The Great Poobah Subway
We (Bob, Gary, Dennis and Paul) are deeply saddened by the passing of our friend and local music hero, Dave Wilcox, on June 6, 2022. Dave, known to his fans as "Steptoe T. (for 'The') Magnificent" was one of the kindest, funniest and most creative people we knew. We all have our own stories about what a truly nice guy Dave was. A Baltimore music legend, Dave was a punk rocker long before punk rock was a thing and an art rocker before art would ever even consider associating with rock. Dave played in many bands over the years, but The Great Poobah Subway was his first (so we believe). We understand the original name for the band was a spoof on Grand Funk Railroad's name, and at some point, the name simply became Poobah, and later, Pooba. (There have been several other bands and individuals also performing under the name "Poobah" throughout the U.S. over the years, but this page is about Dave Wilcox's Poobah.)
Bob and I first met Dave, while compiling tracks for "The Best of Baltimore's Buried," a compilation LP of Baltimore bands, ultimately released in 1980. We knew that Poobah was legendary in Baltimore and asked Dave if he would be willing to share one of his tracks for the comp. Dave placed us in touch with the local producer who had recorded Poobah in 1975 at Sheffield Studios. We were thrilled to receive a dub of the tape which, as it turned out, Dave had never actually even heard, himself. The tape included the instant classics, "Man's Best Friend," "Sunny Afternoon," "The SLA is OK," a second take of "Man's Best Friend" and "Poison." We all agreed that "Poison" would make a great addition to the album. The band at that time consisted of Dave/Steptoe, lead vocals, Kraig Krixer (Trixy S. Queen), lead guitar and backing vocals, Bobby (the Parrott) Parrott, rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Bruce Lilly (Chrystal Chandalier), drums and Fred (Zing) Zang, bass. With Alice Wilcox's consent, we have uploaded the songs for your enjoyment as a tribute to Dave and his music.
In February, 1980, DJ Rod Misey interviewed Dave to talk about his Poobah experience and other musical and cultural phenomena. With Rod's consent, the interview is also available, here, in two parts.
We hope the music and interview entertain, amuse and perhaps inspire you to form your own band.
If you have any photos, recordings or other info. you'd like to share about Poobah, please drop me a line through the 'Contact' page.