When Bob Hate disappeared in 1999, all he left us were the songs that would become the 2003 greatest hits collection, "Like a King."
So it was stunning when he reappeared in Nashville in the summer of 2008 doing a timid and tiny reunion with one of his Dallas-era bands.
"I just called Chet and the other fellas, and suddenly we were in a studio again. It was sort of odd."
But after that reunion had fallen through, Bob retreated again, this time to his Albuquerque compound, a sprawling home in the desert where he'd been holed up for a couple of years.
On my first visit there, we talked in the back yard about the ill-fated attempt at bringing his old band back together. “I thought the music would be enough,” he said, while polishing off a piece of chocolate cake about the size of a 4-slice toaster.
When I came by the next morning, his houseboy let me in, and I could hear Bob working on something in the small studio he’d built in the northwest wing.
I stood outside the door, hoping perhaps to hear the beginning of a song, one that would lead him to this new solo project. But after awhile I gave up and waited in the atrium for him to come out.
When he did, hours later, his enormous bulk seemed to fill the room. I thought about the music he'd already given us over the years, dozens of masterpieces, all aching and beautiful.
I wondered what was next for him. I asked, "New song?"
"No," he said. "I was just looking at porn."
-- Hector "The Brim" Torres
for the "Torque Ramada Times"