Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Where are they now? - Bob Siebenberg

A young Bob Siebenberg

Okay, so many of you who haven't listened to much music in the 70s are probably wondering who the hell is Bob Siebenberg? And now you're also probably wondering why am I talking about a musician when this a blog about gaming? Well, it so happens that Bob Siebenberg was drummer for the very successful rock band Supertramp which formed in 1969 and is still kicking around today. Apparently their music was initially classified as prog rock (gotta love that prog rock!) but they became commercially successful in the late 70s when they employed more popular elements to their music, culminating in their best-selling album in 1979, Breakfast in America which sold 20 million copies.

How is Bob related to the world of computer games? Well we'll get to that part. Let's first start at the beginning.

Bob was born in California in 1949. He was always interested in sport from a young age but he was also interested in music. In 1958, Bob joined the school orchestra and learned to play the snare drum. In the early 60s, Bob would join his first band called "The Expressions" that mainly played surf music in its early days but its line-up changed with the times. After "The Expressions" disbanded in 1966, Bob played in many bands across the USA for a few years before deciding to move to London, UK in 1971 to study at the Eric Guilder School of Music. For the next two years, Bob played with English pub rock band "Bees Make Honey" before getting his big break in 1973 when he got to meet the members of Supertramp. The rest as they say is history, but "how is he related to the PC gaming scene?" you're probably asking impatiently.

Well, during the 80s, Bob started to do some solo work and collaborations with other artists outside of Supertramp. This coincides with the time the band was temporarily disbanded between 1988 and 1996. Bob was living back in California at the time and while looking for jobs in Oakhurst's local paper, "The Sierra Star", he noticed a company called Sierra On-Line was looking for someone who was an expert with MIDI. Bob's credentials as a member of a famous rock band (probably) helped him secure a job at the company and he was put to use in composing the soundtrack of Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon. The soundtrack turned out to be the favourite of many Space Quest fans and the game even won an "Excellence in Musical Achievement Award" from magazine Computer Gaming World all thanks to Bob Siebenberg. When interviewed in 1989 by Sierra Interaction magazine, Bob said he wanted to do more work with Sierra as he enjoyed working on Space Quest III. Sadly, it seems he never did any more work on game soundtracks again.



Bob continued to keep himself busy with music through the 1990s, 2000s and to this day, playing with numerous bands including Supertramp again. Last month Bob apparently just returned from a busy summer of travel, most of it spent in Mexico. He's apparently close to completing a new album with his son, Jesse, called "The Glendale River". He's also still involved with sports, coaching a baseball team in his spare time. He also doesn't have any news about future gigs with Supertramp.

Will Bob ever get involved in composing music for computer games again? Who knows? Whether he does or not though, we've always got the excellent Space Quest III soundtrack to listen to and him to thank for it :).

LINKS:
[ Wikipedia: Supertramp ]
[ Bob Siebenberg Official Website ]
[ From Supertramp to Space Quest III: An Interview with Bob Siebenberg (1989) ]
[ MobyGames: Bob Siebenberg ]

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