The Funkabilly Playboys...
Meet The Funkabilly Playboys!

NOTICE:  The following biographical renditions were written by the actual band members themselves.  They aren't known for being the brightest bulbs in the tanning bed.  Therefore, the webmaster of this site cannot be held responsible for run-on sentences, misspelled words, inappropriate punctuation, grammatical mistakes, and rambling in general.  You may now proceed.  Thank you.

Michael "Bongo" Hawn...
Bongo

I was born in the cradle of funk:  Dayton, Ohio.  I always wanted to get into music, but as a DJ not a musician.  I was ready to pay my dues in radio until I found out how much money they make.  It's crap.  Trust me.  I moved to Florida in 1982 as a college drop-out and got a job with my uncle as an electrician.  My percussion career, however, started by accident.

To make a long story short, I was recording demo tapes for Mathew Craig, a musician friend, in my apartment.  He had brought by a pair of bongos and ask me to play behind a new song he had written.  After the recording session, Mathew asked me to join him at a live gig and play along with the new song.  That sounded like a boatload of fun!   One gig turned to two, and then Matthew discovered I could sing a harmony, so we became a duo.

A few years back, I had seen a great local band called The Groove Thangs. They were a high energy funky-roots-swamp-soul thing (trust me, that’s the best I can do to describe them). Sadly, they had broken up. The local bar scene was loaded with basic blues bands playing the same shit, and I was tired of going out to the local bars and hearing the same 30 blues tunes every night. The sound that The Groove Thangs brought to South Florida was missing...and somebody had to revive it.

Fast forward.  I got a call from my old friend Chuck Farthing. One day we met for lunch and devised our plan to start a musical (r)evolution in South Florida and bring that funky, soulful sound back. We wanted to build the best band, playing only the best music. We started with a set of rules that the band adheres to to this day:

  • No “Mustang Sally” – EVER.
  • Any song brought into the band had to be a song we’d never heard another local band play.
  • No Frat Rock:  "Louie, Louie", "Hang On Sloopy"...you get the picture.
  • No “Joe Dirt” Rock:  Skynyrd, Thorogood, Georgia Satellites, yada, yada.
  • Play for fun; take their money anyway…

To save space, I’ve omitted several parts of my life; my introduction to the Carney world, my time with the circus, my work in professional wrestling, my year traveling the country as a grifter, my stint as a male stipper/porn star.  You probably wouldn’t believe half that shit anyway.  In closing, I’ve had a great life.  And after tons of gigs followed by nights of washing dishes to pay my bar tab, I’m proud to be a member of that well oiled boogie machine that you talk about in your sleep.  I also play for The Funkabilly Playboys.


Chuck Farthing...
Chuck

My name is Chuck.  I play bass.  That's a guitar.  I was born a poor black girl in a small fishing village, just outside of the tiny town of Latvia.  Neither very good at fishing nor bright enough to understand the polysemous nature of words, I started stringing up largemouth bass with heavy gauge phone wire and plugging it into my grandmother’s heavy duty hair drier/wood chipper.  The sound was horrible, but I couldn't help but fall in love with the wailing sound of singing fishes.  Thus began my musical career.  Besides, I found that when you brush on some melted butter and sprinkle on a little garlic salt, it don't taste too bad.

When not polishing my barbeque/musical skills (and when not in rehab), I like long walks on the beach in the moonlight, drinking heavily, needlepoint, scrapbooking, and drinking heavily.

Being one of the founding members of The Funkabilly Playboys, it is my responsibility to act as the glue that bonds the rest of the band members together.  To keep us all focused on the primary objective of playing the best music, and putting on the best show possible, with the least amount of talent and effort.  If you've ever seen one of our shows, you have to agree I do a stellar job.  Plus I get to drink heavily.  The fact that we actually get paid for doing it is an added bonus.  After all, skin bleaching, testosterone injections, and making top parts into bottom parts is a bit pricy.

That is all.  Thanks for playing.  The End.


Mike Vullo...
Mike

Welcome to an installment of stuff about me.  Bored yet? I am.  I play guitar.  A couple of them.

