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Jack Oblivian

Jack Oblivian 1 Photo

Depending on whom you ask, Jack "Oblivian" Yarber is either a rock legend or an absolute unknown. This dichotomy is well-understood by Memphis musicians, as underground "fame," for all its rewards, has, with a few exceptions, been the ceiling for local acts for decades. And no one knows this dichotomy better than Yarber, who may be Memphis' most influential active rock musician. The list of noteworthy bands Yarber has been a member of over the years is massive and includes Johnny Vomit & the Dry Heaves (a high school punk project that also featured future Squirrel Nut Zipper Jimbo Mathus), new-wavers the End, '68 Comeback, Knaughty Knights, and Tav Falco's Panther Burns. Two of Yarber's former bands — the Compulsive Gamblers and the Oblivians — have seen their reputation and following swell in the decade since their demise, especially the Oblivians, whose international fan base borders on rabid. Due largely to his stint in these bands, both partnerships with Greg Cartwright, now of the Reigning Sound, Yarber has been an acknowledged influence on artists such as the White Stripes, the Hives, and Jay Reatard.

 

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