Rhubarb's Revenge

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Nearly every evening in the early 1970s, a group of friends who called themselves RoadApples (founding members: Greg Shuss, Chris Breetveld, Rob Rothschild, Rich Larsen, and Bill DiMartino with occasional…
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Nearly every evening in the early 1970s, a group of friends who called themselves RoadApples (founding members: Greg Shuss, Chris Breetveld, Rob Rothschild, Rich Larsen, and Bill DiMartino with occasional help from Mike Rothkopf, Mick Parmenter, and Shotzie) would meet at Chris Breetveld's "Pink Grass Studios" (otherwise known as his parents' house) in Kendall Park, New Jersey after a couple of the members' second-shift jobs let out. The young men would drink beer and attempt, in their untutored, verging-on-incompetent manner, to play something resembling music. They would inevitably play into the small hours of the night, all the while recording their experiments on Breetveld's Sony two-track reel-to-reel tape decks. After awhile, they began sounding pretty decent.

In early 1973, Breetveld's father announced that he would be moving the family to India for a five-year stint with UNICEF. Realizing that Breetveld would be taking his tape deck with him and thus depriving the other regulars of the musical spoils they had toiled over during the previous few years, the RoadApples decided to print up a dozen or so copies of the music as an LP keepsake for each member. It cost the same to press 100 LPs as for ten, however, so 100 copies of Rhubarb's Revenge or Confessions of a Big Lanky Dope were privately pressed in the fall of 1973 under the name Rhubarb's Revenge. Wondering if he had something commercially viable, Breetveld took the LP to a music publisher on Denmark Street in London (following directions given in the lyrics of the Kinks' "Denmark Street" straight to Tottingham Court Row), the first stop for the Breetveld family on its way to India. The publisher turned him down, as did every subsequent music publisher to whom he took the tapes once the family arrived in New Delhi.

Eleven months after leaving for India, Breetveld returned to the States and teamed up with Shuss, Rothschild, and DiMartino to continue recording music. They recorded under various monikers and in a plethora of styles during this period, including "lost classics" such as the prog-rock wierdness of Send Money (1974), the pure pop of Wet Paint (1976), and Breetveld's rock opera/musical, The Panchilla Gorilla (1979)--none of which were released. Breetveld and Shuss later went on to form the '90s cult pop/rock sensation, the Breetles. The absurdly rare Rhubarb's Revenge album--which, despite its rarity, had found its way across the globe--was reissued by Gear Fab in 1999, with four added bonus cuts that had to be cut from the original LP because of length restrictions.