This was absolute blast interviewing my favorite band – Rubix Kube. Two of the members of Rubix Kube is also 1/2 of Trixter. So, here are 2 interviews in 1 episode! First up is Cherie and Scott – the lead singers, and John, the drummer. Then the second interview is Steve Brown and PJ Farley the guitarist and bassist, respectively for both Rubix Kube and Trixter.
– Meet Cherie, Scott, and John
– How the band got started
– How the bad got it’s name
– Why Rubix Kube, and not Rubik’s Cube
– Choosing a set list
– You can request a song to be played
– Stage props
– The late, great David Z. got to justify his crazy 80s memorabilia collection
– Scott’s dad’s involvement with Jim Henson’s Muppets
– Rubix Kube’s appearance on The Cake Boss
– Don’t eat fondant
– Where the band tours
– Played for the troops
– Don’t peek at the set list!
– Thanks to John, for putting this interview together
– Where did Animal go?
– Find the band online. Just misspell the name, and you’ll find them
– More Rubix Kube band members – who also happen to be members of the band Trixter – Steve Brown and PJ Farley
– Awesome debut album. Then came the dark period for all of us ’80s music fans – Grunge
– Other projects
– Reunited in 2008
– Yes, Paul just compared Trixter to Bon Jovi and Def Leppard
– New Audio Machine and Human Era
– Eric Martin and the Trixters. The guys tour with Mr. Big’s Eric Martin
– Maybe we will hear more from these guys
– Steve Brown’s tenure with Def Leppard – Do all those Mutt Parts
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown!!! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I hope you’re enjoying this trip down Memory Lane this week. We have a great mix of songs today, including a Long Distance Dedication. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 27, 1982, and move on with the coutndown!
In 1980, Billy Joel started to reinvent himself from Piano Man to Rock Star, with his Glass Houses album. The trend continues here with this song from his Nylon Curtain album. And we have all felt pressure, so we can relate to this song.
The Bee Gees did not record as much music in the ’80s as they did in the ’70s. However, they were still very active, writing songs for other artists, including this one. Dionne Warwick’s career did not end with Solid Gold. She hit the top 10 with this song.
I absolutely love this song! Stephen Stills sings lead on this one, and he co-wrote it with Rick Curtis and Michael Curtis. David Crosby did not rejoin the band until the Daylight Again album was under way, so his vocals were not featured on the album version of this song. Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles and Art Garfunkel provide backing vocals. So you still have great music and harmonies.
An awesome, yet overlooked song by Survivor. Of course, it can be understandable since it was featured on the Eye of the Tiger album. Not too many songs could survive competing against that title track. This Dave Bickler era of Survivor provided a lot of great songs, including this one.
This is perhaps my favorite Pat Benatar song. Unfortunately, at one point I had a roommate who was a guitarist, and he pointed out how awful the guitar solo is in this song. Now, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. But, I still love the song. Benatar is one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time.
In the early ’80s, country-crossover hits were quite the rage. Here is another one. The song became Sylvia’s signature song and got her nominated for a Grammy award in 1983 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. It also helped her take home the Academy of Country Music (ACM) award for Top Female Vocalist of 1982. She never had another crossover hit after this, but she still had plenty of more hits on the Country charts.
Meh. I’m not a huge Supertramp fan. It doesn’t help that one time, somebody stole my Journey Evolution cd out of the case, and replaced it with Supertramp’s Greatest Hits. I may forgive, but I do not forget.
This song reached number one on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, where it stayed for a record ten weeks before being replaced by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet, “The Girl Is Mine”. Personally, I think he should have held that Jackson/McCartney crapfest out of the #1 spot. This was also the first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year,
I live and breathe the ’80s every day. But, sometimes even I need a jumpstart to kick my ’80s love into high gear. And I got that this past weekend when I saw my favorite group, Rubix Kube, in concert. Not only is the playlist awesome, and different, each time I see them, but they are extremely talented musicians. And if that is not enough, just being in the same venue with tons of people, who share the same love and passion for the most rad decade, is enough to totally rejuvenate you and get you on an ’80s high.
So Casey, Please play one of Rubix Kube’s signature songs, their cover of The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” for all my awesome fellow ’80s fans.
If you are reading this blog, then you will definitely need to see them if you get the chance. Not only is the music totally awesome, but the whole atmosphere at their shows is perfect. Everything from being around fellow ’80s lovers as well as so many small details to everything on the stage makes a Rubix Kube show totally worth going to.
