Albums

The albums that changed my world-local tours

As the Grand Rapids band celebrate Local Spins’ 10th anniversary in May, frontman Joe Bockheim reveals the albums that have influenced him the most today. Listen to the songs of all his choices.

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jack White and The Raconteurs: the essentials of Joe Bockheim. (Photo/Anna Sink)

EDITOR’S NOTE: All musicians can trace their inspiration to key recordings that captivated them and influenced their careers. Writer Ross Boissoneau presents world-changing recordings for Grand Rapids rocker Joe Bockheim, frontman of The Legal Immigrants, today. Scroll down for a Spotify playlist of his picks featuring some tracks from The Legal Immigrants.

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For over a decade, The Legal Immigrants have showcased their unique sound across the country and the world. Frontman Joe “Boots” Bockheim says a 2019 tour of Australia was a highlight, but this rock crew apparently have fun every time they take the stage.

“We’ve been there since 2010. We had a few line-up changes, a few records, toured the States, went all the way to Australia just before the end of the world,” he says, referring to the pandemic that has closed things around the world. world.

The band’s latest recording should be out soon, but that’s a relative term. It was recorded almost two years ago, but has not yet been released. When he does appear, he promises he’ll engage fans with the band’s amalgamation of rock, punk, and even some folk varieties. “We never chased a style,” he says proudly.

We caught up with Bockheim to find out about his biggest influences over the years. The Legal Immigrants Join Grand Rapids Jam Band Desmond Jones on May 20 for a late show at Elevation inside The Intersection as part of Local Spins’ 10th anniversary celebration week. Get tickets, $10, online here.



1. The Beatles, “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967) – It was so over there. Wild words, wild sounds. “I am the walrus” knocked my shoes and socks off my feet. It was a paradigm shift. “I’m the egg man” is so cool. “Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun.” I know what it’s like to wait for the sun (laughs). The Wild (music), string arrangements; they have never been overrated.
Listen: “I am the walrus”



2. Led Zeppelin, “IV” (1971) – They were all rock, electric blues. Robert Plant’s wild howls blew my mind. I was crazy about Zeppelin for a long time. I was obsessed with the first five records. They destroyed my brain. I don’t listen to Plant as much now, but his albums with Alison Krauss are great records.
Listen: “Black Dog”



3. The Raconteurs, “Comforters of the solitary” (2008) – I’ve always loved Jack White and The White Stripes. Jack White and The White Stripes and Beck were my two favorite bands, and the Stones: They weren’t too busy, multi-voice. This real rock ‘n’ roll is what attracts me. This album, with White and Brendon Benson on guitars, was the epitome of a true rock ‘n’ roll band. When they went to Australia, there was already a group called the Raconteurs, so they called themselves the Saboteurs (laughs).
Listen: “Comforter of Lonely People”



Currently loving: Geese, “Spotlight” (2021) – When a song destroys me, I become obsessed for at least 48 hours. I listen carefully again and again. Right now I’m obsessed with a band from Brooklyn called Geese. A friend drew me to them. They open for Jack White. They are about 19 years old, fresh out of high school. They did a live performance on WGN which is on Youtube. These guys are teenagers. It’s cool.
Listen: Geese (Live on WGN)


ALBUMS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD: Joe Bockheim’s playlist on Spotify

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