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20 May 2014

The Lucky 13: Bobby Nichols, of Bobby Nichols and the Inner Planetary Monks

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Bobby Nichols. Bobby Nichols.

Bobby Nichols is one of the better-known musicians to come out of the Joshua Tree music scene. Bobby Nichols and the Inner Planetary Monks are an acid-jazz group with some astounding instrumentals that echo Medeski Martin and Wood, and Miles Davis in the electric era. Here are Nichols’ answers to The Lucky 13.

What was the first concert you attended?

The Who during the Live at Leeds tour when I was 14 years old.

What was the first album you owned?

Rolling Stones, Aftermath. I was living in Chile at the time.

What bands are you listening to right now?

Fatso Jetson, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, Michael Landau, Low Fly Incline, Ben Monder, Charlie Hunter, Wayne Krantz, Alejandro Escovedo. I like a broad spectrum.

What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?

Humping life-sized stuffed animals onstage—strange adolescent sexual fantasies disguised as performance art.

What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?

Shakti with John McLaughlin. I love a great melding of musical idioms.

What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?

Great instrumental surf music.

What’s your favorite music venue?

The Baked Potato in North Hollywood: World-class music in a place not much bigger than your living room.

What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?

“Get up, stand up: Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight,” Bob Marley, “Get Up, Stand Up.”

What band or artist changed your life? How?

Jimi Hendrix. The freeing of my musical spirit—unbridled, untamed, the perfect balance of the spiritual, the emotional and sexual.

You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?

Jeff Beck: WTF? Why Brian Wilson?

What song would you like played at your funeral?

John Coltrane, “A Love Supreme.”

Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?

Jimi Hendrix and the Band of Gypsys, Live at the Fillmore East.

What song should everyone listen to right now?

“Pets Eat Their Master,” Jello Biafra and the GuantanamoSchool of Medicine. (Scroll down to hear it.)

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