Friday, November 20, 2009

Big Bad Chubba-Tha Bootleg! Demo Tape

Big Bad Chubba was a notable ska act based in Joplin in the late 1990’s. Members of the band later went on to play in acts like Vaginal Discharge and The Itch. I booked a few shows for these guys back in the day, but didn’t really know much about the band. If anyone has any memories to share, please do so in the comments. My own lack of knowledge aside, they played tight straight-up 90’s style ska, and this recording is a good representation of their work. Special thanks to John for sending this stuff to me.

1. New Shoes
2. Murder Lane
3. Silly Girl
4. Chubba You and Me
5. 42 Cigarettes
6. Kill the Kid
7. Crockett Express
8. Untitled Instrumental
9. On-Line Love



JohnForDummies said...

These guys were great. You never knew what to expect from them... From the "Mission Impossible Theme" to Tiffany's "I Think We're Alone Now"... Seriously. I think I still have the Big Bad Chubba T-Shirt that I bought... it was their first run and they sold out the same night. The only shirt was left was the one on the blow-up doll... and somehow Scott Walters (the guy who owned BTB Skatepark) got if off the doll while it was crowd surfing and put it on his sweaty self... Tyler sold it to me at a discount.

My apologies to everyone for holding onto these songs for so long without sharing them. I guess it never occurred to me that I might be the last person in the world with a copy.

Big Bad Chubba was:
Kelsey Richardson - Vocals
Tyler Huffman - Guitar/Vocals
Jason Bringle - Bass (later replaced by Stan Bowman)
Chubba (Arik from the Itch)- Drums
Ben Lowe - Trombone
Chris Bowen - Alto Sax
Dr. Zippo - Skankin' Fool

The Beer Man said...

Awesome thanks for posting Gabe and John for sharing.

These guys were 'the' band during this time-span (at least in terms of getting people to come out)

They consistently drew a nice solid crowd and were often used as an open act for out of area bands for that very reason.

Brings back some great memories, although Hubcab while not being nearly as popular as Big Bad Chubba was in their prime, remains my favorite Joplin based ska act.

JohnForDummies said...

Hey Beer Man -- What can you tell me about Hubcap? A friend of mine gave me a copy of their tape and I loved their stuff, but never got to see them live.

bethann said...

These guys were great. I remember going to see them at the Grind in my high school days. If they were playing I was there. They drew a good crowd, and I remember that eventually the jocks and preppy kids (remember high school??) started to come and see them too. Everyone was always out to have a good time. I remember a bunch of hot, sweaty kids up in the front skankin' and some odd shows at the Knights of Columbus and Joplin Junior High. The JJHS show might have been the last one I saw, might have even been their farewell show? I still kick myself for buying the "Dew the Ska" shirt instead of the tape, but at least now I have the music, and I still have the shirt stashed away somewhere too. Hubcap, I don't remember seeing more than one or two of their shows but my friend John was in the band. Jeff Carillo was in Hubcap too, and he went on to join the Secretaries. They were another good ska band in the late '90s,out of Columbia MO. Ah, the good old days!

WhothehellisChubba said...

Finally! I have looked for this for years. This recording session was notoriously messed up. The studio was a ramshackle project that was just getting off the ground and we were young and naive. The first weekend was a long party of free pizza, keg beer, and recording. We went back the next weekend and everything went downhill. The studio had fired the engineer that was intially working on the project and they stated that they were looking for a new one. Some time later we were informed that they had hired someone and although that man was well intentioned he had no idea what was going on. Soon after that we showed up and hilariously we were told that we could come in and record "as long as we were quiet because the owner wanted to sleep". Needless to say we ceased recording and soon after the studio shut its doors and the only tangible recordings are the ones that certain members took home to make sure they liked what they heard. I didn't take a copy because I know I sounded good (thats a joke).

So yeah this was not done and I want to say that the vocals were scratch tracks just put in so we would know where the hell we were. We did a alot of dumb stuff that we thought was important like doubling horns or maybe even tripling horns. We didn't know what we wanted. We were just happy to be putting stuff down finally.

We started the band intially as a band that we wanted to be goofy and they might be giants influenced. Ska wasn't in the picture yet. Somehow Kelsey found a skankin pickle 7 inch and a toasters tape and we just kind of went from there since we were all band geeks anyway. If we wouldn't have ran into ska we probally would have sounded like a dinosaur jr/they might be giants hybrid whatever that would be. Probally awful.

