I can't imagine that the influential reach of Eric Oblivian (nee Friedl) can be accurately measured. He was a founding member of the legendary Memphis rock band the Oblivians. He was also a member of the Royal Pendletons with Jay Reatard and King Louie Bankston. He's currently playing in the Dutch Masters, the New Memphis Legs and the True Sons of Thunder.


In 1994, Friedl started the Goner record label, which has become one of the best in the world. Also, according to Wikipedia, he's Hawaiian.

Hello, how are things?
Good, slow, sunny, fine. I have a feeling there's something else I should be doing.

What did you do today?
Bank deposit, kid to day care, suitcases from the attic, gave our one-eyed cat a catnip toy to chase around, gave treats to the dogs, did the wiggle dance and made my kid laugh.

What did you do last night?
Did the wiggle dance and made my kid laugh. Watched the end of a 5-hour tennis match and felt bad for the athletes. Planned trip to LA. Ate coffee candy from Japan.

How was your New Year's Eve? What did you do?
Worked at a University Of Memphis Tigers basketball game. Could have been better.

Have you eaten today? If so, what?
Goner Records Monday Lunch meeting at Golden India buffet. Delicious.

True Sons Of Thunder - "Get Away"


What music have you been listening to lately?
Trying to figure out if rock music sounds good to an eight-month old. The Archies is a lot better than you'd think. Maybe better than the Monkees. Similar, anyway. We've been listening to a lot of dance music in the store, sometime soon punk will sound good again. I listened to Aerosmith's "No More No More" about five times in a row on Saturday. I couldn't get enough of how Steven Tyler sang "horse and carrrrr-iage" each time through that part. Then I'd had enough.

Seen any good movies lately?
Re-watched The Hustler with Paul Newman and Stir Crazy with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. Both of 'em were depressing as hell. Saw Network again—that was good, too. Depressing, but I love anything Robert Duvall does.

How do you feel about eBay?
Ebay's great- the Goner store can sell stuff to people who would never find the records otherwise. It's lost the wild frontier feeling that it had at the start. but things are so random now, too, that you never know what you'll find. I personally buy stuff from it all the time. As a model for a business it's pretty unbelievable. I went to school with the guy who started it—good for him.

How do you feel about the Beatles?
Getting back into 'em. They were my band when I was a pre-teen, saved up my allowance for a new Beatles LP. I didn't have an older brother that was into the Stones or the Who or Led Zep so I listened to my parent's Beatles records. Better than their Limeliters records (or so I thought then.) Now I can't listen to the Beatles records I had, but the ones I never had always have at least a good song or two.

Have you been in a lot of fistfights?
Not since I was 12.

The Oblivians live at the Antenna Club, probably 1994:

What time do you go to sleep at night?
1 am usually.

Do you sleep well?
Too well.

What are you wearing?
Red / Blue striped long sleeve shirt we got when we were at Old Navy to buy kids' clothes for my son. Only time I've ever been in an Old Navy and I walk out with all these clearance shirts. I'm the one to make fun of now. Black Levis 505. Beat up black Nike low-top shoes. There's a Nike outlet in Memphis, so they are well-represented amongst the people who don't have money for real shoes and athletic gear.

What is the weather in Memphis?
Sunny, low 60s. Warm for this time.

Are you glad to live there?
Sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I've been swept into a funneling sewer wave and will forever sink into this place. It's poor and pretty ugly. At least where I live. It also has really rich people and beautiful old homes. Not much in between, unless you count beautiful old homes falling apart. There's some amazing things and some really amazing people here. I think there probably are everywhere.

Will you live there forever?
I don't know.

How do you feel about Seattle?
I couldn't afford to live there. I was born there. Got to visit there around 1990 with my friend Greg Owen, walked straight into a Monomen / Girl Trouble show at the Off Ramp and saw the entire Seattle rock contingent out on the town. Got to hang out with his buddy Dan Peters at Pike's Market (is that the place?) Went to Sub Pop. Seemed swell.

What is your favorite band from Seattle?

Do you have a car? What kind? Do you fix it yourself?
I bought a Honda Pilot to replace my dying, beloved Isuzu Trooper. Haven't had to fix anything yet... I generally figure it's worth paying someone to fix my car rather than break it more myself.

What is your favorite food?
Mexican food.

Do you like to take baths?
Not really. We built a cool shower in our house to replace the lame-ass AstroTurf hot tub thing the previous owners had in there. Love the idea of baths, but it's been forever since I've had one.

How do you feel about Patti Smith?
I have a copy of her book Babel that's been on the floor under the backseat of my car forever. I wonder if anyone would want that. I think she was pretty cool; married Sonic Smith, band with Lenny Kaye. At least she was going for it. Don't really wanna hear most of her stuff anymore but have the records. I would rather listen to her than people talking bad about her. Radio Ethiopia maybe. Maybe. I don't know. "Fire of Unknown Origin!"