A Cub Koda Story
submitted by Phil Shoemaker
(of the band SHITHOOK)
...able to command the attention of everyone in that room
by being himself.
started playing Rock & Roll when I was about 12, way
back somewhere in the 60s. By 1979 ( or was it 78?) I was the drummer for
a band called The Boys From Here In Lincoln (Nebraska). One time we got the
opportunity to open a couple of shows for Browsnville Station in Iowa. My
fond memories of those two gigs are still with me more than 20 years later.
The first show was in Clearlake at the infamous Surf Ballroom.
At this point in our career, we had opened up for a lot of so called “Big Time” rock
acts. People like ZZ Top, Blue Oyster Cult, Rush, REO, Heart, Kansas, Blah
blah blah Etc., Etc. It was always exciting to be included in these shows,
never really expected to have any kind of contact with the headliners - just
play your set and stay out of the way.
So we were hangin’ out, waitin’ for the show to begin... Imagine
our surprise when CUB KODA comes over and just starts shootin’ the breeze!
Asking all about our band... talkin’ about guitars and amps... makin’ wize
cracks about everything. He was opinionated... funny... above all, friendly!
We were all sort of gathered around him, he was talkin’ about rock & roll,
and all kinds of other stuff... “Have you seen the new Buddy Holly movie...?
Do you realize tonight, we’ll all be playing in the same place where he
did his last show? On the same stage?” He was really excited about
I also remember this one... “Things would be a lot better if there weren’t
so many damn rock critics! We need to get rid of all of them and start over!”
And someone goes, “Hey Cubby... What happened to those funny glasses
you used to wear?”
DON’T CALL ME CUBBY! I got rid of those stupid glasses. I’m wearin’ regular
That night we got to watch the Cubmaster get down to business. No ridiculous
stage cloths for this guy... just a great performer who was able to command
the attention of everyone in that room just by being himself. It was a great
I particularly remember the ad-libbed section of “The Martian Boogie” and
a song I think was called “Put The Light On Me.” And I was completely
taken by surprise when they did a cover of The Sex Pistols “God Save The
Queen.” Was this a mainstream rock act doing a punk rock song... trying
to jump on the “New Wave” bandwagon? NO WAY! It was Cub Koda playing
Rock & Roll !!!
The fun continued the next night in Lake Okaboji. During our set, I was back
there playing away as usual. I was wearing a jacket that had started to slip
down off my shoulders and it was starting to play havoc with my drumming
abilities. Suddenly, I realized that somebody was pushing the jacket back
up on my shoulders...
When I looked around to see which one of our roadies had come to my rescue...
I got another shock... IT WAS CUB! My new friend Cub... with his goofy grin...
bent down low enough so he couldn’t be seen helpin’ me get back on
track. And then later that night... another great Brownsville set which came
to an unforgettable climax with Cub having an “In yer face” shouting
match with some poor drunk who was mad because they didn’t play “Smokin’ In
The Boy’s Room.” I’ll never forget it!
I came away from that weekend with my rock & roll perspective greatly enhanced.
Why ? Cuz I met a Rock Star who wasn’t a self absorbed big shot jerk. Here
was a charismatic exciting performer who was also a GREAT human being who loved
rock & roll and wanted to share his love of rock & roll with everybody!
fast forward twenty years or so. I’m in my forties, still playing
rock & roll (although I’m now a guitar player) and I’ve got my
band, (beg your pardon) SHITHOOK. We finally put together our little CD with
our own songs and I figured I’d better get a copy to the Vinyl Junkie,
in my mind, the ultimate test, to see if it can pass muster.
Well, you probably know the rest... ”My favorite new album by my favorite
new band”! Wow. I’m still sayin’ “Wow” to myself.
This guy knows REAL rock & roll better than anybody out there and he says
that? WOW! And not only that... then we struck up our E-mail friendship... For
me, one of the great pleasures of having a computer was getting E-mail form “CKSmokinVJ”!
Those will be sorely missed. I can’t say I really knew him... on the other
hand.. I fell like he was a good friend.
As long as I keep playing this stuff he will be an inspiration and a guiding
Phil ( or uhh...PEEWEE... as I was known to Cub)
(from the band SHITHOOK)
(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!)