If you know local roots-rock wandering spirit David Bowers, you know he's a different kind of cat.
In a good way, of course. Bowers is skilled on the slide guitar, and he knows his way around a bluesy Americana tune, for sure. He's also an adventurous music listener, a creative self-marketer and an interesting dude to talk to.
And so, when he sent to The Bulletin an interview with Badger Skull — stick with me here — ahead of his fifth annual birthday party (aka Birthday Bloodbath) at Silver Moon on Saturday night (see “If you go"), I couldn't resist passing it along to you!
The background is this: While working as an ecologist in Sunriver, Bowers had an encounter with a badger skull that “soon became his closest confidant," he said. Think Tom Hanks and Wilson the volleyball in “Castaway," but with Bowers' mischievous eye-twinkle instead of Hanks' beard.
Anyway, Bowers has since moved to California for a few years and back to Bend in 2012, and this (slightly edited) interview covers all that and more. Enjoy!
Badger Skull: To clear the air and noting it has been five years since I interviewed you, what was your drive to return to Bend?
David Bowers: My marriage had imploded by my own hand and I found myself living in an isolated cabin in Sebastopol, Calif., working as a biologist with funding that would soon run out. I also had a run-in with the law in Oakland. Things were far from good.
BS: Did you think bringing your art and yourself back to Bend would “cure" things?
DB: No — just shift things. I think we realize at a critical moment when there is a need for different perspective. In order to survive, perhaps? Bend is my home, in more ways than I can describe.
BS: Is there a reason, beyond beer and pub food, why we should see you and your reformed band, the Colony? And just where is it you now create that paradigm you pushed so heavily before 2009?
DB: Imagine that Lightnin' Hopkins traveled forward in time to the beginnings of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Everyone lay out in the grass and began strumming tunes. Then a vulture arisen from the pits of hell swooped down and changed the tuning of his guitar. That might be a reason to see the Colony now? And FYI, we are living again in a compound 40 miles east of Bend. Join us for “Storybook Nights" around the fire(s)?
BS: As the remnants of my flesh continue to rot around my jaws, I am still impressed with your tenacity and your friendship through these years. I wish you well at your Birthday Bloodbath #5 at Silver Moon, and of course, enjoy the unpredictable ... because I am already quite dead.
DB: Thank you, Badger Skull. You are one of my favorites, and I hope to see your sun-bleached self again soon!