Koo-Koo Boy, today, is the multi-media moniker of artist Scott Coblio (singer/songwriter, photographer, writer and film-maker) But from 1991-1996 the name referred specifically to Coblio's New York-based new wave-ish band "Koo-Koo Boy".
Initially a duo, Koo-Koo Boy was strictly a studio project, who released their first full-length album "Every Freak For Himself" in September 1991. But immediate success of some of the tracks on local college radio stations led to the demand for a full band, and a 4-piece version debuted live in late October. "I'm a Monster" and "Vampire Girls" were already in heavy rotation on the radio, and the band issued a "double sided hit" 7 inch single of the two songs.
In an era when a "grunge" low-profile image was the norm, Koo-Koo Boy stood out with Coblio's glammed-out, androgynous emphasis on iconography. His patent look consisted of bleached hair, blue eyeshadow, a dog collar, a referee shirt worn as a dress, tighty whities, and German army boots.
In 1992 the band followed their debut LP with another full-length collection, "We Are A Star" and also split a 7" single with another local band, The Record Time All-Stars. Koo-Koo's side consisted of two live tracks recorded for radio, "Hate Me" and "Twist". The 7" was noteworthy for it's original cartoon art and bonus comic book (both by artist J. Reto) starring the two bands in competition to find "the Manson Jewels".
Local critics called Coblio "a cross between Jim Morrison and Nancy Sinatra" and the band "the best damn B-Movie soundtrack you ever heard." Characteristic of their sound was a happy melody countered by dark lyrics about everything from serial killer Ed Gein to killer bees, spies, vampires, and a would-be superhero named Undergirl (who can't quite come out of hiding in her subterranean lair).
Koo-Koo Boy made their regional television debut that year on Brother Wease's Live Circus, which included Foreigner's Lou Gramm and Joan Osborne. The band performed Little Eva's "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" with its decidedly "controversial" line "that boy is mine!" This led to a wildly mixed response from the audience, who was accustomed to Wease's biker image and "straight" programming.
In 1993 the band released their third full-length album "Sixty Miles An Hour" and another single, the 4-Track EP "Sixty Miles an Hour/Manhug/Dorians Plants/Listen to Me". Their fans continued to grow in legion as the band literally played every weekend for the entire year.
Koo-Koo Boy won their first award in 1994 with the Local Critics Choice award for Best Rock Band. They were also selected for Battle of the Bands and were featured in a special piece on local news station GRC-9, who called them "the winner in the Most Unusual Category"!
The band was included on various sampler CD's, notably 1993's Popfest (with the song "Killer Bees") and 1994's Tower of Music ("Sunday"). They opened for the Buzzcocks, Super Nova, The Voluptous Horror of Karen Black, and Bim Scala Bim, among others. Kembra from Karen Black liked Coblio so much, she made him a stage guest whenever her band came through town. By now, Coblio had introduced a second stage costume: a Catholic schoolgirl uniform with man's shirt and necktie.
Koo-Koo Boy disbanded in 1996 when Coblio moved out west to California. Assuming "Koo-Koo Boy" as his artist name/persona, he continued his creative contributions through the mediums of writing, photography, film-making (2004 saw the release of his award-winning "Murderess" feature, which continues to play annually in Phoenix), and as always, singing/songwriting.
Koo-Koo Boy has, in different ways, reached the big screen--their music has been featured in the underground movies "The Erotic Rites of Countess Dracula" and "The First Gay Superhero", while Coblio has appeared as an actor in the films "Hairspray" (1987) and "The Fluffer" (2002).