Cab 20 – The Band Before the Show
Cab 20 is a garage rock outfit from Los Angeles. Their sound can best be described as garage rock influenced by the blues and stoner rock. The frontman of the band, singer/guitarist Bert Hoover has said the band is often likened to The Black Keys, The White Stripes, and more recently Queens of the Stone Age. The other driving force behind the band is, Band Manager Tom Callahan. Tom has been on interviews saying, he had been working with the band for about a year on different aspects of their performance before they thought of appearing on Shark Tank.
In 2012, Cab 20 became the first band to appear on Shark Tank in the hopes they could interest the investors in funding their band. If it worked, this could mean a significant change in the way music was funded. Callahan has said that the Venture Capitalist route to fund music or entertainment is nothing new, but the process of acquiring capital was unique in terms of being on a reality show. Furthermore, it meant the band would perform in front of a viewership that was 7-million strong, each one a potential fan. At the time that was a prospect that Callahan thought was guaranteed, even if the funding was not.
Cab 20 on Shark Tank
Cab 20 walked into the Shark Tank with a unique proposal, a band as a business investment. Tom Callahan introduced the band as the brainchild of 18-year-old music prodigy Bert Hoover, and that they were asking for an investment of $200,000 for a 20% equity stake in the revenues earned by the band. The band then performed for the Sharks (a song called ‘Stomp’, later to become one of their most popular). The Sharks being both visibly and audibly impressed by what they saw, cheered and applauded, and things boded well for Cab 20. Callahan then proceeded to explain that the investors would get the above percent of revenues from everything except publishing. This announcement was not received as warmly as the performance prior. The Sharks were all immediately apprehensive and were quick to point out the flaws in Cab 20’s plans. When questioned about his own experience in the music business, Callahan said he had worked promoting a wide range of artists including Lenny Kravitz and Shania Twain.
Daymond John observed that this would be the first band that Callahan would be spearheading from conception all the way through and thus they would be investing in Callahan’s ability as a promoter, as much as they would be in the band itself, to which Callahan agreed. Kevin O’Leary was then quick to point out that the percentage of bands that breakout and make money for their investors was very small, and the venture he thought was too much of a risk. At this point in the discussion Mark Cuban announced that he was out, saying that the music business is the worst business on the planet (and it scared the hell out of him). Daymond, then proceeded to back out, citing he had made losses dealing with the music business before, and was not ready to take that chance again. Barbara backed out saying she didn’t really feel that Callahan was the right person to see this band through, even though she liked the band as a package.
Then, Kevin O’Leary, essentially out of pure amusement decided he would offer them $200,000 at 50% of all the revenues. Kevin liked the band and inspite of the music industry being a total crap-shoot according to him, was willing to back them if they agreed to $200,000 at 50% of everything. Tom Callahan then made a counter-offer of $300,000 for 40%. Taking interest at this, Robert Herjavec then stepped in and offered to go 50-50 with O’Leary. This definitely sweetened the deal for O’Leary. He quipped he was going to change the band’s name to ‘Greed’, as soon as Callahan went out with the band to confer about this new deal. Callahan returned with an offer of $250,000, his final one. The Sharks were of one mind, but so was Callahan, no one budged on their offers and no deal went through. The pitch would probably have succeeded if not for Callahan’s insistence to maintain control of the publishing rights. Callahan told the Sharks that he had managed bands that had gone on to make millions of dollars, and that he had full confidence in the band and their capabilities and could not agree to an unsatisfactory deal. O’Leary then jokingly told them to rename the band to ‘You’re Dead to Me’. Backstage, Callahan said he believed in the band, and that the Sharks would regret not investing in them in a few years, when they would be selling out arenas and playing around the world.
Cab 20 Now In 2023– After Shark Tank Update
Unfortunately, the band didn’t get the deal that they wanted on the show. It did, however, provide them with exposure and before they knew it, they found themselves talking to various record labels and agencies.
Alas, nothing ever came out of the meetings. As far as we can tell, they disbanded sometime in 2014, just two years after their Shark Tank appearance. Not only did their website go dark, but they also abandoned their social media accounts. By then, they had only released three albums, the last of which came out in 2013. There was never an official announcement regarding their disbandment so one can only guess what happened.
As of 2023, nothing has changed. If anything, it doesn’t look like Cab20 will be recording music anytime soon. If anything, the former members have moved on to other projects. Take Bert Hoover, the band’s former frontman, for example, he has formed a new psych-rock band called Hooveriii. Other members include Gabs Flores (guitar), Mark Rains (mixer), Kaz Mirblouk (bass), and Jaiq Styne (sy.
In 2018, they released a single titled, “Guillotine” through Permanent Records. They also dropped a mini-album titled, Highland Park TV, which contained five tracks- “Bird On a Wire”, “New Shoes”, Electric Eyes”, “Reptile” and “Destroya.” Recorded live at Highland Park TV (thus the name), the album, which was limited to 100 copies, was only available for a limited time at Hooverii’s live shows.
And in 2019, they released a full-length eponymous album. Recorded in Los Angeles, it consisted of nine tracks including “Head-Squeeze”, “Turn Blue”, “Mercy”, “Inbetween”, “Mudd”, “Inbetween”, and a few others. And like their previous projects, it featured Bert Hoover on vocals and guitar.
Since then, Hooveriii has released several additional tracks including “See”, “Control”, “Lazy Susan”, The Pearl”, and “Cindy.” For those who are interested, most of them are available for streaming on YouTube. Take their music video for “See”, for example, it has already been played more than 5,700 times since it was first uploaded on May 18, 2022.
If you’d like to know what Bert Hoover is up to, you can follow him on social media. He has an Instagram account (@berthooveriii) with over 1.4K followers. You can also follow Hooverii’s official Facebook page here. And don’t forget to check out the band’s Bandcamp page as well.
As for Tom Callahan, Cab20’s former manager, he’s currently working with other artists including Amy Hef, Justin Hopkins, Karisa Winett, David Boyles, Michael Shapiro, and Irish Sharma, among others. Not only that, but he’s also a guest lecturer at Musicians Institute, a private music school in LA, and also participates in various convention panels across the US. You can find him on Twitter at @tacallan.