lived in the mid 1980s and the bands they were involved in at that time. Rowe describes the venues where his bands played, which included small clubs and fraternity and sorority events, and he also talks about the role of band managers.

Keywords: Bliss; East Meets West; Laura Carter; cover band

00:49:37 - Touring with Porn Orchard

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember when Bliss toured with- did a really short tour with Porn Orchard and Jack-O-Nuts?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe and Pernice discuss tours, including a short tour their bands participated in with Jack-O-Nuts, and they talk about struggling to book gigs before the digital age.

Keywords: David Judd; Laura Carter; booking; promoting

00:55:43 - Bliss and State of the Union / Campbell's Storage

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Partial Transcript: You're playing in the cover bands and at some point you made kind of like a break and started playing with townies.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe recalls creating Bliss with Will Low and Andy Baker, as well as filling an open drumming position in Baker's cover band called State of the Union. Rowe and Pernice also remember practicing music in Bill Campbell's downtown storage spaces.

Keywords: Bliss; Cancer; Ruby Red; Will McKinley

01:06:09 - Self-Rising Records

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Partial Transcript: Bliss was on that Fuel Compilation, right?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe discusses creating a local record label that recorded for the Fuel Compilation. He also describes the music scene in Asheville, North Carolina, and explains Chris Purcell and Patty Tourneaux's business and music style.

Keywords: Asheville; Chris Purcell; Patty Torneaux; Self-Rising Records; Squash Pile

01:17:38 - Challenges of songwriting

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Partial Transcript: You guys put out a single right?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe describes an album made by Bliss, and he talks about branching out into guitar playing and songwriting after the breakup of the band. He further discusses the creative challenges associated with writing successful songs.

Keywords: Andy Baker; Don Chambers; Ross Shapiro; Supermodel; Time for Crime; Vaudeville

01:32:28 - The Glands: performances and records

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Partial Transcript: You know I didn't realize until the last Glands gig or the gig before that that you sing that song.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe describes how The Glands began playing and recording together, and he explains the members' roles in live shows and recordings.

Keywords: Call Me Doctor; Capricorn Records; Double Thriller; Elixir; Ross Shapiro; The Glands

01:53:46 - Timing of The Glands shows

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Partial Transcript: You know you guys would play, whatever, say two shows a year or something.

Segment Synopsis: Rowe and Pernice discuss Ross Shapiro's habit of scheduling The Glands concerts during University of Georgia holidays so that locals, rather than students, would attend the shows. They also explain how Shapiro's background as a self-taught musician contributed to his unique sound.

Keywords: Ross Shapiro; concerts; locals; performances

02:03:26 - The Athens Cowboy Choir

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Partial Transcript: The Cowboy Choir- how was it going from playing in rock bands to a cappella stuff?

Segment Synopsis: Rowe compares the musical style of The Glands, which was generally free-form and avoided technically difficult harmonies and chords, with that of The Athens Cowboy Choir, an a cappella group that uses sheet music and incorporates complex harmonies.

Keywords: Norman Luboff; tenor