“…a misfit even by SoCal punk standards — a strangely dressed character who leaned more toward Bukowski and Lenny Bruce than Sid Vicious.”
The Hollywood Reporter
Who is Bob Forrest? According to actor and musician Johnny Depp, he’s “the coolest guy in the fucking world.”
Former lead singer of LA post-punk outfit Thelonious Monster, and later The Bicycle Thief, the infamous rehabilitated drug addict turned celebrity drug counsellor Bob Forrest will finally release his first, official solo album this autumn.
Recorded in the great outdoors with the backdrop of Big Sur and a sparse acoustic accompaniment, Bob’s gritty, heart-wrenching vocals speak a hundred truths as he delves into his troubled past.
Produced by Grammy-winning Ian Brennan, ‘Survival Songs’ brings together new work musing on meditation and redemption alongside older, unavailable material from Bob’s past.
Ian says: “The beauty of Bob’s voice is that he’s just being himself.” His earnest approach to song-writing encapsulates his deep commitment to blues and folk traditions, and his hunger to leave no stone unturned from personal stories to political allegiance.
The album’s opening track is a version of the classic “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” a song with famous interpretations by Blind Lemon Jefferson and Bob Dylan. Bob’s intention was to celebrate not just life, but his love for the tradition of telling stories executed so well by Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
A native of SoCal, Bob’s contemporaries included members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction, but whilst they found success and acclaim, his own group crashed and burned despite being hailed by their peers and critics alike.
RHCP frontman, and old friend, Anthony Kiedis noted that, “Bob has always had a very keen sensibility about finding extremely talented and down to earth people who just want to get to a kitchen and write a song.” Indeed, Forrest is responsible for finding two (!) RHCP guitarists— John Frusciante and Josh Klinghoffer.
His well-chronicled descent into drug addiction eventually saw the band split in 1994 and very nearly resulted in the death of Bob.
After 24 official detox attempts, Bob finally managed to get sober in 1996 and joined became more involved with the Recording Academy’s Musicians Assistance Program. It was there that Dr. Drew Pinsky met Bob and offered Forrest a job at Las Ecinas Hospital working in the addiction program. When Pinksky signed on for the acclaimed VH-1 series ‘Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew’, there was no question that Bob should be on the show alongside him.
“There are so many musicians, especially in Los Angeles, who say they owe their lives to Bob Forrest (in helping them get sober).” — Buddy Arnold, founder of the Recording Academy’s Musicians Assistance Program (MAP)