The reunited CMB consists of local Badd boy Bryan Abrams, Mark Calderon
and Kevin Thornton. Sam Watters, long dogged by Kenny G comparisons,
declined the reunion.
CMB hit it big with “I Wanna Sex You Up” in 1991. Two more No. 1 singles
followed, with the band releasing a triple-platinum debut album and
nine Top 40 hits before disbanding in 1998.
“We actually were about to sign with him right after we got out of our
Sony deal in 1998,” Calderon said. “With the group dismantling and
raising families, we all kind of split apart. We all went our ways
basically. That’s pretty much why we didn’t go with Johnny.”
Calderon, who lives in Cincinnati and is a look-alike of ex-Wham! singer George Michael, said he helped facilitate
the signing of preteen performer Isaiah Pittman V — aka Ip5 — with the
Orlando-based WEG and discussed a possible CMB reunion. Thornton, the
Milli Vanilli doppelgänger, agreed to join.
“Kevin seemed like he wanted to get back into the groove of things,” he said. “We kind of all got back together. It was funny.”
CMB is headed to Orlando later this month to plan future recordings and live appearances. Then CMB will play five gigs with All-4-One of “I Swear” fame touring the South Pacific before an OKC show July 30 at Casablanca, 13801 Quail Pointe Drive.
“We’re really not trying to do it for nostalgia,” Abrams said. “We don’t
want to just spend the next 10 years touring off of our old stuff. We
really are planning on putting out a new record.”
Abrams’ arrest record is well-known. Suffering from alcoholism and
psychiatric issues, he entered long-term treatment out of state last
September. Now out of rehab, he’s taking the ViSalus Sciences Body by Vi Challenge, a 90-day meal replacement and weight management program.
“The fact that we’re signed with WEG Entertainment is huge, and I don’t
want anyone to think I’m half-assing it,” he said. “It’s a really
healthy change for me.”
Abrams said he’s not even drinking soda or caffeine.
“God willing, we’ll be responsible and set a better example than we did
the first time around,” he said. “It’s going awesome, man. To be honest
with you, I don’t even think about it anymore. I don’t think about the
addiction issue. … I’m just trying to focus on the group. There’s no
room for error anymore. We’re all human, but we all hold each other’s
future in our hands.”
Thornton, now working as a youth pastor in Fort Worth, Texas, is the trio’s spiritual leader.
“We’re just happy that he’s down with us,” Calderon said. “We’ve got a
lot of big plans for the future. This time around, we want to do things a
little bit differently, man. We want to give back a lot more than we
did before. We love OKC. That’s our hometown, and we want to get more
involved with the community.”
Fourth original member Watters is now a successful record producer married to former “American Idol” finalist Tamyra Gray.
“Sam’s doing a lot of big hits,” Calderon said. “He just had a new baby.
The door’s always open for Sam to come back. That’s all up to him.”