Saturday, January 30, 2016

Hershel Bloom (RIP) - The Mother Teresa of Eugene

I did not know Hershel Bloom. I was a fan after hearing the 36+ minute version of Loose Change on The Way of Things compilation recorded live at the Calkins House in 1987.  The song is a long list of the changes Hershel had taken notice of over the years in Eugene, businesses coming and going, buildings being built and torn down, etc. The amazing thing about the song is that every detail is correct.

As some of you know, Hershel passed away earlier this week having lived the last years of his life with some severe health issues. I was able to put a couple of you in touch with him last year and I should have done more in that regard, including posting the material below a year or so ago. If anyone has any additional recordings of Hershel, please send them here so that we can add them to this page.

The first set of recordings are from the Calkins House compilation cassettes The Way of Things and Cuneiform  Although Hershel only has three tracks, due to the length of Loose Change (a MUST listen) this clocks in at over 40 minutes.

Hershel Bloom Live at the Calkins House, 1987 & 1988 DOWNLOAD

The second set was provided by one of Hershel's caregivers at the facility where he spent his final years. This guy was really amazing, even taking a guitar in so Hershel could play for a few minutes everyday. I believe he digitized this for Hershel off an old cassette simply entitled The Basement Sessions. I have no idea on the year.

Hershel Bloom The Basement Sessions DOWNLOAD

The third set is the last I have, at least for now. I pulled the audio off the DVD Erich Boekelheide was kind enough to burn for me of the footage he shot of a Lenny's Nosh Bar Late Sunday Show which appears to have been a great live music option for 12am-2am or so every Sunday at the time. This was shot sometime in 1986.

Hershel Bloom Live at Lenny's Nosh Bar 1986 DOWNLOAD

Here is the video of Hershel playing at Lenny's.


the download includes Hershel's set and a couple of sets by the Rupert Pupkin Quartet