But, recently, label boss Dan Hanke told me there was a delay on the release date because a sample needed clearance before production could commence. This is common practice these days as manufacturing facilities typically require documentation of proper licensing, sample clearance and the like, as a means of protecting themselves from legal action.
Then yesterday, the band posted this on its website: "Our song 'Somebody Take the Damn Money,' the ballad of Harley Race and his early-80s wrestling promo placing a $25,000 bounty on Ric Flair, included samples we had snagged from the original audio of the promo. Because we are morons, it completely escaped us that the audio may be under copyright to a certain wrestling company that, in 2001, bought all of the National Wrestling Alliance's video library. Yep, the sample is under the copyright protection of the WWE. Whoops. Boy, are our faces red."
Hostettler (aka Dr. Awkward) also brought the discussion to Facebook, writing, "So we're idiots and completely spaced on the fact that a sample we used on our new album might be under copyright. DUUUUUUUUUH."
That elicited numerous comments from friends and supporters, including one who asked if clearance or re-recording the song without the sample were the band's options at this point.
"Those are pretty much our options, although we only have to remix the song, not flat-out re-record it," Hostettler replied, adding in another comment, "If it were only us, and not a label, a manufacturer, and (distributors) that were susceptible to lawsuits, we'd be more apt to say "f*ck it" and be punk rock and roll the dice."
Since the band was at the production stage for the CD and the vinyl (the required lacquers were already cut for the LP), this is a set-back that will move the record's release date pretty far out.
"We've got a killer idea for how to re-enact the sample, but it's a secret until we know it's happening," Hostettler replied to me. "No, we don't know Harley Race personally."
His best estimate for when the record will see the light of day?
"There's a good chance we'll have the vinyl in our hands before January, but the official release date has to get pushed back there for distro."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.