Bob Lind is an American folk music singer-songwriter, who helped define the 1960s folk rock movement in America and England. Lind is best known for his transatlantic chart hit single, “Elusive Butterfly”, which reached number 5 on both the US and UK charts in 1966, but continues to write, record and perform throughout America and Europe.
More than 200 artists – including Cher, Glen Campbell, Aretha Franklin, Dolly Parton, Eric Clapton, Nancy Sinatra, The Four Tops, Richie Havens, Hoyt Axton, The Kingston Trio, Johnny Mathis, and Petula Clark – have recorded songs written by Lind.
I had a chance to speak with Bob one morning recently. He is now living in Florida, and enjoys the year round warmth and atmosphere that only Florida can give. He still travels around to sing songs and tell stories, he still writes and records songs, and his latest album called, “Finding You Again” is a testament to the fact that Lind has neither lost his chops, the lyrics nor the melodies that makes his songs instantly familiar and a good listen anytime you turn it on.
Bob was an absolute delight to interview, he opened up totally to every question I asked, and he was so generous with this interview, telling stories and anecdotes, that there is easily enough subject matter for two parts.
What made you get back into it?
For one thing, I’ve never been out of it. What I got out of was recording and what I got out of was playing music in the venues and the opportunities that I had, which were basically oldies, in bars and things like that. Right now, I am in a place where I don’t need to play in places where I don’t want to anymore. But, I love performing, that’s my first love.
Recording is a different story. I don’t enjoy recording which is why it took so long for another album to come out.
So, for “Finding You Again,” did you have these songs backlogged and you just decided it was time to get them out?
Well, I’ve been writing. For the most part, the songs on “Finding You Again” have been written over the last 4 or 5 years before the album came out, except for “May,” and “How the Nights Can Fly.”
Did something just suddenly motivate you to do this, or just kick you in the pants to get these recorded?
I have always been looking to record, as long as it is done the right way. I mean, you just can’t exist without recording, but it’s just not something I prefer to do. “Finding You Again” is the first record I have ever made that I can hand to somebody and say, “This is what I do. When you hear this album, this is me.”
Do you have any particularly favorite songs on the album?
No, not really. When it first came out, I played it all the time because I was so happy with how it turned out. There are some songs I sing more than others in my live act, like, “The Thunder of Goodbye,” “How Dare You Love Me,” “Let It Go,” “How the Nights Can Fly,” and I still play, “Maybe It’s the Rain.” But that doesn’t mean they are my favorites, I like them all, but those are the ones that seem to work best in a live performance. And who knows. I don’t always know what I’m gonna do when I get on the stage. I don’t have a song list, or anything like that. I’m not working with a band, I just let my instincts guide me as to what songs I’m going to do.
Part of the problem with recording is that it develops an expectation in the minds of fans. You are going to want to hear the way a song sounds the way it was recorded. Well, I don’t perform that way. For instance, “How Dare You Love Me,” that song rocks on the album, but if you see me in person, I’m liable to finger pick that song, I’m liable to do it as a waltz, I don’t know. That’s part of the excitement to me, the fans know they are going to get my heart, they know they are going to get the entirety of my art, if you will, and they know I’m going to care about them and present the songs in the best possible way I know how. That said, the best possible way may not be the way they are used to hearing the song.
This has to be an extremely intimate way to connect with the fans.
That’s my delight. Although I love to write, and have been covered by some very accomplished artists, the real reason I write is to have something as meaningful as possible to sing on stage. Because that’s what I love to do, and that’s why I love performing.
Bob Lind: Elusive Butterfly