Monday, May 16, 2011

The Unband - Chung Wayne Lo Mein

I had always intended for this to be a vinyl-only enterprise. But something very unexpected made me change my mind. While I was away, it seems that Anthony Bourdain did a "No Reservations" show about the grittier, working class side of Boston, which we DVR'd while we were away and just got around to watching last night. Tony ate and drank his way through Southie with Mike Ruffino. "Who is Mike Ruffino?" you're probably asking. In fact my wife asked me. And I knew I that I knew that name from somewhere...

He played bass in The Unband, and wrote a book about their wild, excessive, yet low-rent not-quite-rock-star life. These guys were huge in Northampton when I was there in the early 90's, famous for playing (and trashing) the Bay State regularly. I caught them playing at a party in some apartment above Main St. once. Great show. Of course, the cops came and ended it. I think that's how a lot of their shows ended.

Anyway, I picked this up when it appeared in local shops in 1994. The internet will tell you it came out in 1996, but the internet is wrong. It came out on some tiny NoHo label in 1994 before a moderately larger indie label from W. Mass picked it up later. It's incredibly obscure, long out of print and hard to find, and it's one hell of a fun CD. Full of mindless loud fun like "Drop Out!" and "ABCDEFUCK" and of course, their mantra,  "We Like to Drink and We Like to Play Rock n' Roll". So, inspired by that show, and remembering what a little gem this CD is, I figured I'd break my vinyl only rule, and make sure a few more people know who Mike Ruffino is and who the Unband were.



  1. incredible been looking for this for a long while. thanks!

  2. Question in my mind is: How in the hell is Mike Ruffino surviving now?

  3. Awesome - I've been looking for this for years! Thanks!

  4. Awesome. I've loved "Retarder" for a long time, and I didn't think there was any more Unband out there. I was just listening to it and got the urge to hit google and see if I could learn more about them. I found this page. Good stuff! Thank you!

    I looked 'em up on Wiki after I jnew I couldn't survive with just Retarder. This is the first one I've found since then, but it also mentioned "Good Music"(1989) & "Sink"(1990), both self-released. Any chance you know anything about those, where they might be found or if they were combined into this album? Any help would be greatly appreciated, You've already done great work for keeping rare music alive and accessible. Thank You!!!