What is there to say about the final Total Fest and one of the best bands to ever grace the stages of Missoula? I had a feeling that the Oblio Joes would resurface for this event and I was asked if I would do the write up for the Obes and I was more than happy to oblige. I gave this some serious thought for a few days because I could probably write for hours about memories of shows and general drunken debauchery. The more I thought about it, I came to realize it wasn't the stories that we have about our friends in the Obes but it was the story of the Oblio Joes that made them our friends.
|He sincerely means it.|
I remember Andy Smetanka telling me a story of sending a split 7" single with Humpy and the Oblio Joes to Maximum Rock and Roll for a review and they at first would not review it because the Obes weren't "punk" and Andy giving them a lesson about punk not being safety pins and Liberty Spikes. It is about DIY ethos and being true to your music and standing behind what you write and perform. That my friends is punk rock. Not a chord or a scream or a leather jacket. It's your soul.
|Roll on, Kentucky Moon. Picture by Becky Hensley.|
There is a picture from the last "official" show at Caras Park that I am so happy to still see every once in a while. Now, I can't take credit for making it but I was happy to steal it and hold it up very high because the Oblio Joes truly did change my life. They not only showed me what Rock and Roll was about but they showed me what it could be and they will not be denied their place because they didn't wear the uniform of the rocker that some zines and the old school establishment told the masses to wear. They wore the uniform of the Oblio Joes and they wore it as a badge of honor and pride. Having them re-unite for the last hurrah of Total Fest just makes sense.
And it makes me happy. I am only sad that they will only have 30 minutes to make you smile and not 3 hours to play every song they ever wrote. Either way, it will be an event.
And it will change your life. It changed mine.
(Dennis Lynch, July 2015)