People who knew the band energy and who watched the “Everything’s Better at the Beach” video by The KOSMIX understand the reason the video ended the way it did. People who didn’t know energy are thinking “What’s up with the tuba????” So, I thought I’d give a history for everyone.
In the late 80’s my family and some friends were going to dinner while at the United States Polka Association Convention in Cleveland. We drove past a yard sale where there was a sousaphone. All through dinner I couldn’t wait to get back to that yard sale. We made it back in time before anyone else snatched that treasure. Oh, it wasn’t much to look at; it was old and tarnished and didn’t have a lead pipe or mouthpiece (which we quickly remedied by going to K-Mart and buying a rubber shower head that was used temporarily as a mouthpiece and lead pipe). But, at $40, for the fun we had with the tuba, it was an incredible bargain. Once we got a lead pipe and mouthpiece it actually played.
Years of Fun
Words would fail to capture the fun we had with the tuba. Here are a few thoughts that come to mind:
– The ride from Pennsylvania to Michigan with it strapped (fully assembled) to the roof of our van.
– Mike Denton had a special connection to the tuba. His antics were epic. From the tuba solo in the “Vote for Ed” campaign song for “congressman” Ed Matasy to his solo in the mobile jam “Women in Polkas” where he covered the tympani part in 2001 Space Odyssey on tuba.
– The tuba actually played. So, when there were acoustic jam sessions the tuba made some appearances. Played by the likes of Chainsaw Kucharski, Steve Maue, and Jackie Libera, it could actually sound really good.
– The most common fun we had with the tuba was when energy would play the Tuba Polka. That song has a spot where there are a tenor sax plays couple of notes that emulate a tuba. We’d get some fun person from the crowd to honk out those notes. It was awful (out of tune, not really nice notes), hilarious and wonderful.
The years of fun took their toll on the tuba. More and more pieces of the tuba were falling off. As time went by, there was more and more duct tape holding it together. Then, when it was determined that it could no longer be fixed with duct tape, it was declared dead. So, after the pool party that energy played during the Wildwood Polka Spree in the early 90s, we had a funeral procession and “burial at sea”.
The tuba was held on the shoulders of several men as we processed slowly through the dance hall and onto the beach. We played and sang the Tuba Polka – but not at polka tempo – rather, as a funeral dirge. The procession along with the accompanying mourners made its way out onto the beach toward the water. It split the two lifeguard stands as the lifeguards looked on with befuddled looks. We went out into the water until the water was about chest high and hurled the tuba into the sea. We turned around and walked away….
What Ever Happened to the Tuba?
For years people have asked about what ever happened to the tuba. Many figured we went back to retrieve it. Nope. Noone knows. We heard that the lifeguards went looking for it. But, we never looked back and just don’t know.
So, that is the background for the ending of the video “Everything’s Better at the Beach”. No, it is not really “THE TUBA” from the energy days. But, there is again a tuba in the house.
Thanks to Mike Pucowski for the idea of including a segment in the video where the tuba is found.