The Rubinoos, a power pop band from Berkeley, CA, were never really a household name, even though they appeared on “American Bandstand” a couple of times. (As much as many artists had hoped, many of them never caught on, even after appearances on that seminal rock and roll show.) The band, formed after Tommy Dunbar and Jon Rubin befriended each other in junior high, did produce a couple of songs for a classic 80’s comedy, Revenge Of The Nerds, so it’s likely you’ve heard the band, though they never registered a blip on your rock and roll radar.
I’d like to remember them as a bubbly power pop band, like The Raspberries or Badfinger, rising above super- sugary bands like The Osmonds. The guys were definitely cute, but they had some substance to back it up.
According to their site, they’re still at it, which is amazing to me. These guys have known each other for over 35 years, yet they can still get up on stage and play together and have fun and entertain old and new fans. So, yay for them!
Wanna hear some? If you haven’t figured it out yet, you can hover over the song link and it’ll pop up a player for you. Easy peasy.
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend – a semi-hit from their first album
Revenge Of The Nerds – from the movie, silly!
The Girl – from their 84 album, Party Of Two, produced by Todd Rundgren. This is a demo version, which I prefer. The production on the original is slicker and more “Rundgren-y,” and the demo is more in keeping with the band’s sound.