Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Rabies - (My Girl's A) Hologram
A. (My Girl's A) Hologram
THE RABIES (Larchmont, NY)
(My Girl's A) Hologram b/w Criminal
Presidential (ITR-5205), 1982
George Faulkner and twin brothers Kevin and Torin Alter grew up together in the suburbs outside of New York City. Having known each other since Elementary school, they decided to form a band when they were attending Mamaroneck High. The school was a hotbed of creativity, churning out many well known artists, actors, writers, and musicians. It was after seeing school mates the Student Teachers who had records produced by Blondie's Jimmy Destri and who were scoring gigs opening for Iggy, the Cramps and others, that they got inspired to get something going themselves.
John Dorf was their original drummer, but it soon became obvious that other than owning a drum set he had little sense of how to play. John Gramaglia, who was a few years younger, was soon recruited at Torin's request in the fall of 1981. Torin had played in an earlier band with John's brother Michael called The Unemployed in which John would sit in occasionally. With the line-up now complete and Torin at the helm writing songs, The Rabies scored their first gig at CBGB's. John was only 15 at the time and had to finagle his way into the gig.
They became very popular in their region and put out a single on their own Presidential Records in early 1982. The run of 500 copies was financed with help from their family and features a cover designed by David Hughes, which is reminiscent of the logo on the Clash's first record. The 7" showcases their most popular song "Hologram," which contains hand claps and a poppier sound than they intended. Sounding like a long lost Ramones cut, "Hologram" still holds up strong today, while the flip has more of a post-punk feel and is more representative of the bands developing sound.
Rumor has it that they scored a VHS bootleg copy of Star Wars which they would often play during breaks in their rehearsals. And it was a scene where R2-D2 was projecting a hologram of Leia that the song was inspired and written on the spot. Regardless of how it came about, the single sold out quickly and was even featured in the jukebox at the Larchmont Diner and was often checked out at the local library.
The band released a 4-song EP later in the year which is not held in very high regard by any of its members. The sound was more new wave and by this time they had added an additional guitar player. They continued to play together on a part time basis for nearly two decades, reinventing themselves and changing their name every several years from Intrynsics to Caroline No to Junkstar.
George has an audio engineering degree and still plays music. He currently works in IBM Corporate Communications and runs a podcast called A Pop Diary, where John also contributes episodes. Kevin and Torin are both professors, teaching architecture and philosophy, respectively. John continues to play music in bands and works as a film editor. He helped his brother Michael with the 2003 Ramones documentary, "End Of The Century."