There is a rich history of music in Ohio but perhaps, not many who dare to defy being defined by what has come before. I know very few who have been stabbing away at it longer than today’s Featured Artist, Ron House. He has been in numerous bands since the early 80’s, including the Great Plains, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and in more recent years, Psandwich and the Counter Intuits. Ron is the only person I can think of who managed to capture (in a song) the true essence and feeling of what it was like in a little place that WAS known as High Street in Columbus, Ohio, which in those days was absolutely magical. There was a lot going on, lots of musicians and tons of great records stores. ”Down on High Street” was an anthem… although, it really seems like a lot of his songs have a way of getting stuck in your head like that…”Why do punk rock guys go out with new wave girls?” … “They call it Cheater’s Heaven”…”Regrets, I’ve had a few…but then again, too few to mention” …”Little white cords coming out of your ears!!!” …” Password is my Password” . I can also recall him doing an amazing version of Cyclotron by the Electric Eels! He was one of the owners of the coolest record store in Columbus back in those days called Used Kids and that is most likely where we first got to know each other. I was just a teenager. I feel like Ron recognizes that there is a spark in every person who goes to a record store or to a rock n roll show and nothing makes him happier than to douse it with gasoline and fan the flames! That’s what I got from Ron. Him and his music inspired me to get it together and make some records! I highly recommend tracking down a copy of any of his albums and checking him out live if life ever gets back to normal!
LT: I last saw you and your band, the Counter Intuits, at the Cake Shop in NYC a few years ago. I really enjoyed that gig! You guys were great! What have you been up to these days?
RH: I really enjoyed that Cake Shop Show too. That was the last time I played NYC. I hope we didn’t put them out of business. The last show I played was late February at Ace Of Cups in Columbus. I played an acoustic set reprising all my hits, opening up for Linda Trip and Nudge Squidfish. Nudge told me all his friends will meet him on a Jupiter moon when we die.
LT:You’ve been making music since way back. How’d you’d get started? What inspired you to start making music and what were things like back then?
RH: I was obsessed with Top 40 music in the 60’s, then gravitated to the Creem Magazine sphere of Iggy, Bowie, and Lou when I was 14 or so. Never liked Classic Rock, in fact I blame it for all our problems today. I have never been a musician just a record guy, and only started playing in bands because Punk Rock said anyone could do it. The scene was full of desperate people who didn’t fit in in 1978. A lot of gay people, woman artists, and suicidal addicts. My friends.
LT: Do you have a favorite record, recording or moment that you feel truly captured the essence of what you’ve been trying to do?
RH: If you mean my own music I don’t listen to my own stuff unless I have a few beers and smoke some pot. Currently I like 20 or 30 People by Moses Carryout, I Must Have Made It All Up by Great Plains, Please Hear My Plea by TJSA, Not In Jail by Psandwich, and Rocket Surgery by Counter Intuits.
LT: Along side of making music, I know you are way into collecting records and listening to music. What kind of stuff have you been listening to these days?
RH: Since I spend my days looking for vinyl I listen to music in my car a lot, mostly WFMU. I like music I’ve never heard before.
At home it’s different. I listen to a lot of jazz. I got a real scratchy Frank Morgan on GNP I love. Two songs I’m nuts for are Omega by Jackie McLean and Warm Canto by Mal Waldron with Eric Dolphy on a soprano sax ghostwritten by Rod Serling. Thanks to Nate The K on FMU I like new bands like Slugs, Mosses, and Gen Pop.
LT: Any new music, events or stuff up online that you’ve been working on that you wanna tell our readers to keep an eye out for?
RH: Who knows when the Present will start again? Keep Protesting and Vote!