The Story and Music of Bob Lind

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Despite releasing four albums between 1966 and 1971, including the critically acclaimed “Since There Were Circles,” and having just one US Top 10 single with “Elusive Butterfly,” Bob Lind has enjoyed a considerable following. Numerous artists have recorded many of his songs.

The Baltimore, Maryland-born Lind first signed with World Pacific Records (a subsidiary of Liberty Records), where he recorded “Elusive Butterfly.” The single became a transatlantic smash in 1966. In the UK, his version even faced tough competition in the charts with homegrown singer Val Doonican’s cover.

Lind battled with drugs and alcohol, which affected his music career. He dropped out of the scene and eventually became a novelist and magazine writer. In 2004, Lind returned to performing, and since then, he has been continuously playing and touring. In 2006, “Since There Were Circles” was re-released, along with “Live at Luna Star,” an album Lind himself released.

Among the many artists who recorded versions of his songs are Cher, Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra, Petula Clark, Johnny Mathis, Dolly Parton, and many others.

Young Lind

Robert Neale Lind, popularly known as Bob Lind was born November 25, 1942 in Baltimore, Maryland. Years later, his family moved to Denver, Colorado where he spent most of his teenage days. During eighth grade, Lind discovered rock & roll and rhythm & blues and later formed his first band called the Moonlighters in high school. When he entered the Western State University in Gunnison, Colorado, he fronted a rock group Bob Lind & the Misfits. He took up songwriting while playing in small venues local cafes.

Music Career

In 1965, Lind traveled to Los Angeles and auditioned in World Pacific Records (a subsidiary of Liberty Records) which was later signed to a recording contract. His first single “Cheryl’s Goin’ Home” which World Pacific had high hopes for, did not become a hit. Lind’s second single. “Elusive Butterfly” had the very opposite fate of the first single. It was a breakthrough hit, reaching to #5 on both on the US and UK charts in 1966.

It was later followed by Lind’s debut album Don’t Be Concerned along with the second single “Truly Julie’s Blues” (#65 pop).  Months after the success of Lind’s “Elusive Butterfly,” it was covered by the Irish singer Val Doonican. The cover version rose to #5 on the UK Chart. He issued the albums Photograph with Feelings and The Elusive Bob Lind later in the same year.

After “Elusive Butterfly”‘s success, Lind became a drug and alcohol dependent and acquired the attitude of being stubborn and “hard to work with.” However, he was still able to issue his fourth album in 1971, Since There Were Circles. Despite glowing reviews, it did not commercially successful. Lind’s career eventually dried up in the music industry for several years.

In 1988, the alcohol/drug-free Lind moved to Florida and started another career as a writer for novels and screenplays. He penned five novels and an award-winning play and a screenplay Refuge. He was also a writer in the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News and Sun for eight years.

In 2001, Jarvis Cocker of the British rock group Pulp paid homage to Bob Lind. Cocker wrote  “Bob Lind (The Only Way Is Down)” which was included in Pulp’s 2001 album We Love Life.

In 2004, he was urged by his longtime friend Arlo Guthrie to perform at the Guthrie Center in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Since then Lind has been touring both in the United States and the United Kingdom. In 2006, he issued a limited-edition live album Live at Luna Star which was taken from one of his periodic Miami shows.

In 2009, the DVD Bob Lind: Perspective was completed by filmmaker Paul Surratt.

In October 2012, Lind collaborated with producer and veteran rock guitarist Jamie Hoover of the Spongetones and issued his last studio album Finding You Again. It was released under Ace Records.

Lind was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in November 2013.

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