Webb Wilder

How did this thing start? What's new?

This WWW page started while I was in South Bend, Indiana. I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area in California thus Indiana was not exactly loaded with excitement. I learned basic html and started a few band WWW sites. The Beat Farmers and then Webb Wilder.

I try to keep my site simple and yet informative. With a busy home life (kids, job, etc. !), it has become much more difficult. You will not see any wild java scripts since I log on at home and I hate pages that take forever to load. While it may not be the best page out there, I feel I provide the best, most comprehensive Webb Wilder site out there. I have articles, interviews, live reviews, etc. AND it's all free. One day we will move to a real server!

Now on with the show!

The bottom line is this- you like Webb, I like Webb. His music is great and we hope to get more soon! Enjoy the page!- Ken Drew

These pages are now going to be constantly updated (last update 02/05) with tour info and various reviews and interviews. Several new links are added so FIND THEM!

Who Is Webb Wilder?

Who Is WEBB WILDER you ask?

Webb Wilder is "the last of the full-grown men, the last of the boarding-house people, a man who was never a child and will never have children, a guy who knows every thrift shop and plate lunch joint in town, a guy who's never quite bald, never quite wall-to-wall, a guy who has dedicated his life to both kinds of music: rock and roll". Webb Wilder is an electrifying artist, the idol of idle youth. We are the adoring public.

Seriously, Webb Wilder is a man , along with his band- The Nashvegans, who plays great music. Plus, Webb has a great sense of humor and is a pleasure to catch in concert. In today's world, bands that play the music they want to play and not what is being played on the radio are hard to find. Webb Wilder combines the best of straight ahead rock and roll with country music to give a sound that is unique. If you are tired of the same old crap on the radio or MTV, give Webb a listen. You will like it. You may even recall "Tough It Out" or "Meet Your New Landlord" from his Doo Dad album. Great stuff!

What Kind Of Music Does WW play?,

A: Webb plays rock and roll with heavy Nashville influences. As Webb says "I came to Nashville as kind of a hunch, an educated guess that it would be a good place for me. Rock 'n' roll and country have more in common than not. We don't have the typical Nashville country sound, but we thought we could use that to our advantage. It's sorta like we're a roots band for rock 'n' roll fans and a rock band for roots fans"

The following have been used to describe his music by his fans: "Swampadelic", "Service-station attendant music", "Uneasy listening", "Psychobilly"

Webb says he hates to be categorized but if he has to be categorized, they should do it correctly. The term "uneasy listening" was coined by Bobby Field.

All Music Guide

Q What does the All Music Guide say?

A: Biography for Webb Wilder:

Music Style: Roots-rock Instrument: Group The Webb Wilder character was created for a short film about a backwoods private detective who fell out of the 50s and happened to also be a musician. As a group, Webb Wilder combined the surf guitar of the Ventures with the rock roots of Duane Eddy, drawing on the feel of both country music and film noir.

Though sometimes bordering on the gimmicky, they are quite humorous and play serious music. IT CAME FROM NASHVILLE featured a cover of Steve Earle's "Devil's Right Hand," appropriate because, like Earle, Wilder rocked too hard to be country but kept a twang that might put off mainstream rock fans. Their next two albums didn't necessarily forge new ground but refined their sound somewhat, making their R&B influence more apparent. In concert, Wilder often gives stream-of-consciousness recitations that touch on motor homes, voodoo, television, and other somewhat kitschy subjects; usually they're funny enough to work. But if Webb Wilder intends to expand his audience, he will have to grow musically and steer away from too much camp. He has made another, longer film, indicating a potential career in that medium.

by Robert Gordon, All-Music Guide (NOTE: What does this guy know???!!!)

The Webb Wilder credo- what is it?

A: "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em!" The true story dates back to the first out of town gig in 1985. It was Easter weekend, we'd been at George Street Grocery in Jackson, Mississippi. R.S. "Bobby" Field (see later) said, you know you're going to start doing interviews. He got out a boombox and we started recording a practice interview. At the end he said, "Is there anything you'd like to add?" and Webb said, "work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em!, the Webb Wilder credo," and that was that.

Webb says that he's been living this all his life, and in verbalizing it, he realized he'd be living it the rest of his life. It's an economical bit of philosophy- the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. And if it don't work, the rest will take care of itself.

Who is the "Ionizer"?

