Coming on-stage with hilarious, real-life characters that are both outlandish and lovable, the Gluey Brothers made history in July 2000 by being the first independent rock band anywhere to simultaneously release an album (Stiff for the Elders) in both the traditional stereo format and DTS 5.1 Surround Sound. Then in July 2001, DTS put both of these formats onto a DVD-Audio version, adding video and cool menu screens. The video provided fans with the opportunity to live the total experience these performers create, with stage props and mock theatrics that range from the sublime to the ridiculous, and outfits that snap eyeballs.
The Gluey Brothers are not blood brothers, but rather are glued together in a tight bond on a magical level that allows for humor to flit between them in a super-fluid manner. M.C. Tahina and King Hummus, the twisted leaders of the group, became tight friends at Walter Reed Junior High School in Studio City, CA, where they first performed together in the jazz band. It wasn't until 1989 in North Hollywood, at a Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant serving falafels, that their intriguing and endearing personal names were born and they became the Gluey Brothers.
Both parents of King Hummus were actors, performing in many movies and commercials, and clowning around was part of his home upbringing. The knack sprouted itself often in the classroom, and his spontaneous antics and energy were often the source of trouble. He developed an ability to instantaneously pull himself out of a precarious situation, and that ability merged into his performing. Hummus was also awesome on the trumpet, and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival with the prestigious Eagle Rock High School Jazz Band.
The mother of M.C. Tahina was a dancer, performer, musician, sculptor, and artist; his dad was a businessman, and all these qualities blended into Tahina. His talent on the drums allowed him to experience the taste of many styles by performing in jazz, hard rock, tribal, pop, blues, and zydeco bands.
Hummus and Tahina soon played/performed their first gig together at Kavanaughs in Van Nuys. The raw antics, somehow delivered with dignity, magnetized the sparse crowd. The Gluey Brothers were in, and played throughout the L.A. area for several years, accumulating a different array of players for almost every gig. Their songwriting became polished, an impressive talent when mixing eight or so genres, and the tension they were known for in their performances began building.
In 1994, the duo moved on to Santa Fe, NM, where they formed a backing band, the Established Gentlemen, with Clarabelle on guitar, Dollarstore Cowboy on bass, and Leif Rakker on drums. The new grouping of the Gluey Brothers spent most of 1995 recording their debut album, Luncheon Meat of the Giants, which was released in 1996. After recording, the band began two years of continuous touring of the Southwest in a yellow school bus, performing their razor sharp antics to sell-out crowds. Clarabelle left the band during the summer of 1998 and was replaced by veteran guitar player Uncle Moustache, a longtime friend of the Gluey Brothers. By the fall of 1998, the group had not only been featured on the cover of the Santa Fe Reporter, but made their first national television appearance on Penn & Teller's Sin City Spectacular, a music/magic/variety show aired on the FX cable network. They also appeared on CNN's Showbiz Minute and in Entertainment Weekly. And the Gluey Brothers kept on touring.
Early in 1999, they released a collection of their tour performances, Live! Sleece. Rakker left the band in November 1999 to become a heavy metal frontman, and Sweet Roll Swope became the new drummer. A month later, the Gluey Brothers signed with DTS, Inc. for their Surround Sound hit, Stiff for the Elders. To top off their year, the group helped Val Kilmer and guests celebrate his birthday at a private millennium bash at his Santa Fe ranch.
The Gluey Brothers' yellow bus kept rolling across the country, and in April 2000, they were featured on a two-page gatefold spread in the Santa Maria Times. The Playboy Channel fancied the group's professionalism and charisma and wrote them into an original movie, The House of Love, which appeared worldwide. And by June 2000, Stiff for the Elders was released worldwide simultaneously in both traditional stereo format and DTS Surround Sound 5.1. The album featured guests Dweezil Zappa, Scott Real, and Michael Sherwood. The DVD-Audio version was released a year later.
On Christmas Eve 2000, Hummus broke his collarbone in an auto accident. Only slowed down temporarily, he integrated the props needed for healing into his act. This flexibility to instantly roll with whatever comes, both on-stage and off, resulted in the band being selected to appear at venues such as the Grammy Showcase in Los Angeles, South by Southwest in Austin, and the NEA Extravaganza in Nashville.
While not heroic, the Gluey Brothers' characters grab your heart and win your respect. They maintain their dignity, even though some strong fun is poked at them, especially when the brothers themselves reveal exaggerated details of their imaginary lives.