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    Nushu's Lisa Mychols and Tom Richards from The Waking Hours welcome you to The Time Machine

    Saturday, October 30, 2010

    The Rubinoos Interview on The Time Machine

    The Time Machine Crew were extremely excited to have The Rubinoos on as musical guests. The rock band's music had been a staple of The Time Machine's playlists for over thirty years. The group had just performed an anniversary concert in the San Fransisco Bay area less than a week earlier to celebrate the band's formation forty years ago. We were honored to have Jon Rubin, Tommy Dunbar and Al Chan on the broadcast plus drummer Donn Spindt joined our radio audience in The Time Machine's Radio Chat Room to answer questions and share his Rubinoos stories. 2010 was not only a banner year for The Rubinoos celebrating forty years as a band but it was the year that saw the release of two new albums. "Biff-Boff-Boing!" was a children's album that was released earlier this year and has been embraced by Pop lovin' adults. Their brand new album "Automatic Toaster" produced by Robbie Rist, who also slams the drums on the album along with some vocals, is everything a Rubes fan could musically desire. The Time Machine also extends a warm Aloha and Mahalo Nui Loa to Robbie Rist for making the songs available for airplay in Hawaii before the album was officially released.

    The Time Machine's Executive Producer Jenny Leong and radio co-host Summer Blue were beside themselves and fainted numerous times during the show. That left host Michael McCartney constantly searching for smelling salts to revive both of them during songs that played between the interview segments which resulted in Michael doing the interview solo. Just imagine two women through the glass booth fanning themselves as if it were like Beatlemania had swept into the air studio. Rube-Mania! Other artists heard on this Maui afternoon radio broadcast include; Supertramp, The Smith Bros., The Laughing Dogs, Avril Lavigne and Farrah.

    Click here to listen or download The Rubinoos interview

    The Official Website for The Rubinoos

    Here's a link to article that singer-songwriter Marty Rudnick wrote for The Time Machine back in 2006 to share his appreciation of the band that we've been playing on the radio for over three decades:

    "The Greatest Band You've Never Heard..."

    What the heck, why not show you the entire piece, right here right now?

    "The Greatest Band You've Never Heard..."

    by Marty Rudnick

    The day The Beatles called it quits was a dark day for me. The months and years that were to follow lead me in search of music that could bring the same thrill. I was hooked, and I needed another fix...bad.

    The void left by the breakup resulted in a journey that would define a large part of my life. Immediately afterward, I began digging way deeper into the Beach Boys' catalog and soon became enchanted with the unimaginable genius of Brian Wilson. I had always been a Beach Boys fan, mind you, but in the sixties I was too obsessed with The Beatles to give them enough of my personal musical bandwidth.

    While all my high school pals were moving forward to Jethro Tull and Led Zeppelin (admittedly, great bands), my musical tastes went off in a different direction. In addition to The Beach Boys, I began listening to Badfinger, The Hollies, The Raspberries, Emitt Rhodes and Todd Rundgren. I don't think they called it Powerpop in those days, but that's what I was into.

    I was always "in search of", and a typical Saturday afternoon would usually include a trip to Tower Records, where one day in 1977, I discovered the debut album of The Rubinoos. Never heard of 'em. I'm not sure what impulse made me pick up the album, but I never looked back.

    I got home, plopped the vinyl on the turntable and was instantly smitten. The LP included every ingredient for a Powerpop birthday cake, with icing and spreckles and candles that you can't blow out. Everything about it was world class: the songwriting, the vocal harmonies, the incredibly hooky guitar riffs, and that captivating feeling of joy you get when you hear a great pop song. The album was eclectic -- some songs were edgy, some were breezy and some showed a knack for irreverent charm and humor. It gets better. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area, I was happy to learn that The Rubinoos hailed from Berkeley, and the entertainment section of the Sunday paper, I learned they were playing the following Friday at The Keystone Berkeley, a legendary rock club from the good old days. The live show was mind-blowing. Up on the stage were four lads, not looking old enough to be in a bar, and singing and playing with a musicality and effortlessness that seemed impossible for anybody that young.

