On the Bio (Me-oh My-oh)

Bio / Resume

"Music is my main thing..."

"Even though I don't come from a musical family, there was always music going on at the house," says the Artist Formerly Known as Michael Granda in describing his upbringing in St. Louis, Missouri. "Because my folks weren't tuned into the Grand Ol' Opry, I couldn't tell you the difference between Tex Ritter and Hank Snow. But I could tell you the difference between Count Basie and Benny Goodman. As my musical tastes evolved I could tell you the difference between Hendrix and Clapton. This also shows in my music, which isn't as rooted in country as it is in rock and roll, big bands and anything with a swing to it. My affinity for country music came later as I entered adulthood."

A multi-instrumentalist, Supe and rock and roll entered adolescence at the same time-Supe describes himself as a 'sponge' in exploring the varied sounds of famed Gaslight Square in St. Louis-and out of the exposure to the vibrant music culture came a mind and soul dedicated to a wide variety of sounds and styles.

At the end of the 1960s, Supe aimed his car and his life in a southwesterly direction from his St. Louis home, and a couple hundred miles on I-44 later arrived in Springfield, Missouri, his home for the next twenty years. There he found a common vibe among a coterie of musicians who in 1971 formed the Ozark Mountain Daredevils. The group's self-titled debut on A&M Records was produced by Glyn Johns (The Who, Rolling Stones) and spawned a Top 30 hit in "If You Want to Get to Heaven." The Daredevils were conspicuously eclectic, the group bursting at the seams with invention: five of the members sang lead and contributed songs, Supe among them. The Dares were rootsy and adventurous, capable of digging into the naked heart of a lyric about spiritual renewal as they were in surreally getting lowdown on "Chicken Train."

The clucking and squawking you hear on "Chicken Train," the second most requested song in the Daredevils' catalog, have come out of Supe's mouth on record and in concert to the delight of fans ever since.

The Daredevils recorded their follow up, It'll Shine When It Shines, on a farm outside Springfield, with Johns again at the helm. The results were luminous, as nature's music literally blended with the singers and players of instruments. The album produced a #1 song in "Jackie Blue," still a staple of classic rock radio. The albums came annually in succession, the Dares exploring country-rock bohemia with a grace and verve that still attract fans new and old.

By the mid-1980s, Supe had regular solo work on the burners and cooking: The Dog People, represented on two albums (The Dog People and Profit Man: A Rock Opera), and Supe & the Sandwiches. The Sandwiches performed more widely and released Greatest Hits Volume III in 1988 and Meat the Sandwiches two years later.

Meanwhile, Supe has maintained a lasting spot and an ever-changing wardrobe in The Garbonzos, a merry-making troupe that performs psychedelic polkas at venues ranging from nightclubs to parades to riverbanks. In 1998 The Garbonzos at last burned onto compact disc the grooves that have been put to service for countless shows, including a supporting role for Tiny Tim, when they issued Eat Our Beans (Missouri Mule). "Producing the disc was a labor of love of the absurd," explains Supe.

Supe's latest solo outfit is Supe & the Sheetrockers, who debuted in Nashville on April 1, 1998.

"The Sheetrockers were assembled to play this avalanche of raucous songs I can't seem to stop writing," says Supe. "With their 'drywall of sound,' I can cop a groove big enough for everyone to climb into."

"...but not my only thing."

"To hell with a bunch of gold records on the wall. The greatest thrill of my life was when I delivered my own children. I realize it was a pretty primitive thing to do, but at the time, that's where my heart and soul resided. Then, after they were born, I built all their furniture. They're the brightest jewels in my crown." -Supe du Jour

Politics and the Musician

Count a foray into the political arena among the weirder tangents Supe has taken. In 1990 Supe ran for state representative in Missouri-as a Republican, thereby surprising even those folks who had become habituated to his excess. It was a time for a paradigm shift in that pocket of Springfield, Missouri. Its rep, Jeanne Dixon, had already distinguished herself with much teeny-mindedness, but when she proposed legislation to mandate warning labels on record albums, Supe realized he needed to take action. It was a matter of principle. The Honorable Supe decided he had better "get off the couch and stand up for people fat-and-forty" who weren't frothing for censorship by the political class, who weren't happy about the Jethro Bodine-worthy image Ms. Dixon was proffering to the rest of the nation on the talk show circuit in the wake of her new-found publicity. Supe raised consciousness in his district, guiding the disenfranchised to voter registrars, and then, with strategy trumping an actual desire to spend a couple of years in politics, he withdrew from the race and threw his support to the eventual winner. Rock music author Dave Marsh invited Supe to chronicle his activism in 50 Ways to Fight Censorship (Thunder Mouth Press), his book-length primer on free speech and its defense.

Listen to the Music, See the Mug

Dr. Demento hand-picked Supe's "Dial 1-800 When I'm Gone," an eccentric piece of musical bricolage-and-banter provided by the Mark & Mike Show, another of Supe's ventures, to program on his famed radio show.

Supe regularly pens baseball commentary for Fowl Ball, the official fan publication of the St. Louis Cardinals. He's fired some music-and-culture salvos, too, in The Nashville Scene, Spotlight, In Review and the Springfield News-Leader.

As if a hairy, bass-playing, freelance writing, erstwhile Republican weren't funny already, Supe once opened a comedy show for Louie Anderson.

Not even the boob tube is free of Supe's beguilling presence. In roles ranging from scofflaw to therapist to honky-tonk party animal, Supe has appeared in music videos by Colin Raye (1996 CMA video of the year, "I Think About You"), Trisha Yearwood and BR5-49.

"I enjoy playing music with anybody and everybody at any time," says Supe. And it is a wide variety of styles he's traversed, from gigging with Jimmy Reed and Vasser Clements to performing for two years with The Byrds featuring Michael Clark.

Now, a denizen of Nashville, Supe has formed his own label, MISSOURI MULE MUSIC. More info can be found by clicking on the Missouri Mule Link.

The Facts & the Tracks

SUPE DU JOUR-THE DISCOGRAPHY

w/ THE OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS

Ozark Mountain Daredevils (A&M, 1973)
It'll Shine When It Shines (A&M, 1974)
The Car Over the Lake Album (A&M, 1975)
Men From Earth (A&M, 1976)
Don't Look Down (A&M, 1977)
It's Alive (A&M, 1978)
Ozark Mountain Daredevils (Columbia, 1980)
The Best (A&M, 1981)
The Lost Cabin Sessions (Legend, 1985)
Modern History (Conifer, 1989)
Now Hear This (self-produced cassette, 1990)
Archive Alive! (Archive Recordings, 1997)
13 (New Era, 1997)

THE SOLO STUFF

THE GARBONZOS
Eat Our Beans (Missouri Mule Music, 1998)

SUPE & THE SANDWICHES-
The Springfield Chronicles (Missouri Mule Music, 1997)
Meat the Sandwiches (self-produced cassette, 1990)
Greatest Hits Volume III (self-produced cassette, 1988)

THE DOG PEOPLE-
Profit Man: A Rock Opera (self-produced vinyl, 1987)
The Dog People (self-produced vinyl, 1986)

SUPE DU JOUR-
Makin' a Living, Not a Killing (Missouri Mule Music, 1998)
Smartest Man in the World (Missouri Mule Music, 1999)

MISSOURI MULE MUSIC
P.O. BOX 22456
NASHVILLE, TN 37202
PH/FAX 615/361-1685
EMAIL SUPEDUJOUR@AOL.COM

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