There’s one other thing to note before we get into some pictures. Although the band has the same exact musicians that I saw last year, with no additions or subtractions, there is one difference. They can now say that they have a Def Leppard guitarist! It’s totally awesome that Rubix Kube’s lead guitarist, Steve Brown, is also a founding member and leader of the band Trixter (“One in a Million“, “Surrender,” and “Give It To Me Good“). Now, Steve Joe Elliot introducing Steve, and then a couple of great songs:
Now, on with the show! Here are a few pictures I took before the show. There are at least a couple of things you’ll recognize in this first photo – the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and a couple of big Rubik’s Cubes.
Here is the awesome drum set. If you look close, you will see my favorite muppet – Animal. It is quite appropriate that Animal is on the drum set. There is also Debbie Gibson’s Out of the Blue album, a boombox, and Max Headroom.
Here is Pac Man and Bill and Ted’s phone booth. The band members walked through the phone booth whenever they did a wardrobe change – of which there were many.
In this picture, you will see Gizmo, E.T., Men At Work’s Business As Usual album, and Out of the Blue again. And check out the mic stand. Simon is at the base, and there is a Rubik’s Cube in the middle of the stand.
Here is Cherie doing some Gloria Estefan. I cannot say enough great things about this frontwoman! She is such an incredible singer, and brings so much energy to the stage. She sounds just like the singers that she’s covering. Oh, I forgot to mention that I got some pretty good pictures because I was right in front of the stage all night. I would also like to say that we were next to Cherie’s family all night, and there were so nice, and classy and fun. I don’t think Cherie’s nieces were around during the ’80s, but you could easily tell that they loved the music. So they are great people and have a great taste in music!
Here is frontman Scott doing the “Conga” with some friends. Scott’s father was a master puppeteer who worked with the Muppets on Sesame Street and The Muppet Show. So the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree as Scott made those puppets come to life. It was so cool!
Here is Scott putting the energy domes in place. You know what comes next!
Whip it! Whip it good!
Scott was indeed like a Chameleon in this show! Like Cherie, he looked and sounded like every artist he covered. My friends got a good laugh when Scott brought out his inner Boy George, and wrapped one of those scarves around me.
It was like a “Holiday” as Cherie got us “Into the Groove” bringing out some old school Madonna.
Time for some “Billie Jean” and a Moonwalk. I unintentionally also got the Thriller album in the shot. Um, I mean I planned that perfectly!
Here is Steve and David getting ready to bring on Cher.
Wow, Axl Rose and Slash in the same building in the same night!?! Only at a Rubix Kube show!!!
Here is Mike on keytar. Maybe today’s music sucks because there isn’t enough keytar! Mike is an incredible keyboard player, and was very vital in bringing out that ’80s sound.
She’s a “Maniac!”
Yes indeed, I did have “The Time of My Life!”
We went crazy from some old school Prince. “Let’s Go Crazy” is one of my favorite Prince tunes, and they played it!
Here we go again, with a block of some hair band music! One of the highlights of the night was that Cherie’s dad really got into this music with me. We were jammin’ man! It was so freakin’ awesome to see somebody from our parents’ generation getting into some hard rock. It was so genuine, you could feel his love of the music. And since this is my favorite type of music, it really did my heart some good. What a night!
They “Shook Us All Night Long!”
Doesn’t this look just like Angus or what?!
Here is the only video I took of the night. I did not wat to be one of those jerks in front of the stage, holding up their phone all night. I wanted to get at least one song. And what a song to get! And check out what Steve does for me at the 54 second mark. And then some drunk idiot got his stupid arm and hand in the shot. That was a cool moment for me anyway.
And now the grand finale!!! History is being made here! This coming January 13 will be 5 years since I made my first blog post. This here is the first picture I ever posed for that I am posting on this site. Here I am with half of Rubix Kube!! That is Scott, Cherie, and the drummer John.
Again, please do yourself a favor and go see Rubix Kube. It’s one thing to see pictures and videos. But, to be there and experience it yourself will be something you’ll never forget. You can check out their site at http://rubixkube.com/, check out their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter.
Until next time, LONG LIVE THE ’80S!!!!
A little more than three years ago, I was watching an episode of The Cake Boss, which began with a girl going into the shop and asking for “the totally awesome Buddy.” It turns out she was in an ’80s tribute band called Back to the ’80s. They were going to do their 80th show so they wanted a 1980s-inspired cake to help celebrate. Easily my favorite episode of the show. I even wrote an article about it. When researching for the article, I found that the band’s real name was Rubix Kube. And I hoped to be able to see them perform some day. Earlier this year, my sister asked me if I wanted to go see some ’80s tribute band that was coming to Foxboro, Massachusetts, which is a little less than an hour from my home in Rhode Island. It sounded great to me (of course), but I was on a cruise on the date they were coming. I was bummed. So what do I do? I torture myself, and look up the band information. Oh my God, it was Rubix Kube!! Ugh, I was extra disappointed. I told my sister to let me know if she heard that they were coming back. As my loyal readers know, I finally got my first smart phone recently. One of the first texts I got it was from my sister saying that the awesome ’80s band was coming back to Foxboro the day after Thanksgiving. And I was free, and able to go!
