Bernard "Bud" Bobber

I can’t help but to start with this: Man, am I grateful to be in this band! I basically lucked into it, and it’s been a great time from day one. Mission River was already six members strong in 2006, and just building up a head of steam, when its rhythm guitar player, Mark Yadgir, followed a job opportunity to the west coast. Lead guitar player, John Yadgir (Mark’s cousin), who was a friend of mine from church, invited me to play some tunes with him and Dick, the band’s bass player and overall mensch. Although my guitar playing was awfully rusty, the informal tryout was great fun, stirring in me the joy I felt as a teenager when I played in a garage band. When Dick and John later asked me if I wanted to join Mission River, I knew I had found the perfect new avocation. Thanks, Mom, for forcing me to learn to play an instrument. Her view was that every kid should learn music as part of their overall education. Although I did not completely buy into the idea at the time, the compromise was that I could choose my instrument. Unlike my siblings who studied piano and brass instruments, I took up the guitar. Counting beats and measures and the other formal stuff was fine, for awhile, but I really just wanted to be John Lennon. Luckily for me, my disillusioned next door neighbor took up the electric bass guitar, shared my love of the Beatles, and fancied himself to be Paul McCartney. We spent many an evening paging through the “Beatles Complete” song book and trying to replicate the sounds of the legends. My first electric guitar was a Gibson L6-S. I loved it and now rue the day I sold it while in college, along with my amp and related equipment, for what would turn out to be beer money. Live and learn. When I owned that Gibson, though, my neighbor and I found two more guys and formed a band. Two of us wanted to play Beatles songs, the other two wanted to play Nugent, Zeppelin, Aerosmith, etc. We compromised and did a little of all of it. We mainly played for fun, but actually played a few paying gigs. As I recall, no one who hired us to play for money had the opportunity to hear us first. I am not sure that we had a very good sound, but I am sure that what we lacked in tonal quality, we more than made up for in volume. To this day I still struggle with volume control—I don’t simply like to hear the music, I like to feel it resonate with chest-thumping bass notes and skull-splitting highs. Anyway, this is supposed to be a bio. I married the girl who I fell for when I first saw her in senior year of high school in 1980. We were attending different schools in Chicago at the time, but both got cast in a musical in which our characters fell in love. (This was great—I actually would spend time at play rehearsal “practicing” the kissing scene with her. Now that’s the kind of “extracurricular activity” a seventeen year-old can sink his teeth—or, lips—into.) My bride pulled me to Milwaukee in 1989, and we now live in the Milwaukee suburb of Mequon. I am the profoundly grateful father of three super daughters, each of whom has blessed with musical talents far exceeding their father’s. Although I wish I could sit around all day and pluck out tunes on the guitar, I have to work. Since my graduation from Northwestern University Law School in Chicago in 1987, I have practiced law in a private (and large) law firm. I joined Foley & Lardner LLP in 1989 and have stayed there ever since because it is a super-high quality law firm, filled with remarkably talented lawyers and non-lawyers alike, that offers the chance to work on challenging legal issues for (rightfully) demanding clients. For many years I have specialized my practice in representing employers in relation to all types of labor and other employment law issues. Lawyers in private practice sometimes hate to acknowledge the existence of “free time.” But in my so-called “free time,” I love to run. I’ve started six different marathons and completed them all, including the grand daddy of them all—Boston. Now, I want to spend more and more time trying to improve my guitar playing and working on Mission River songs and activities. Mission River has been a fun adventure for me. As I told Dick, it is my “golf.” These guys are quite talented. More important, they are all really good people who care about others and show it. I am grateful that they have allowed me to join in on their fun. I am especially grateful that they let me sing some lead parts on some of the Beatles tunes we do. Those are some of my most frightening, but favorite Mission River moments. Thanks for caring enough to read about Mission River on this site. Better yet, come check us out and get in the flow of classic Rock music with us. We have not yet crested.

  • Bud's Professional Bio