The Real Kids same as Big Star, Flamin Groovies, Dictators, Fleshtones or The Plimsouls can be put in the category of bands that America generate periodically and who never hit the spotlight but always remain essential. Formed in mid 70s by John Felice after him leaving Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers. Richman's „keep it clean“ philosophy was never what Felice had on his mind. He wanted rock n roll band fueled with cheap toxines and that's what The 'Kids was all about. Although beantown scene will always be remebered for such acts as Aerosmith, Boston or The Cars mainly because of their commercial success and massive radio airplay, the underground scene at the club RAT was as exciting and vibrant as it was at the NYC's CBGB's or L.A.'s Masque. Just imagine what a thrill it must've been seeing bands like DMZ, Nervous Eaters, Lyres, Neighborhoods, Thundertrain and even Mission of Burma all sharing the same stage. The Real Kids were specially known for their energetic in your head live shows and that's what led New York's Red Star label (home of Vega/Rev Suicide) to sign a record contract with them. Before that The Kids already released amazing 45 inch single „All Kindsa Girls b/w Common At Noon“ on small French label Sponge and also two of their tracks (Who Needs You and Better Be Good) appeared on Boston „Live At RAT“ sampler.
The Real Kids 77 debut is a perfect rock 'n' roll record. Recorded in three nights at the Ultima studios in NYC the songs on this album vary from jumpy teen anthems like "All Kindsa Girls", heartbreakin „Just Like Darts" where Howie Ferguson beats hell out of his drums in best Mo Tucker manner, rip roaring „Reggae Reggae“ to power poppy „Better Be Good“ or „My Baby's Book“ with Alpo Paulino's backing vocals melodic hooks. Bands passion for fifties and sixties music is more than evident on cover versions of Buddy Holly's „Rave On“ and Eddie Cochran's „My Way“ and Even Boston legend Jeff MONOman Conolly contibuted his wild Jerry Lee Lewis piano playing on Frankie Ford's „Roberta“. This masterpiece album have the perfect blend of charming power pop melodies and teen punk angst. Unfortunately various disputes between band members and management led to decline of this first and classic Kids' line-up which didn't recorded until 1998 when Ferguson and Borgioli joined Felice and Paulino again on „Down To You“ recordings .
The later incarnation of the band was as much important as the earlier output. Outta Place and Hit You Hard LP's recorded in 1982/83. were produced by legendary Boston power pop genius Andy Paley of Paley Brothers fame. Also Felice had a short stint with his Taxi Boys side project which was actually second Real Kids lineup minus Alpo Paulino and Bobby Morin. Taxi Boys EP was released on Greg Shaw's BOMP! in 1981 and that was the first time Felice met Billy Cole.
Unfortunately sadly overlooked the band never hit it big time although they were always meant to be the next big thing. If there is any satisfaction The Real Kids were always stars in France but that wasn't always enough to pay the bills.
Words by Vex Voxtone
The Taxi Boys EP - Download