"On De Road" with
the Cubmaster... by Bruce Nazarian
"Cub remembered more riffs than I
could possibly ever have
Somewhere around 1975, while living the restless life of a
musician, my life changed permanently... I was introduced to the band called
Station, and invited to join.. and nothing has been the same ever since!
In addition to the powerful forces of Henry Weck on Drums, and Michael Lutz
on Bass, the wacky guy with the round glasses, Cub Koda, rounded out the
most amazing musical power trio since Cream. Typecast on vinyl by the success
of the teenage
party tunes that were recorded and cut, Brownsville (as we were later known)
never had the chance to shed its spandex-driven, amp-humping "Kings
of the Party" image long enough to show our audiences the other side
of the band... fueled by the love of roots music and the blues that Cub held
dear, tempered by the pop songwriting sensibilities of Michael Lutz, and
powered in nuclear fashion by "H-Bomb" Weck
(who I firmly believes holds the all-time record for the most Remo drumheads
brutally murdered in a single lifetime career), BS should have been taken
seriously as a power band, but
instead never had the chance to deliver to its audience...BUT...
I do have some great memories of the Cubmaster, and H-Bomb, and Michael and
our times on the road... Sorry, most of them are X-rated and cannot be shared
in this forum, but in typical rock and roll style, many of the memories are
about the music...and
Watching the Cubmaster work a crowd was nothing short of a living lesson
in show biz. While we held the groove stompin' in the background, Cub would
work the crowd into a frenzy, until eventually we would peel off into some
Robert Junior Lockwood blues riff that most of our audience probably never
heard before... I am positive they never heard it at 150 Decibels with Marshall
stacks screamin' the top of their heads off, anyway (but that's part of the
fun, isn't it). Sometimes I would swear that Cub was a black entertainer
born into a white man's body... with all the pizazz of James Brown, Cub could
dance the stage in a shim-sham-shimmy, and then deliver a full-stage power
dive worth of the Who! Brownsville was a band who earned their encores with
sheer sweat and drive - I don't think we ever delivered a show with less
than 200% enthusiasm!
Cub was a dear friend from the first day we met throughout
all the decades in between. In addition to being a first rate music historian,
of all things blues-ical, Cub was probably the loudest guitar player I ever
knew - no, not his AMPS, his HANDS! He could take an ordinary Fender Deluxe
reverb and make it sound like a Marshall stack on 12! We used to carry some
tiny practice amps on the road for warmup in dressing rooms, and I swear,
the damn things would bounce up and down every time he would play a few chords...me,
I could barely make it break a sweat - but Cub seemed to have a magical hold
on those things, and could make them sit up and bark, or beg forgiveness...
Cub remembered more riffs than I could possibly ever have forgotten - if
he decided to cut loose during an encore, we could have easily done an HOUR
with loving renditions of the entire history of western blues music, and
the audience probably would have thought we were making it up...
I will miss the crazy laughs, the times we yacked until dawn,
drinkin' coffee and talkin' shit about musicians we knew and knew about and
one thing is very, very clear... Michael "Cub" Koda was first,
last, and always, a "blues man",
and a unique human and my friend...
Cub, give Jimi back his Strat, and quit
showin' off...you don't have to prove you belong now, you've earned it with
50 hard years of hard rockin!
I love ya, buddy, and I'll miss you always... and...oh yeah - thanks for
Bruce "Beezer" Nazarian
Guitar player for Brownsville Station, Automatix among others.
Bruce is now involved in sound editing and scoring for television and movies.
Check out his web site at gnomedigital.com.
(If you have a story about Cub, something funny, how you met,
etc., please email them to: firstname.lastname@example.org
so that they can be added for others to enjoy!)