Let’s flash back to the late 80s / early 90s and my time at the University of Alabama. I was an undergrad there from the fall ’86 to the spring of ’91. I’m fuzzy on exactly what year I discovered the music of The Bentley Tock, but I know that it was at a Radio Free Tuscaloosa concert. Radio Free was a spring concert that happened at UA where a lot of local bands did sets at the school’s amphitheater.
The first year a bunch of us went, was the year that Bentley Tock played. They did a couple songs, including the one I’ve posted below called “Believe In Me.” I fell in love with that song at that concert—the mix of the acoustic guitar, the singer’s voice and the lyrics was just perfect. All of us became instant groupies.
Bentley Tock played around campus a lot, usually at a place called The Chukker (which sadly closed in 2003) and usually on Thursday nights. There were a lot of super late Thursdays (or early Fridays) when the band played. Me, Angela, Cheryl, Tracy, Billy and whoever else was up for it, would always show up. It didn’t matter to me if there was an exam, or if I had to work… if Bentley Tock was playing, I was there. Somewhere around the time I graduated in ’91, the band packed up and headed to Austin to make a go of a bigger career. One CD came out, titled Able, but unfortunately not much came of it outside their home turf.
The Bentley Tock still lives on for me though. As soon as I had the technology to put music on to a CD, I transferred the six songs from the cassette I had of their first EP and, later, once I had my iPod, I moved all the music there so I can enjoy it anytime.
I’ve been planning a Bentley Tock Geek Out since I started doing these, but this was the perfect week for it because all the music from the EP and Able has become available via the lead singer’s website. So, give a listen to “Believe In Me” and see if you like it.
If you liked that, head over to the discography area on PacoAhlgren.com where you can get the 17 songs The Bentley Tock put out along with 3 songs from another project Ahlgren worked on called The John Galt. I’m thrilled he put these up on the website because they sound much better (especially the ones from the EP) than what I had. And it was great to hear the John Galt material, which was unknown to me before.
While you’re on his site, check out his book, Discipline, too. I’ve read the excerpts and it sounds pretty cool so I’m going to pick one up soon. I’m looking forward to reading what the writer of some of my favorite songs has put into a novel.