The Rudies emerged during the death of glitter and the birth of punk in the mid to late 70's NYC rock scene.

Brooklyn boys Ed Ryan (songwriter/guitar/vocals) and Razz (drums) were founding members of Day Old Bread who performed at the original punk rock fests in 1976 at both CBGB's and Max's Kansas City. Wayne County name-checked Day Old Bread on the first Max's vinyl compilation in the song Max's Kansas City.
When bassist Don Nossov split from the band Ed asked his pal Keith Streng from the Fleshtones if he knew any bass players and Keith recommended Mark Charles Lamendola. Mark had recently returned home to NYC having spent some time playing in Gainesville Florida, rotating at a local bottle club with Tom Petty's pre -Heartbreakers band Mudcrutch and Jeff and Marty Jourard pre - The Motels.

Ed's material with Day Old Bread was hard rock with a melodic speedy edge, his newer songs were shorter, poppier and more vocal oriented. Mark's bass and vocal prowess were a perfect match for the new direction of the band -- Power Pop with a punk attitude. The new band was a bristling power trio with a hard rock Everly Brothers harmony style to go with the catchy tunes.
The band was named The Rudies after a reference on a Vivian Stanshall (Bonzo Dog Band) album and had nothing to do with ska or reggae much to the confusion of everyone. The Rudies were originally perceived as a Max's band due to the Day Old Bread connection. Back in the day you were either a CB's band or a Max's band so initially gigs at CB's were rare. The Rudies were on CB's default sheet, if someone cancelled at the last minute they were given a call.

When Day Old Bread and then Rudies manager, Susannah Lafountain, got the call from Hilly Kristal to open for the first NYC gig of the Dead Boys the band took the gig and effectively jumped ship to the CB's camp.

By late '77, early '78 the Rudies started landing higher profile gigs opening for the Dead Boys, the Shirts and playing the Johnny Blitz and St. Mark's fire benefits alongside the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Patti Smith and Television. The first band demos were recorded at Songshop Studios in NYC and featured finger snaps and handclaps by visitors Stiv Bators and Jimmy Zero of the Dead Boys. Rudies HQ was Ed and Susannah's apartment next to the Chelsea Hotel with neighbors like Cheetah Chrome, Tom Waits and Sid and Nancy at the Chelsea Hotel and Blondie members around the block. At that time the band shared a loft on 30th street with Mink Deville, the Planets and Jah Malla . . . things were falling into place.

Recording for the ultimately unreleased Live at CBGB , Volume 2 was completed with the Rudies and Brian Setzer's band the Bloodless Pharoahs. The band did some shows with and backed Warner's recording artist Cathy Chamberlain and Ed played with her Rag and Roll Review at New York's Town Hall and Brooklyn College. The Shirts, Rudies and Cathy played to thousands for a crowd scene shoot for the Milos Forman film, Hair and the Rudies appeared on the NBC evening news playing their song Could This Be Love.

In late '78 Mark started contributing songs and Ed and Mark decided to expand the sound with the addition of a fourth piece. Part-time member and keyboardist, Charles Giordano was too busy to pin down, he later played with Genya Raven, Pat Benatar, Buster Poindexter and currently is touring with Bruce Springsteen. After many false starts the boys found John Maguire, a former member of Boston's Jam Band that included Aerosmith founders Joe Perry and Tom Hamilton. John became second guitarist and the fourth piece of the Rudies puzzle. The band's fan base continued to expand as the Rudies supported the likes of Iggy Pop, Squeeze, Eddie and the Hot Rods, Dr. Feelgood, Cramps, Shirts, Laughing Dogs, Martha and the Muffins and the Runaways. The band also headlined over the then unknown B-52s and X and appeared on Manhattan cable TV on Paul Tschinkels Inner Tube. Positive write-ups in Variety and the Trouser Press also helped to raise the band's profile and garner industry interest.

Producer Robert Bienstock hooked up with the band in late '78, early '79 and became very important to the group's development. Robert's parents were famous music industry figures. Freddy Bienstock is a major music publisher and former Chair of Warner/Chappell and mother, Miriam was one of the founders of Atlantic Records. Robert was a gifted producer and talent scout in his own right. Through Robert, Ed scored a publishing deal with Carlin/Hudson Bay Music who also had first offer on any of Mark's songs.

Carlin/Hudson Bay included songwriters Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller and former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Long Oldham as partners and their offices were in the songwriters mecca, the Brill Building. Being surrounded by these people and the history in the building further bolstered the band's confidence. Susannah and Robert soon brokered a deal with English record label Badge Records, then a European subsidiary of Arista. Things were looking up.

 

 

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