Otis Ball. A man on the edge. A genius trapped in the mind of a lunatic. Some people are born with charisma, Otis had it thrust upon him. Enter Otis' world where questions are meaningless and answers are relative.
We at Bar/None asked Otis Ball to give us some background info for a bio. He gave us three pages with contradictory facts and one interpretive drawing. So, we figured we'd tell you all we know about the guy and you can draw your own conclusions. Otis appears to be from the Midwest. We receive mail at our offices for him and most of it is postmarked from Illinois, Wisconsin or Indiana. Of course, most of it is from lawyer's offices, so we prefer not to speculate (paternity can be an ugly word in this business.) His fan club is called OtisKult and all members are asked to change their names to Squeaky before being indoctrinated.
The first Bar/None heard about Otis was through John and John of They Might Be Giants. The Giants had received a tape from him and sent it to our offices immediately, with a note asking, "what do you make of this?" We didn't know what to make of it but we were intrigued, so we asked for more. He sent us a video tape of an all-woman band that he was playing bass with at the time. We signed him soon afterward.
In August of '88, Otis packed up his car and moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, the undisputed mecca for skewed rockers. Taking nothing but his guitar, records, tv, sofa, wrenches, clothes and baby brother, he drove directly to his new apartment and unpacked. Dashing right to the recording studio, he locked the door and stayed there until June, stopping only for coffee and inspiration.
Many fascinating musicians were seen leaving the studio at all hours including They Might Be Giants,Bianca Miller of Pianosaurus, Helen Hooke of Strange Cave and John Papageorge of Kissyfish. The result is Otis Ball's debut effort, I'm Gonna Love You Til I Don't, a killer combination of humorous, insightful lyrics and catchy as hell melodies. We do know that Otis Ball is a bona fide wildman on stage, singing songs that pay homage to, among other things, Amy Grant, Buddhism and Charles Manson's birthday. We wish we could tell you more, but that's all we know. Just listen to the album - it says it all.