March 28th or 29, the band Cobra Kai will be possibly reuniting at Glypha's House, a small club venue in Western Omaha.
They will be drinking the bears, eating the meats and salads, and playing the Rock Bands. Also rocking the house down.
At present, only one member of the band, Cliff Glypha, has confirmed attendance. More on this as it become available.
Below: In this rare 2007 photo, four of the five original members of Cobra Kai can be seen after their last concert in Omaha, NE. The gig was called to a close early when angry fans burnt the venue to the ground upon news of a break-up. (left to right: Max Univers, Dick Herculanum, Continental Frutiger, and Cliff Glypha.)
Continental Frutiger responds, "I am most definitely not available on Saturday. Friday may still be negotiable. Maybe. As you know, my solo tour is taking up a lot of my time these days. And I‚Äôm awfully busy with the upcoming release of my new album, 'It‚Äôs Pronounced Froo-ti-ger, Not FRUIT-iger, You Ignorant Douchebags.'"
"Please re-read my rider," Max Univers angrily replied, "as it clearly states that Max Univers does not dine on salads. Ever. Also no brown M&Ms."
He continued, "I can probably do Friday or Saturday, as my supporting tour for my 'What, I Gotta Eat Too, Foo!' album was canceled due to lackluster ticket sales, as you might have read on Page 96 of today's Variety. It was to feature me playing the drum parts of classic Cobra Kai songs, solo: No accompaniment. It was gonna be really great, but no one wanted to see it. Its sad because, hey, I gotta eat too, and that was my meal ticket."
"No can do," replacement guitarist Gilby Clarke replied. "This event will infringe on the ability to get my shit touched."
An official presser is released. "Max Univers, lead vocalist of the band Cobra Kai, has agreed to the reunion tour to take place Friday or Saturday night this weekend! 'It's the snack that brings kings to their knees,' Univers was quoted as saying. In other news, Band Lead Bassist Continental Frootiger stated he may be available for a Friday night show."
Vintage photo courtesy Polyfro.com, originally published 12/04
Almost 20 years ago, I played drums in the school band. For whatever reason, whether it be the passage of time or a case of believing what I wanted to believe, I have always told the story that I was a decent drummer. Not great, merely decent.
When Cliff Glypha and his wife got "Rock Band" for their Xbox 360 a few months ago, he immediately began lobbying to get us to come over and play. I continuously came up with excuses why not to do it, because as I proved in my great Guitar Hero experiment, I CANNOT PLAY GUITAR. On the easiest level, I butcher even the easiest of songs. And of course, as long-time readers know, I CANNOT SING. Sure, I get roped into singing Karaoke from time to time, but I'm not good. If I played Rock Band, all I would have going for me would be the drums. I could play the drums.
Over four years ago, I invented a fake rock band named after the evil dojo in Karate Kid. All of the people whose stories entertain you on this site were members: Cliff Glypha, Dick Herculanum, Continental Frutiger, and yours truly, Max Univers. It was a joke intended to last like one day. I invented a band, invented a tour ("Tight Kerning, Tighter Pants"), and created a logo.
I'm still amazing this thing took off like it did. Over time, we started using the excuse of "Getting the band back together" as code for going out to the bars. Not once but twice, we printed up tour t-shirts for Guys Weekend trips. And when Cliff got busy with other things and was unable to go to the bars as often, we even recruited a "replacement" guitarist -- a guy I subsequently named for the purposes of both the band and this website "Gilby Clarke" -- the replacement rhythm guitarist from Guns N Roses.
Which brings us to Friday night, when the fictional band Cobra Kai performed a reunion show at Club Glypha. Dick Herculanum got in on lead guitar, Continental Frutiger played lead bass, Cliff Glypha sang lead vocals, and I played lead drums. Just two minutes later, I had come to a sad, chilling and humiliating realization: I CANNOT PLAY DRUMS. Where did this leave me? Unable to play guitar, sing or to play drums, that's where. Also, full of crushed memories and sadness. Mostly sadness.
