Guest Blog: Gordon Opened The Floodgates, by Doug Bogatz

In a week that Gordon turned 20, Ladies fan Doug Bogatz has written in to share his thoughts on the band and how his love for BNL even extended to his wedding day. A great read – thanks very much Doug.

The One Week single

I am somewhat of a “born again” Ladies fan, and also one generation late. I was in middle school when “One Week” hit the charts, and was instantly hooked to its quirky humor with intellectualism tied in. I immediately bought Stunt and Rock Spectacle and discovered the talent ran deep. The tracks quickly became my go-to music for years and years – never getting old and constantly being cued when I needed a boost.But, somehow, it stopped there. I’m not sure why I didn’t go to discover more of their music. Maybe I (absurdly) felt there was a risk of finding out that’s as good as it got. Maybe their pristine image I’ve built up in my mind from Stunt and Rock Spectacle would be tattered. Whatever it was, that all changed two years ago when my then-fiancee and I took a trip to Chicago and bought Gordon from a used record shop.

[caption id=”attachment_4622″ align=”alignright” width=”150″] 1996’s Rock Spectacle[/caption]

Its reputation preceded it – I was coming to the realization that my hesitation to dig deeper to BNL was short-sighted at best, and had been reading up on the band the weeks leading up to the trip. What were they like when they were young and still fighting for fame? What did they have to say? How did the tracks from Rock Spectacle sound in the studio?

I not only got my answers in short order, but received a tidal wave of high and low emotions, witty humor and musical prowess that is very unique to the rock scene. It was bittersweet for this then 23-year-old – I knew it was the beginning of something special, but it came with the consolation prize of realizing how this all could have happened years before. All that time I was fruitlessly looking for a band to truly connect with – music that appealed to me directly without concessions – and I was listening to a small slice of them all along.

The exact moment that solidified for me was the sixth track, “Wrap Your Arms Around Me.” After the first five eclectic tracks gripped me in their own unique ways and the bulk of the song inspired deep thought, Chris Howells’s flugelhorn solo appealed to my profession as a band director and passion for modern jazz. Very few rock bands can fuse so many musical tastes together that well. In fact, I haven’t heard one come close since. The only thought going through my mind was, “That’s it. This band gets it. This band gets me.”

The Angry People dance…

The rest should be familiar to most here. I bought every other studio album within months. I spent hours discovering music videos, live performances, and other video gems on the internet. My groomsmen and I performed the “Angry People” dance as a surprise during my wedding reception to the then-fiancee, now wife. She’s now also a lifelong fan, and we recently crossed off a line of our bucket list by meeting the band in person.

Thanks Gordon. Thanks for re-introducing me to my favorite band, and for (still) being a breath of fresh air to an era of rock music that desperately needed it. Here’s to 20+ more years of being of the hearts of BNL fans everywhere.

Thanks Doug! If you have any BNL blogs you would like to share, please send to
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