    On lead vocals was Jon Rubin (the Rubinoos name was actually a play on Buck Owens and The Buckaroos), with a pure soprano voice that even Eric Carmen would envy. Royse Ader was a tall, nordic-looking fellow who played bass ably and sang harmonies. Donn Spindt, a remarkably talented drummer, also sang harmonies. Their secret weapon was Tommy Dunbar, who played guitar like a world-class evil genius, wrote most of these wonderful pop songs, and whose between-song banter and mischievous smirk were eerily reminiscent of a young John Lennon.

    Not unlike The Beatles, The Rubinoos possessed an irrepressible irreverence and charm that was spellbinding. In my opinion, it seemed like nothing would stop them from becoming the next big thing.

    As often happens, I was wrong. As the rock music scene evolved in those days, it was essential that you MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY (oooh!). Well, The Rubinoos threw that notion out the window with reckless disregard, and I applaud them for it. As legend has it, they once opened for Jefferson Starship at Winterland, and were booed off the statge for playing the Pepsi Generation song from the TV commercial. The Rubinoos were throwing a bit of comedy into their act, and the uptight San Francisco audience did-not-get-it.

    In true Rubinoos style, they carried on, undaunted and unflinching. They were subsequently hand-picked by Elvis Costello to be the opening act for the Armed Forces tour of 1978. Their second album, BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, yielded the Powerpop classic "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend".

    Soon after, as the story often goes, record company and distributor foul-ups threw a spanner in the works, and the most deserving band from Berkeley were out on the streets, and for the most part left unpaid by the smarmy label. By this time, bassist Royse Ader had decided to leave the band, and was replaced by Al Chan, a monstrously gifted singer and bass player.

    The road to follow was a bumpy one. They disbanded, then Rubin and Dunbar continued on with Warner Brothers, and then briefly with Epic. Over the years, the Rubinoos have issued previously unreleased rarities from their archives (Basement Tapes, Garage Sale), reunited and recorded new material (Paleophonic, Twist Pop Sin), and released a wonderful collection of covers (Crimes Against Music). Some thirty years after their debut album, they are no worse for the wear.

    Now, your average Joe on the street may have never heard of The Rubinoos. Real Powerpop fans regard them as icons. And most of the rock stars that were trying to be taken seriously in the 70's are either long since forgotten, or if not, probably embarrassed at the red leather pants they were wearing.

    So, you have to ask yourself this question -- what is the difference between a band that made it big and a band that didn't? It could be pure luck of the draw. In the case of The Rubinoos, I firmly believe that they refused to play the game, and held true to their particular art instead of re-fashioning their image to the flavor-of-the-month. And for that, they will have my undying respect.

    If you've never heard their music, listen to Michael McCartney's show -- he's bound to give them a spin with great regularity, because he's in on the secret. The secret is that they are one of the greatest bands ever, and if you haven't discovered that yet, consider yourself lucky, because there's soooo much good stuff just waiting for you.

    Marty Rudnick
    July 2006, Sunny California

    The Rubinoos

    Singer-songwriter Marty Rudnick's debut release "More Songs About Cars And Girls" has been getting tons of spins on our playlists. Marty's album was produced by the multi-talented Michael Carpenter.

    Marty Rudnick's Official Website

    Marty Rudnick's MySpace Music where you can sample four of his songs

    We would like to also mention the newest additions to the band; Kit Potamkin (keyboards), Nick D'Virgilio (drums and vocals) and Susie Davis (keyboards). We don't have any photos of Kit but here's one of Nick and a few of Susie:

    Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, keyboardist Susie Davis is the daughter of FM radio pioneer Norman Davis. Here is a list of some of the acts that have benefited from her talent on the road and in the studio: Prince, Sheila E, Billy Idol, Pat Benatar, Mick Jagger - and, of course, The Rubinoos.

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