Webmaster’s Note: This interview is from 1999.
Issue 50 of the Femforce offered a little more than the standard comic book. Included with the issue was a flexi-disc, a small record designed to be played on a phonograph. The technology has since gone the way of the dinosaur, but it wasn’t really that long ago that the Femforce theme song was recorded by a band called, “The Keys.” Bob Koenig was a founder of “The Keys” and is the songwriter responsible for the Femforce theme contained on that little plastic disc in Femforce Issue 50.
I have read comic books, or had them read to me, since I was age 4 or 5. Back then it was the Fantastic Four, or the Metal Men…those were my faves. But when all the ‘indies’ of comics came along, I tried whatever I could find. Finding Femforce was great for me, as they reminded me of the comics from yesteryear…and not like all the adult minded indies that were showing up at the time. Of course, Femforce could be considered adult due to the glamorous women that were featured…but, of course, I liked that! But I guess I would say that Femforce (or any AC comics title) was bought up fast by me, as they reminded me of the comics of my youth.
How did you go from becoming a fan of the Femforce comic book to recording a Femforce theme song?
I had started collecting (and actually reading) AC Comics early on, whatever I could find in the comic shops. I had sent letters to the company once in a while, but, when AC issued the “Synn” comic, Mark Heike not only quoted and used references to songs by Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, but used 1960’s psychedelia…of which I have a big record collection. I was also publishing a Syd Barrett fanzine at the time (Syd Barrett was an original member of Pink Floyd), and decided that I could cross publicize my zine with AC comics. Writing to them, I soon had a letter in my hands from Mark Heike and we soon were chatting by phone. I started sending them my records, and they actually liked them!! So, when there was mention of making a movie, I asked about the movie soundtrack…and soon, an idea was planned for this ‘flexidisc’ in issue # 50…the idea evolved from MAD magazine having flexidiscs in their specials…so why not AC?
Femfans know that the Femforce theme can be found on a flexi-disc that came with Issue number 50 of the title. However, that theme song is actually a reworked version of a song called “Something Special” that you wrote and performed on an album called “Grand Opening.” What made you decide to rework that song into the Femforce theme song?
The funny thing of having the Flexi in issue # 50 was that, being a collectible, I seemed to believe that they were put away, and never removed and played! How many actually played the disc? The “Femforce Theme” song is actually a reworking of my other composition “Something Special.” I wanted to create an entirely new song, but it just never came to me. Somehow the music and the new words seemed fitting, so the song was used once again.
Your band at the time, “The Keys,” was later depicted in a scene in the Femforce. Was it a kick for you to have yourself show up in the pages of one of your favorite comic books?
When The Keys were depicted in Femforce Up Close #1, I was speechless!! I had seen some of the artwork before it came out, but it was quite a thrill to go to our local comic shop and buy a comic with myself as a comic character. My only regret is that I didn’t get to take Synn out on a date….they promised me!! (Just kidding)
In case anyone was wondering..the Keys were :
Bob Koenig (lead vocals, guitar)
Bob Hardy (Lead guitar, vocals)
John Piccolo (Bass, vocals)
Ken Schaefer (Drums, vocals)
I think we all enjoyed it. We even appeared at a local comic convention and signed the issues….always great to have more AC comics readers!
You’ve written and performed songs in many different musical styles. How would you describe your music?
My Musical styles? Well, they vary. I grew up on the Beatles, and even country music…so my style picks up from there. The material I was writing in The Keys was more a 70’s based power pop…like the Raspberries or Badfinger. But I did release a country cassette titled “Backroad Pond.” The Keys had a record called “Grand Opening” plus a cassette titled “Changes.” We were also featured on a tribute CD in Australia titled “beat or not the beat”. We made some TV appearances, the most popular was “Dance Party USA” on the USA Network. If interested in my recordings, you can write to Keywhole Records, PO Box 1672, Mineola, NY 11501.
It’s been a number of years since you did the Femforce theme song. What’s going on with you today? Where can Femfans catch you performing?
Yes, a lot of water under the bridge since the Femforce theme, for sure. The Keys had disbanded in 1994, so I went on to other things. I was signed to a small label and issued a CD of my own. It’s titled “Prose & Icons” (CPD-8201) and is available from CatsPaw Records, 416 Wilson Blvd., Mineola, NY 11501. He does mail order, at $14.00 a CD I believe. I also had a guitar duo called the “Jim-Bobs” consisting of myself and Jim Veltri. We played locally, but I haven’t really done anything new as of late. I was to appear on a Jan & Dean tribute CD, but that is yet to be finished. So if you want to hear my latest stuff, write to Catspaw.
Any chance of you doing the Femforce theme digitized and saved in a midi format for all the Femfans online?
I’d love to have the Femforce theme digitalized and available for all Femfans online…anyone know how to do it?
Are you still in touch with the folks at AC and are you still a Femforce fan?
I will still chat with Mark Heike whenever I get the chance. They are a great group of people and it was fun to appear at some comic conventions with them in Florida. Of course I’m still a Femforce fan..I miss them!! I especially like Ms. Victory’s latest costume..with the big boots…nice!!