If you were a late 70s’ graduate of you probably know Bob Crelin or better yet, you’ve probably heard him play guitar. Some of the local groups he played with were Silverhawk, Harmonix, Trigger Happy, Rival, Never Serious, Catwalk and Cat Mercy.
Now more than three decades after graduating high school and more than 10 years since he’s played in a band, Crelin has revived his love for making music and his aptitude for addressing social issues in his single release Another Pretty Face.
Crelin, now a Guilford resident, calls Another Pretty Face, his election-year anthem.
“The inspiration came from this year's bizarre presidential primary race, the resulting media circus, and how it's affecting us here in the US,” he said. News source hurl tons of information at voters, said Crelin, and due to a lack of time, constituents tend to rely on talking heads for decisions – a dangerous thing he added.
By day, Crelin is an independent designer for KMC Musicorp, designing musical instruments and equipment. His award-winning, original product design for Gibraltar Drum Hardware, Gretsch Drums, Takamine Guitars, Ovation Guitars & Dixon Drums has influenced the look of musical instruments and accessories worldwide, according to this website.
As today’s registered republicans head out to the polls for the , we offer you a look inside the mind of Crelin and ask what he thinks about this primary election, the upcoming presidential election, the importance of voting and of course, his music.
Branford Patch: After your band Catwalk disbanded in 1992, did you continue to perform and write music?
Bob Crelin: In '92, Catwalk actually morphed into a more raw four-piece, called "Cat Mercy", which ultimately disbanded around '97. I have since continued to write, although not performing as much. Lately, I've begun performing around again in CT acoustic venues.
Branford Patch: Is your recent release Another Pretty Face a comeback of sorts or just for fun?
Bob Crelin: When I think I have something really important to say (that might actually contribute to society), I tend to write a book, propose a law, or in this case, a song. Honestly, It's ALL fun, and I have been blessed to be able to do it over the years. The internet has made it incredibly easy to release music independently. The only challenge is that you have to figure out HOW to let people know that you have music available (digitally), for instance: on iTunes and other song download sites (Another Pretty Face is available at these sites).
Branford Patch: Do you have more songs in the works?
Bob Crelin: Yes. As I am able to make the time, I'll continue to get into the studio to record them. I put Another Pretty Face out there because it is relevant right now.
Branford Patch: Do you perform live now? Any upcoming gigs?
Bob Crelin: I have been playing my 'unplugged acoustic rock' around a bit, in rooms like The Space, and The Outer Space in Hamden, Buttonwood Tree, Middletown - rooms that do acoustic stuff mainly. My wife, Suzanne has a great voice (heard on Another Pretty Face), and she often joins me on stage. The idea of putting together a three- to four-piece group tugs on my sleeve from time-to-time. You never know what might happen...
Branford Patch: Tell us about the inspiration to write Another Pretty Face?
Bob Crelin: The inspiration came from this year's bizarre presidential primary race, the resulting media circus, and how it's affecting us here in the US. How do we scrutinize the endless pipeline of skewed information being hurled at us, when it's hard enough to navigate our own busy lives? It seems overwhelming, and is probably why some folks just defer to TV/radio talk show 'authorities' to think for them. That's a dangerous trend. Add in the pop media's incessant preoccupation with image, we find ourselves sizing up a candidate more by their appearance and swagger than by their actual policy (whatever their policy is that week!) It's only natural to just want to tune it all out, but for something this important, we don't really have that option.
Music is such a great way to communicate and connect with others. This song's lyrics share some thoughts about this political theater that are sometimes literal and sometimes playful innuendo - with a little bit of humor. Hopefully it will at least put a smile on your face. Ultimately the core message is: look beyond the faces and the b.s. and "use your common sense and your critical thinking". Right now, we need that more than ever!
Branford Patch: Do you consider yourself politically active? Do you vote in local and presidential elections?
Bob Crelin: Yes, I vote and have been occasionally politically active in addition. I have written and enacted some local and state laws that are now on the books.
Branford Patch: What republican candidate for presidential nomination has the prettiest face in your opinion? Is this song a commentary on that race or just the 2012 presidential election in general?
Bob Crelin: Another Pretty Face is not about any 2012 presidential candidate per se (they're all cute in their own way). It's hard to believe that a candidate's appearance could actually hold that much weight in one's decision, but nothing surprises me anymore. I heard a radio interview where a women leaving the NH primary polls was asked 'who' she voted for, and 'why'. She proudly said (dead seriously): "Romney, because he LOOKS like a president". Another Pretty Face is actually an appeal to the 'better sense' of the US electorate when facing ANY election.
Branford Patch: You call Another Pretty Face a “wake-up call for the American electorate.” How so?
Bob Crelin: The message is: "America, we are smarter than that - pay attention!". It's a sad 'sign-of-the-times' when we have to assume that, not only are campaign claims & talk radio far from truthful, but even much of what we call the "news" too. Today, if any bogus statement is broadcast publicly, and is stated with enough conviction - that somehow gives it "weight" and importance. And it's all coming at us too fast and furious to debunk. So, if you're not paying attention...
Branford Patch: In thinking about motivating voters, what’s your opinion of Puff Daddy’s Vote or Die campaign back in 2004? What do you think about making voting trendy?
Bob Crelin: I think getting folks out to vote is always important. But, it's even more important if you can inspire voters to, as much as possible, seek their OWN understanding of the issues, and therefore be able to clearly 'read between the lines' of the 24-hour media blitzkrieg. We only get that one vote each time, so it's imperative the we grasp who/what we are voting for, instead of just voting for one 'team' or the other... or, the prettiest face. The 2012 presidential election is going to be a critical one for guiding the future course of many national and world issues.
Branford Patch: What’s the first presidential election you ever voted in?
Bob Crelin: I think is was during the Jimmy Carter race.
Branford Patch: Why do you think voting matters?
Bob Crelin: Voting represents one our most fundamental personal freedoms, where we are directly involved in a choice of our governance.
Branford Patch: Locally do you think politics matters? Should Branford residents care as much about the local elections as they do the presidential?
Bob Crelin: Yes, absolutely! Think global, think local - act on both.