Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bobby Sutliff interview


Bobby with TL3 1 jpeg

Recovering from a near-death experience, the songwriting auteur and erstwhile Windbreakers co-founder makes a triumphant return to Pop. Above, he’s pictured onstage in Atlanta this past January with his old pal Tim Lee (with band The Tim Lee 3).
 “I was unconscious for three days. It was four days before they would tell anybody in my family, including my 21-year-old son, whether I had a chance of living,” says Bobby Sutliff, the Windbreakers veteran, recounting the damage from his near fatal car accident last summer. “I had a huge major brain injury that I still suffer from somewhat. But even down to my neck and below, I think from what I understand, I broke 16 bones, including some stuff that could have caused me permanent paralysis. I was lucky.”
 Lucky indeed. When I speak to Sutliff, he has just been cleared to work again at the Wal-Mart distribution center near Columbus, Ohio, where he has held a job for 15 years. He is walking again and playing the guitar. Though he still struggles for certain words, proper nouns mostly, he is functioning remarkably well for a man who almost died.
 Moreover, Sutliff is lucky in other ways – in the network of Paisley Pop musical legends who have lent their support to him in the months after the accident. A tribute album called Skrang: Sounds Like Bobby Sutliff compiles 18 cover versions from many different phases of Sutliff’s career, from the first Windbreakers EP to a 2002 solo album. The participating artists are good friends, but also well-known artists from the jangle-pop 1980s – among them, Peter Holsapple of The dB’s, Russ Tolman from True West and the Rain Parade’s Matt Piucci. Not to mention Sutliff’s old Windbreakers partner, Tim Lee.

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