Today is the anniversary of Guided by Voices frontman Robert Pollard pitching a no-hitter for Wright State University’s baseball team. This historic feat occurred on May 11, 1978, one year after Star Wars and five years before I was born. I love that Pollard was both an athlete and a fourth-grade teacher before becoming a legend in the indie rock scene. When I was younger, I was into music but didn’t care for physical endurance and sports. Now that I’m older, I enjoy running and watching baseball, so I was stoked to find out one of my rock heroes excelled at baseball.
Pollard, if you didn’t know, is a prolific songwriter and releases multiple albums a year. My ability to keep up-to-date with all of Pollard’s releases has ebbed and flowed over the years, but since 2003 I’ve been a major fan of Pollard and GBV. If you’ve never checked them out, I highly recommend starting with the band’s second major-label album, ISOLATION DRILLS. While somewhat derided by hardcore fans (it’s slickly produced, whereas GBV is known for their lo-fi aesthetic), I think this record is a good place for newbies to start. Pollard’s songs are like drunken, midwestern versions of British invasion-era rock.
Pollard’s no-hitter was immortalized in t-shirt form a few years ago. Yours truly snagged one at a concert, and it’s my favorite rock t-shirt of all time:
So crack open a Miller Lite, crank up “Over The Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox,” and long live GBV.