WATCH: Verve Pipe Singer Tries To Sing His Way Out Of A Ticket
Grand Rapids' Brian Vander Ark of the Verve Pipe was pulled over for an infraction, can he sing his way out of it?
Brian Vander Ark Is A GR Treasure
I'm not sure where this traffic encounter took place, but it begins with Brian singing the key line to the Verve Pipe's 1997 emo smash hit "The Freshmen." The officer then thanks Brian and adds "I've always liked that song, thanks so much for doing that for me." After a brief pause, the officer then says "Please report to court within the next 14 days. Drive safely."
Brian, acting disgusted, then says "You think f***ing Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20 lead singer) can't sing his way out of a g** d*** traffic ticket!"
I know Brian lives in the area, but I can't identify what police department this is, nor can I tell how much the officer was in on the joke.
Apparently, Banging On Rob Thomas Is A Common Vander Ark Theme
Comparing himself to Thomas, another late '90s era pop singer, is a theme on the Verve Pipe's TikTok feed. Here's another video where Brian while loading the family laundry into the car, says, "You think Rob Thomas is loading up his whole family's laundry into his car because his GD dryer broke?!"
Brian has a great sense of humor of his place in the world, and his TikTok videos reflect that. Here he casts an angry glance at a man trying to finish a '90s forgotten hits lyric challenge, but misses on the lyrics to "The Freshmen."
Back in 1993 I judged a music competition sponsored by Marlboro cigarettes at the old Club Eastbrook. According to my memory, I thought Vander Ark won the competition, but he reminded me via Twitter not too long ago that he had finished second. Well, Brian, know that I voted for you.
Here's what Brian looked like back in 1997. Nice hair frosting!
Vander Ark is still recording music and the Verve Pipe is still active, and will perform July 15 at the Listening Room. Get your tickets here.