Sunday, June 08, 2008

RUBBER CITY REBELS: (1977) The Akron Years (@) vbr

The original line-up of the band consisted of Rod Firestone (vocals), Buzz Clic (guitar), Donny Damage (bass), Stix Pelton (drums) and Pete Sake (keyboards). In their early years, the Rebels were fans (and friends) of fellow Greater Cleveland-area bands The Dead Boys and Devo. Their breakout show was opening for The Dead Boys at legendary New York City rock club CBGB in 1977. This led to a split EP with The Bizarros, entitled From Akron, which was released that year. Firestone and Clic would go on to open the Crypt in Akron, at the time the only punk rock club in the Midwest. Bands including The Dead Boys, Devo, Pere Ubu and the Bizarros played at this club. The Rebels moved to Los Angeles in 1978, minus Pelton (who was replaced on drums by Mike Hammer) and Sake (keyboards were deemed unnecessary for the band's change to a "heavier" sound), and gained considerable fame on the Sunset Strip. They would frequently headline at the famous Whisky A Go-Go for bands such as The Knack, Fear, The Kats, The Nu Kats, The Dickies and The Plimsouls. The band was signed to Sire Records in exclusive company like The Ramones, however a clash between band and record label ensued and the recording contract was terminated before the Rebels could record their debut album.
Following some personnel changes in the band (Damage and Hammer left, replaced by Johnny Bethesda and Brandon Matheson respectively), the Rebels signed a deal with Capitol Records helped in no small way by Doug Fieger, lead singer of The Knack (who were also signed to Capitol) and a self-professed fan of the band. Matheson and Fieger had previously been members of The Sunset Bombers and had one album released on Ariola Records. The Rebels debut, self-titled album was released in 1980. Although praised by critics, sales of the album never vaulted the band past its underground status and they did not follow up with a second release. The Rebels faded from the scene and ceased touring in 1988, although they never officially disbanded.

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1 comment:

riff buttons said...

Hey, Thanks for the post. I'm working on uploading a bunch of cassettes I recorded from early KROQ years. In the box I got one from 1978 of an interview with the Rubber City Rebels. I'll get that one up.
Thanks Again,
Riff
Oh Yeh check em out,
http://fromthegarage.blogspot.com/