I’m old enough to say that I’ve lived through more than a few garage revivals. But you know what? I’m lucky enough to say that I lived through the era of The Rip Offs. When all you’d hear about the Bay Area scene was through Maximum RockNRoll and Gearhead, I can’t imagine seeing them at Bimbo’s or the Purple Onion before San Francisco was changed into a yuppie den of yawns.
Anyway, The Rip Offs disbanded in a whirlwind of attitude and semi-acrimony. I’d prefer you read all about it here straight from the band. However, before they broke up, they cranked out four perfect singles, a few live tracks here and there and their masterpiece "Got A Record" on their own Rip Off Records which has gone on to be a garage rock pedigree label alongside Crypt, In The Red, Goner and Bomp!. What’s great now (10+ years later) is to see modern labels like Cass, Die Slaughterhaus, Shit Sandwich and countless other garage labels take inspiration from these guys.
And last night I get a call from my long time buddy Pete in England saying that the Rip Offs are starting a European tour at the legendary Dirty Water Club in Tufnell Park, London next month. Can you say "holy ba-jeezus"?! The band will continue on with dates in many of their old haunts from the early 90’s but sadly, I can’t even conceive of making one date thanks to my insane October schedule. However, anybody that feels like being a pal, send tapes, videos or anything else and I’ll compensate you handsomely!
Download the mp3s, turn it up and then go buy any and all of their records.
The Rip Offs – Fan Club EP
The Rip Offs – Dolemite
The Rip Offs – Zodiac
The Rip Offs – Hooked on Phonics
The Rip Offs – Do The Uganda
The Rip Offs – Make Up Your Mind
The Rip Offs – Sleeparound