AA Bondy: Outtakes from the American Hearts Interview, with Bonus Verbena Van Woe Stories
In this week's paper, Jaime Lees chats with AA Bondy. Once the vocalist of well-received rock band Verbena, Bondy is now stepping out solo as a twangier folk-artist. He plays Off Broadway next Wednesday, February 13, at 8 p.m. along with Kevin Devine, David Beeman and the Jealous Girlfriends.
This will be Bondy's first trip back to St. Louis in several years -- since he played here with Verbena, a show after which the band's van was stolen, as he discusses below.
Jaime Lees: The last time you were here that I know of was with Verbena at the Galaxy. Have you been here aside from that?
AA Bondy: No. No, cause my van got stolen that night! I've been kinda scared to go back.
Here, it did? Oh hell no. With all of your stuff in it?
What did you do?
Well that's, like, a whole other story. We played the show and then parked the van in the parking lot next to the hotel. The drummer got up the next morning, went outside and came back in and asked if someone had taken the van. And no one had taken the van anywhere. So, we knew the van was stolen. So were just were just kind of like, "Crap."
And we called the cops and they didn't care, and then we stuck around for a day and then we went and rented a car to drive back to Birmingham. And then we ended up actually just starting out at the hotel and driving around from there, um, like, I guess Les [Nuby], the drummer, some portion of him is American Indian, like Cherokee or something, so he was making jokes about how he was going to track the van and uh, he actually did find it.
It was about, literally, probably a mile, mile-and-a-half from the hotel. He found the van. We got our van back but we didn't get anything else back, really. There were like, a few things in there they didn't touch but by and large it was all gone. But we were just, at that point, happy to get the van back.
Oh my God. That's awful. I'm sorry. It will be better this time.
I don't even…I don't care about that anymore. I don't think about that anymore. [laughs]
Yeah, you've gotta be careful around here, really.
Yeah, I remember that day right after we found the van was stolen somebody got online and the news headline on their homepage was, like, "St. Louis: America's #1 City For Crime."
Oh, yeah. No, it is. Actually, it's been number one until a few weeks ago, and then I think they said it's number two.
[joking] You guys gonna stand for that? You gonna stand for that shit?
We're all hard around here, it doesn't bother us.
You've gotta get back to number one, man!