I will say that some of the songs are misnamed. "New shoes" was really called "Get the Beat" and "Murder Lane" was really named "Kiss of Death". Not that it matters really, as they have probally been named the wrong thing for longer than their real names so who is to say. Just noting for historical accuracy.

I know most of the guys are still around the midwest. Kelsey lives in Chicago with his wife and two children, Tyler lives in Chicago with his wife and new (or soon to be here) child, Jason Bringle is married and in Oregon I believe. Arik (or Chubba) is who is writing this and still lives in Joplin with his new wife, Ben Lowe lives in Colorado with his family, Chris Bowen lives in Joplin, Dr zippo lives in Joplin still, and Gene Herbert (who is missing from the cast comment) lives in Joplin and does free house shows out of his basement called the cesspool castle.

Fun trivia fact. Chip Gubera played keyboards for a few shows.

JohnForDummies said...

Arik! Thanks for pointing out the errors in the song titles... when I made the mp3's I tried my best to remember what they were. The "Tha Bootleg!" title is just a nod to the fact that I was probably never meant to have a copy of this in the first place. You might not remember me, but I used to hang out with Eric Haun and Stupid Matt all the time, and you once picked me up at The Attic when an unintended stage dive at an MU330 show put me on the floor when the crowd parted like the red sea. (For the record, it was actually the last song they played (Hoosier Love) at the last show at the Attic...)

Ashley said...

I was scanning in old college pics and found one where I was wearing my Big Bad Chubba shirt - the Mountain Dew one. I got it at the only show of theirs I saw -- Wichita, KS, at this venue that hosted bingo most nights of the week. Pretty sure they were playing with MU330 and O'Phil which is why I was there, O'Phil was a local band I saw quite a bit in those days, along with the other bands they played with.

I remember the Mission Impossible theme and Online Love.

I'm in Chicago now and every once in a while ska will come up and I'll mention the "Kansas-Missouri ska scene" and the fun I had in those days.

Can't wait to listen to the demo!

Daron said...

Small world. I owned The Grind and they were my biggest crowd drawer. Good to see that the place brings back good memories.

Patty said...

I loved Big Bad Chubba and would love to see a reunion! Thanks for posting the music and thank you John for sharing it!!!

Remember the Local Musicians for Children charity event at the Grind? Daron and Charity donated the venue!

A church wanted to demonstrate at the event because of the names of a couple of bands, Sodomites and Vaginal Discharge. Chip held firm (go Chip) and didn't change the name for the event, but Vaginal Discharge did. The bands raised over $6,000 for local children!

If you bought a t-shirt it has all of the bands listed. Rowsabouts played, too. It was three day of great music. Even Bob Macy, now deceased, and Smoot Mootie joined the lineup.

I loved ska music and watching everyone dance.

I don't think I missed an event. Even the Blue Note in Columbia.

Miss my friend, Macki, who would brave the crowd with me. Her daughter, Morgan, loved Big Bad Chubba, too:)

Hope everyone is still enjoying life and music. Miss seeing everyone!

Big Bad Chubba's number 1 fan..
Tyler Huffman's mom
Patty Huffman
San Francisco, CA

Nessa said...

I tried my best to never miss a Chubba show at the Grind. It was amazing how they managed to pack themselves onto that tiny 'stage.' What a flood of great memories! If anyone has pics from those days, we have a Facebook group called Skank the Planet! Join up and let's all reconnect!

The Beer Man said...


Just out of curiosity, do you happen to remember what VD changed their name to during the benefit show you mention?

I remember the show itself, but I would have been fairly young at the time and don't remember what VD went by.

This is nothing more than sheer curiosity on my part.

JohnForDummies said...

Hey Beer Man... wasn't it "The Flower Children"?

shellyB80 said...

I remember Big Bad Chubba and VD (Once the Flower Children to put on a "cleaner sounding show") And Rowskabouts, Mike Hoerman and many others playin (and poetry readin) at the Grind. Great times and fond memories, when everyone would skank with one another, BBC played at what was once Crown Cinema 6 while I was working there.... Lots of great local talent from my lil Joplin town! Miss you guys! Still have my cassette tapes of VD and BBC. Long Live Chubba!

Vans Inc. said...

This is Tom Walters the original drummer from the Rowskabouts, I loved big bad chubba they were the reason I started the rowskabouts. going to their shows were amazing to me that is when the music scene around here was thriving and I was pumped to be a part of it.