Dukes Of Hubbard

The Dukes Of Hubbard

Andrew Olson

Reader Weekly


After dazzling the Duluth area for several years a loss is going to be felt around town. Talking to Mike Gomez about the end of the Dukes Of Hubbard he said it felt the same way as breaking up with a girlfriend. They are a victim of a generation that lacks good taste in music and doesn’t use music to do anything except sell a love story in a movie. Which helps sell more Soundtrack CDs for whom else, but the corporate bandits. Look at the movies Ghost and Top Gun and think of two Righteous Brothers hits.. Heck, think of any chick flick and there is always a sixties hit squeezed in… The novelty of Oh Brother Where Art Thou/Burger King/ Hootie and Bluegrass music….. Opps.. We won’t go there..

Last week we talked about how there is a riff in music right now.. The Grateful Dead Jam bands are dying out, being replaced by novelty acts. Thinking back, there was this wave of music that consumed everyone in the early to mid-nineties. No one got to really enjoy it because it was overshadowed by so much turmoil and death. The revolution in the 1990s was sexless, AIDS had made it almost the opposite of the 1960s. The Revolution was also more of an evolution, the fruition of so much work was beginning to be realized in the kids. Instead of music giving slight references to prejudices in "Blown’ In The Wind", in the 1990s we had Ice Cube, N.W.A., Ice-T, and Eazy-E explain in detail what it was like to be black in America. Nirvana came not too long after to take the rock mentality of the 1990s and say, "SCREW THE CORPORATE MACHINE!" Kurt Cobain was the new Hendrix and Snoop Dogg was the new Elvis. Rock, for one brief moment, had returned.

In the mid-nineties Kurt Cobain, Jerry Garcia, Alan Ginsberg, Shannon Hoon, Bradley Nowell, 2-Pac, Eazy-E, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and Bill Graham all died. Snoop Dogg was the big selling chronic, but Dre needed a real white Elvis to play those black raps…Where was one to turn musically?

Many disenfranchised listeners jammed to Hendrix, Joplin, Doors, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, The Stones, Beatles, and The Grateful Dead. They dug up the dead and promised to carry on the tradition that started with rock anthems like "Rock and Roll is here to stay". But this time the corporate machine was more powerful, and saw the new Millennium in silver and gold (Bling-Bling BABY!). The machine said, "Rock Bands you say… Ha.. What we need are boy bands!" Then they took some Mickey Mouse rejects and formed a music monopoly. It did the job though, Britney Spears became the Wal-Mart of music.. closing down small bands and pushing rock out of the bars. So the corporate machine rubbed the peoples ears in it’s trash. They owned all the radio stations, they owned everything! The big money though… That is in novelties. . The corportation says, "You know what, I bet a lot of people will buy the big sellers.. so we will sell all the stuff that sold before. We load up the market with Green Day, Gwen Stefani (If I was a Rich, Girl.. You aren’t?), Eminem (Singing about his baby? WHAT KIND OF A WORLD DO WE LIVE IN?)"

So back to the Dukes Of Hubbard..

The Dukes show on Friday Night (Mar. 18th) was awesome. Any time a band closes with the Beatles "Tomorrow Never Knows", "Maggie Mae", and "The End" it makes for a very memorable night. They played some electric spacey jams that criss-crossed the empty Tap Room. One song had a Hawaiian or reggae feel giving a wish for more tropical shores. The Drummer, Eric Pollard, was singing and playing from the back. There was depth to the band’s music, but Mike Gomez told me over the phone that it was all over a few days later. He said that the guitar player, Jim "Jimi" Cooper had quit the band that day. He said that the guys would carry on individually under a different name, but the Dukes were over. When asked what had been happening recently he said, "About two years ago we packed places, then last year it began to slow down." A while back their former singer Ben had a baby and quit the band. Recently Tim Saxhaug, Trampled By Turtles (Bass), left the band to go full-time with the Turtles. He was replaced by Josh Granowski who played great on a stand up bass, another casualty of this generation.. Mike said he wants to work on more progressive music, which has been sneaking into America from all over the globe lately.

Dukes Of Hubbard had some great tunes in their list like the Sesame Street’s "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12", Dick Dale, Led Zeppelin, and their own jams.. Which at times were hard-core happy jams with the sticks clicking in the back, to honky-tonk rock. The band was so friendly and the show was a lot of fun. Between sets Russ Sackett (Keyboards), offered to buy me a shot, a cigarette, or anything I might have needed. The guys will be back around so we here will keep you posted. This GAPING hole will be felt around town. Another friend has gone away, replaced by novelties. Good luck and best wishes.