First, I would like to dispel a rumor about me.  Once in a while I get a earful from some inebriated whack job wanting to know what kind of drugs I’m on because I have a tendency to jump up and down like a crack head while I’m playing. I do not do drugs.  I have never done drugs (wink, wink!).  And I did not have sex with that woman...Miss Lewinsky.  You see, I’m not what you’d call a “natural performer”.  I get scared shitless playing for all of you.  I’m a bundle of nerves.  A scaredy-cat.  But I love music so much that the show must go on!  So instead of throwing up every time I play, I just close my eyes, jump around, and picture Jennifer Aniston naked.  Should any of this matter to you?  Probably not. But maybe you’ll stop with the drugs thing.

I was born up North (who in Florida wasn't?) and everything went downhill after that.  My hobbies include all things related to FUZZ, sniffing record albums and corecting mispelars.  I aspire to one day live next door to The Young Ones.  Or Jennifer Aniston.  I learned music from The Roy Clark Big-Note Songbook.

Things That Currently Rock My World:

  • My iPod: I spend way too much time filling it with all kinds of stuff. Maybe one day, I’ll list “What’s currently on my iPod” like celebrities do.
  • WFMU: An internet radio station that plays some seriously way-out shit. Turkish garage bands.  Psychotic old crusty rockabilly.  Google it.  You won’t be disappointed.
  • You...our Friends.  You’re going to think this is an ASS-KISS-O-RAMA but the folks who come to see us all the time really brighten my (our) life (lives).  Thanks a gazillion for supporting us, carrying us to our cars at the end of the night, and keeping Bongo standing up straight. He's a big guy; that takes a lot of effort.
  • Italian Food
  • Soul Music
  • Weekly World News
  • The Onion
  • Horn-Rimmed Eyeglasses.  I just like ‘em.  Not necessarily on me but on anyone.  I'm always getting the “Dude, you look like that ‘Can you hear me now’ ” shit.  Or the Elvis Costello/Buddy Holly/Drew Carey comparisons.  While I really love Elvis and Buddy, I’m nowhere near as fat as Drew.

I am survived by my wife, Kristie, and daughter, Johanna.


Scott Henze...
Scott


Hmmm.  Hello?  Is this thing on?  My name is Scott.  (All together now: HELLO SCOTT!)  I play keyboards and guitar.  I am a simple, nondescript man of modest ability and questionable musical taste.  My most glowing endorsement came from my closest personal friend Robert Gus******* in 1998 when he referred to me as "an acquired taste."  I was born and raised in Detroit, the son of local piano legend Kent Henze.  I was asked to leave Detroit in 1989 and never mention my father's name again.  I did.  My bus money ran out in Columbus, so I hitchhiked south.  I was determined to reach The Bahamas.  Then I found out I needed a boat.  Shit.  So I settled in sunny South Florida, worked in several fine fast food establishments, and met Chuck, Mike, Bongo and Tim in 1998. Thus began my glorious reign as the least-recognizable Funkabilly Playboy.


Tim Kuchta...
Tim

OK, ladies and gentlemen, listen up and pay attention!!  This is important stuff!  This is the kinda stuff that can change your life.  So read on, if you have nothing else to do.  Or if you’re like me you might say, “I’m going to sit down at my computer and read this……oh wait, I have to answer the phone" or "We have to take one of the kids to baseball practice" or "Oh Shit!!  I forgot to shut the hose off and the pool is overflowing!!"

Anyway.  I’m a drummer.  I just learned how to read and write last next.  This week I learned how to type (using the Evelyn Wood "Hunt 'n Peck" System) AND how to send an email.  So when I'm done with this masterpiece, I’m going to send it to a guy who can put it on our website so all 14 of our fans can read it.  Make that 16 if you count the cleaning crew at Boston's.  Wait.  I just had a thought.  By the time you read this, I will have already done what I just said I was gonna do.  Shit. Where's the friggin' Backspace key on this thing?

I just had another thought.  I'm rambling.  So let me stop here by asking everyone...anyone to explain this joke to me.  Just come up to me at one of our gigs and tell me what the hell this means:

Q:  “What do you call a drummer with half a brain?”
A:  “Gifted”

A little about me.  My first paying gig was in a drum and baton corps last year when I was in the 4th grade.  I have since studied music at Duquesne University and the University of Miami.  I have played all kinds of music in all kinds of places on all kinds of drum sets and percussion instruments.  I teach music as well.  But you have to ask yourself: "Would I trust my kid with this guy?"  Personally, I would not.  In addition to playing with The Funkabilly Playboys, I have drummed for The Groove Thangs, The Knucklebusters, and SoBe Blue.  If you STILL want to know more about me (and who wouldn't?), check out my personal web site HERE.