Bob Beland: Happy Camper



BIG BLEND RADIO INTERVIEW: Los Angeles singer-songwriter Bob Beland discusses his 8th solo album “Happy Camper.” Listen to his interview or download the podcast on,, or Hear the whole Big Blend Radio show on

Bob Beland is an American born musician/songwriter from Los Angeles, CA, where he has performed, written and recorded original music from 1974 to the present. His 8th solo album “Happy Camper” was released the summer of 2020 on the Wrong Way Works label. The music reflects upon his experiences living and performing in California since 1967.

Bob says of “Happy Camper’:
As I was assembling the songs for the album, I started to see a theme develop. It was a personal travelogue of sorts about my time here in California. I came to the Golden State by rail via the Santa Fe Super Chief with my Mom, Dad, five brothers and one sister. We arrived in Los Angeles in 1967. From that year on I would spend time and play music both in the Northern part of the state in San Francisco from 1970 to 73 and then back down South to Los Angeles in 1974. These songs reflect upon those experiences either directly, as in ‘Big Sur,” “I’ll See You There” and “Orange Groves,” or indirectly as with “Honey In The Hive,” “Underneath The Sweeping Sky” and “Pal O’ Mine.” “Heartbreakers and Soultakers” main story line revolves around a pair of young people from different ethnicities venturing out into the nightlife of club land. In the song there’s also a hidden reference to a certain famous band and their leader’s A.K.A. if you listen closely. For “Something/Anything?” I had this driving acoustic rhythm guitar riff happening but I needed something lyrically to fit it. For some unknown reason I thought of Todd Rundgren’s great double album “Something/Anything?” and realized that he hadn’t any song on that album or anywhere in his catalog and the phrase fit perfectly so I hope he’s not offended by my ‘borrowing’ it.

The title track , “Happy Camper.” came as a surprise to me as I had no intention of writing a song with that title. I had it in mind only for the album title two thirds of the way through when I suddenly became ill in February 2020. While recovering, the lyrics of the song came to me fast. So fast that I felt more like a stenographer taking notes than a songwriter. A melody came as soon as I reviewed what I had written but it took another 3 days for me to feel good enough to go into the studio and put it to music and the piano. The music came together very quickly as well. This song didn’t come to me in a dream. It came to me in the middle of the day while I was sick and anything but alone with my thoughts in a busy family household. However, what I did feel was the presence and words of my mother and father, who had passed away decades ago, coming back to me and whispering into my ear. I was listening to the spirits from long past and it was an intense but beautiful feeling of resolution. I hope those who listen feel the same way I did.

Beland recently collaborated with 10cc legend Kevin Godley on a song that will be released on Kevin’s first solo album “Muscle Memory “ in December 2020.

All of Bob’s music is available on most online streaming subscription music services as well as  

San Benito County Chamber



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