A: R.S. "Bobby" Field. Webb and Bobby were at a home that had an ionizer. They had never seen one before and asked what it did. They were told it put out negative ions. Negative ions create a positive effect. They thought this was funny. Webb and Bobby have been working together for 25 years and he has been known as the "Ionizer". NOTE: An interview from 3/95 has been transcribed by Ken and is in these WWW pages.

Who's in the band now?


Webb Wilder- guitar, lead vocals (OBVIOUSLY!!!)

As of 2005, the road band consists of:

George Bradfute - guitar

Brian Owings, Jr.- drums

Tom Comet- bass

This rotates often as there are many great players in Nashvegas.
UPDATE: April, 2001

Joe McMahan (guitar) appears to have left. I have no news although I am sure that is was on good terms as it is with almost every player Webb has had in the band.

You never know who will show up in the WW band. Depending on schedules, you may see a combination of Jimmy Lester (aka Les James) or George Bradfute playing on drums or bass/guitar, respectively.

UPDATE April, 1998:

Steve Ebe , Webb's recent drummer, wrote this on 4/5/98

"I will certainly miss rockin' with all of our wonderful friends & fans out there! Of course, you just never know when I might make a guest appearance!"

"I plan to stay home & do studio work in Nashville & be home with my family. My baby boy is 7 months old today! I'm also teaching drum lessons at Fork's Drum Closet. But, when the Last of the Full Grown Men needs a substitute drummer, I'm sure I'll jump at the chance to go out and rock."

The following players can sometimes be found filling in if schedule conflicts arrise:

Backup Guitarists: George "Torch" Bradfute- the Tone Chaperone

Backup Drumers: Greg Morrow or Jimmy Lester (aka Les James)

Backup Bass Players: George Bradfute or Scott Esbeck or Dave Jaques

At the recent Dallas & AustinTexas shows (4/98), Ken Coomer of WILCO filled in as the drummer since Jimmy Lester couldn't make it. Check out WILCO

NOTE: This may seem strange to the fans, but it's unfortunately the way things work in Nashville right now. There are so many bands and so many players, and the rent is so high...everyone has to play in many bands and projects. All these players are really good, too, and they are always in demand. Needless to say, you always see a high quality show when you see Webb live and in concert so don't worry.

Jimmy Lester (aka Les James Lester) is currently playing drums with Los Straightjackets and often sits in at local Nashville gigs with Webb and the band

Kelley Looney is currently on tour with Steve Earle.

Cletus is playing with a band in Houston, TX called The Hollisters.
Rich Ruth is working in the film and video industry in Nashville.

Where is Donnie Roberts now?

Donnie Roberts aka the Twangler is living in Phoenix, Arizona totday. He is not doing much music lately in order to spend time with his children. He has a real job working with his brother as an architect.

Donnie left the band in early 1994 to pursue other projects. In 1998, Donnie is played with Ned Massey on the1998 release Almost Drowned .

The Tone Chaperone takes a break from the road (circa 1996)

Below is a note sent from George to me on 6/17/96

I, George Bradfute, the Tone Chaperone, am taking a leave of absence from the live touring ensemble of Webb Wilder's band. After nearly 3 years in the van, I can no longer stand the endless stream of banter from Webb about: guitars, amps, knobs, pickups, speakers, output transformers, horses, cowboys, Indians, boots, saddles, hats, western wear, not to mention, gigs, venues, motels, cities, towns, etc. Yes, the road is a bit much for the Tone Chaperone sometimes, and during this sabbatical, I will be opening a combination health food store and restaurant, with massage therapy, reikei, and spiritual counseling, and bike shop, with adjoining guitar and amp museum. JUST KIDDING !

Although there is some tiny bits of truth in all of the above, IN REALITY, I am taking some time off to work on some recording and producing and engineering projects in Nashville, in addition to actually taking a break from the rigors of road life in a van.

HOWEVER, I will return to participate in live performances with Webb in August 1996, for several shows, including a planned trip to France. I will be working with Webb and RS Field on some upcoming studio projects, and will continue my long friendship with both, whether on or off the road. So, in case you're worried, this leave of absence in no way reflects any displeasure with Webb, or the World of Wilder touring organization, or anyone else in the organization. Many thanks and greetings to all interested and involved, and new friends made along the road in the last few years ! We'll see you all soon !

Take care,

NOTE from Ken:

George has been very instrumental (no pun intended) in getting Webb Wilder on the internet and providing a view from the road. George will continue to help the WW cause from the sidelines- let's hope he rejoins the touring band soon. He assured me that the new player, Joe McMahan, is a good musician. We will see......