The Night Has Arrived
So, Friday night, my wife and I, my sister and brother-in-law, and my best friend and his wife gathered at the Showcase Live which is in the same complex as Foxboro Stadium, where the New England Patriots play. As anyone who lives in the Northeast can attest, or if you watched the Patriots-Broncos game earlier that week, we’ve had a drop in temperature, and it has been freakin’ cold!
We took our jackets off at our cars so we wouldn’t have to carry them or wear them in the venue, and made our way across the freezing, windy parking lot to get into the Showcase Live.
We were a little early, so there weren’t too many people there yet. We had some drinks and caught up with each other. Meanwhile, there was nothing but’80s music playing over the speakers. There were reserved tables along the sides of the room, and there was a huge dance floor in front of the stage. And the stage was covered with all kinds of awesome ’80s memorabilia, such as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (this one really was harmless), Bill and Ted’s telephone booth, and several ’80s album covers. There was also a big screen behind the stage where a slide show was being displayed with all ’80s pop culture items, such as the cast of Diff’rent Strokes, the “Where’s the Beef” lady Clara Peller, and as you can see from the picture, Tom Cruise from Top Gun.
All of a sudden, the music volume got turned way up, and “Seperate Ways” was playing. What a way to get pumped up for the show! After a couple of more songs, The music got turned up even more when “The Final Countdown” began playing. When the song started, a 10 minute countdown began on the screen. This was followed by “Welcome to the Jungle”.
After the countdown reach zero, something familiar appeared on the screen:
and then we were greeted by this astronaut
And the band opened with Loverboy’s “Working for the Weekend”, and we were off. And for just about every song they played, a slide show of the artist who they were covering would be shown on the screen.
Also at the beginning of the show, I saw somebody come out from the back of the stage, and take a picture of us. And it was posted on the band’s Facebook page:
Yes, that’s me in the center. Here are some pictures I took (with my smart phone!)
Guess which song they were playing here:
I was “Like a Virgin” myself, as this was my first Rubix Kube concert. The guitarist on the right is Steve Brown from the band Trixter. Trixter’s first album came out in 1990, and they are best known for their songs “Give It To Me Good” and “One in a Million“.
Here is the band Getting into the Groove:
Oh, I got some video too!! Here is a verse of “Beat It”
Here is a full song – “If I Could Turn Back Time”:
Here is a picture of the band performing “Let’s Go Crazy”. The red balloons you see are left over from a previous song. I’ll give you one guess as to what song that was. (Hint: I believe there were 99 of those bad boys getting knocked around!
Here is a verse of “On the Dark Side”. This was the first time the band played this song:
“Straight Up”, this was a great show!
Oh yeah, they went there! Keytar in the house!!
Break out the hair! Here is the full song of “Here I Go Again”
The show closed with 2 great songs. First was “Video Killed the Radio Star”. The singer had a little megaphone, so it sounded a lot like the real song. What a great show! They could have closed with that. But, then they closed the show out with “Don’t Stop Believin'”. First, they had the audience sing the first verse. Then they started over playing the whole song, with several people joining the band on stage. The whole night was a great ’80s party. I can’t wait to go again!!
Things I Learned
In closing, here are a few things I learned from my night with Rubix Kube:
1) Showcase Live actually has a coat check. So we don’t need to freeze our asses off if we go there again in the winter.
2) The Smurfs ripped off the J. Geils Band! Go ahead, sing The Smurfs song, and then compare it to the beginning of “Centerfold”! The band mentioned it, then had us sing The Smurfs song, and they went into “Centerfold”.
3) Superman was not the only one who changed in a phone booth. Whenever a band member was going to have a wardrobe change, they would go through the Bill and Ted phone booth.
4) For somebody that runs a web site called Return to the ’80s, I really need to get some ’80s clothes to wear next time! I mean, I don’t even have a t-shirt with a band/movie/television show on it. I’ll try to do better dressing the part next time!
I loved this band, and I love the ’80s even more now, if that’s possible. I definitely will be back when they come again. And I would highly recommend seeing them if you get the chance.