Now, to be fair to myself, I could probably play any of those instruments, given enough practice and time to make mistakes from which to learn from. But when everyone else was fairly dominant already, it wasn't in the realm of possibilities for me to force them to watch me incrementally improve from "SHITTY" to "NOT SO SHITTY". Not when there was beers to be drank and Whitesnake songs to be played.
So instead of Gilby replacing Glypha, he replaced me. Turnabout is fair play, I suppose.
Gilby was so good on guitar that he sat on the couch, looking disinterested at times, and still hit every note. Dick was so good on drums that I started calling him "Don Bonham". And Continental was good on bass, although the bassline in "Train Kept A Rollin" just about killed him. Seriously, that song is like seven minutes long. When he complained of cramps in his hands from that song, I used it as an "in" to give vocals a try. It was all I had.
After all, as long as the song has sufficient low notes, I can actually sing it OK. And Nirvana's "In Bloom" fits the bill. Much to my surprise, Rock Band has an unusually high tolerance for bad singers. Unless you use the expert setting, you can pretty much hit any note and as long as you go up or down from there in the right spots, you get high marks.
In other words, you can start out three octaves too low, but as long as you raise your voice when you're supposed to -- regardless of whether its the right note or not -- it grades you as AWESOME. And the people in your band don't get driven insane by your bad singing because the original vocal comes through the speakers as a faint masking vocal. At least, I hope they couldn't hear me, because if they could, I'm pretty sure none of them will ever be able to look at me with a straight face ever again.
Now, this I could do, because as none of you know, I sing along in my car pretty much every day. So I kept on singing. For hours. I became the de facto lead singer, on everything from Stone Temple Pilots to The Police. About the only thing I refused to sing was Garbage, because there's no way I can compete with Shirley Manson.
But on "Roxanne"? Please. I've sang that song at least 1000 times to myself, and I didn't even need to look at the screen to sing the lyrics, or even to know when to come in with a verse. Plus, its all high notes, which I can mimic. Predictably, I got a 100% on this.
Not so predictable was my 100% on "Creep", or on "Last Train to Clarksville", although the latter should not have been too surprising, considering I've been singing along to The Monkees since I was seven years old.
1) Me getting overconfident and demanding we try "Run to the Hills" by Iron Maiden. Seriously, do you remember Bruce Dickinson's vocals on that song? Yeesh. Oh, and yes, the lead singer of Iron Maiden during their most popular incarnation was, in fact, Bruce Dickinson. Look it up. No, he's not THAT Bruce Dickinson, and he doesn't gotta have more cowbell, baby. But after trying to screech RUN TO THE HILLLLLS! I needed a beer. Or three.
2) Don't Fear The Reaper. The lead singer gets to use the mic as a cowbell, beating it during the bridge. You cannot underestimate the dominance of exploring the studio space.
3) I introduced Black Hole Sun to the "crowd" with a monologue. "It is in these hills that Juan Valdez and his trusty goat gather coffee beans every morning." No one got the joke, so I'll explain it now: the video opens up with a shot of Chris Cornell walking in the desert, and it kinda sorta looks like the old Columbian Coffee commercials from the 1980s. When the video aired on Beavis & Butt-Head, the latter dropped that line over the opening of the clip. Like I said, it went right over everyone's head.
Cliff's creation of the bandmembers was an exercise in dominance. I mean, I have to hand it to him. The best creation might have been his interpretation of Dick Herculanum, who looked a lot like Scott Ian from Anthrax. Then you had his interpretation of me, which looked like the dude from ELO. Giant poofy hair and even more giant sunglasses. Continental looked like Generic Blonde Badass Rocker. And Cliff looked like an Emo Guitar God. Good stuff. Bravo, sir. Those images at the top of this post are his creations. Also, here's me from the front. You know what I call that? Sweet.