Was that Webb Wilder music played during the 1994 NBA All Star Shootout?

A: Yes, the NBA used "Horror Hayride" as the music to shoot to during the 1994 NBA All Star 3 point shootout. It was edited to 1 minute. I was amazed that the NBA had the brains to use such a great song.

According to the San Antonio Express-News
Starting five: Five greatest All-Star Weekends

5. Minneapolis (NBA) 1994: This game makes this list strictly because of the 3-point contest, and mostly because of the music that accompanied it, Webb Wilder's "Horror Hayride." The guess here is that not one of the 3-point contestants ever had heard the frenzied tune accompanying their race around the 3-point line. The infectious guitar licks of Donny "The Twangler" Roberts built the tension to a peak as the shooters launched. It must have inspired Cleveland's Mark Price, because he made 18 in a row in the finals, missing only six of 30 shots in one of the top long-distance showings ever. Besides, Wilder's inane credo could serve as a maxim for all NBA players: "Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."

Link is below

Is Webb in the movie "The Thing Called Love"?

A: Yes, he plays the role of Ned. This movie was directed by Peter Bogdonavich and was River Phoenix's last movie. It was on NBC 6/17/96 so you best have watched it! It is on HBO and other cable networks all the time.

Webb's choice of backing musicians if he could choose them:

A: James Burton on guitar, Charlie Watts or Steve Jordan on drums, Ian McLagan on organ, Geraint Watkinson on piano and accordian, and Neil Finn as an alternative lead singer (taken from a compuserve forum in June 1993 -thanks Fiona)

CORN FLICKS: What is it?

To movie critics, Webb Wilder the actor is "Fess Parker on thorazine," a "saturnine hybrid of James Brown and Jack Webb, whose cavernous deadpan intonations and crack timing make Corn Flicks a must." Of Corn Flicks, a compilation of short films featuring Webb Wilder and written by R.S. "Bobby" Field aka the IONIZER and director Stephen Mims, the Chicago Tribune said "it's Twin Peaks with MTV thrown in the middle," while the Los Angeles Times described it as "a fertile field of free-form word play that reflects a literary underpinning."

B-movie and drive-in movie specialist Joe Bob Briggs called it "One of those 'you have to see it' flicks."

OTHER MOVIES......you ask?

'The Perfect Specimen'

A Review by Alison Macor (Special to the American-Statesman ) Published: Mar. 15, 1999

Playing slightly nerdy high school student Barry Weiss, actor Jeremy Fox carries "The Perfect Specimen." Austin writer-director Steve Mims sets his comedy on the night of the senior prom, and the film's funniest sequence takes place when Barry arrives to pick up his date, Julie (Alicia Corbett), and finds himself the subject of a full-scale interrogation worthy of Ken Starr. Musical acts The Naughty Ones, Webb Wilder and Los Straightjackets contribute local flavor to this compact coming-of-age story with enough high-tech gadgetry to give "The Perfect Specimen" a contemporary spin.

For a better description, look here!

Is there a musical background in Webb's family?What is it?

A: Yes, Webb's aunt was into music, read below:

The woman who ran Trumpet, Lillian McMurry , kept incredibly concise and detailed session log books. Everything was turned over to the Blues Archive on the University of Mississippi campus where it is a treasure for blues historians.

Trumpet Records- For the definitive story on this pioneering Jackson, Mississippi record label -Trumpet Records- founded by Lillian McMurry a young woman who loves the blues, read "Trumpet Records" by Marc Ryan (who owns Accoustic Archives) [it can be ordered from Big Nickel Publishing, P. O. Box 157, Milford NH 03055]. She is still alive and lives in Jackson MS. As a matter of fact, she has appeared at the Delta Blues Museum on a panel recently (1998). She also appearred at the Handy's this year (1998) where she showed up unannounced and got a standing ovation.

Trumpet recorded many classic records; the first "Dust My Broom" Elmore James with Sonny Boy Williamson, the first "Peace In The Valley" by the Southern Sons (gospel and the only lost master), Sonny Boy's "Eyesight To The Blind", "Mighty Long Time", "Mr. Downchild", "Nine Below Zero" and others.

Did Webb Wilder ever make a music video?

A: Yes, Webb's only video is for "Human Cannonball". As one would expect, it involves the circus. It cost a ton of money to make, was shot in balck and white, and was hardly ever seen on MTV. Want a copy???? You know who to contact!

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