Download MP3s of 13-year-old punk rockers The Rolling Scabs
Welcome to the official website for THE ROLLING SCABS!
The Rolling Scabs were a short-lived punk group fronted by two 13-year-old boys. The group played several gigs in and around San Francisco in 1988. They weren't brothers, but they acted like it, they were best friends, and were born the same day on the same year.
One of the kids, Giuliano, died two years later, crushed by an elevator when he was horsing around in an abandoned building in Connecticut.
The scabs first ever gig was at the legendary punk haven The Gilman Street Project in Berkeley. A cassette board tape of this was released by band member Li'l Mike on a limited edition of 500 7-inch EP on pus-colored vinyl. The other kid, Jacob, is all grown-up and can be found on Facebook.
Download MP3s of the songs:
(Lawrence Livermore) / We're The Scabs!
>I Hate My Teacher
>Giuliano's Dream / My Mom Smokes Pot
>Around the World in 80 Seconds
A little history: In 1988 I was playing bass and singing in the band, BOMB, in San Francisco. I was living in my van, but had a key to my friend Li'l Mike's house. He and his roommate Greg let me and my girlfriend shower there and hang out sometimes. One day everyone was out shopping, and me and my girl went in and were fucking on the living room floor. At one point I looked up and some teenage kids were looking in a second floor window....they'd heard my gal's noises and trespassed onto a the roof of an adjoining building to look in at us. I got up, threw a towel around me and went to yell at them.
Later, they became our friends. They'd come into Li'l Mikes house and hang out. One day one of them started banging on the drum kit and the other grabbed a microphone and started improvising lyrics. I picked up a bass and accompanied them. It sounded good. Or at least interesting.
I grabbed Li'l Mike's phone and called Tim Yohannan, founder of Maximum Rock and Roll magazine, and the booker at the Gilman Street Project punk club in Berkeley. I said "Hey Tim! I got a great band. It's two little kids! Check it out!" and held the phone up for Tim to hear the kids making a racket.
I guess someone had canceled and he had a slot to fill, because he said "How's a week from Friday?" Without checking with the kids, I said, "We're there." He said "What's the band called?" I said, "Lemme get back to you on that" and hung up.
Tony from Bomb played drums, I played bass, and Li'l Mike and some mental patient named Reiner both played guitar, despite the fact that neither of them could really play guitar. That actually seemed to help somehow.
Li'l Mike's girlfriend Susan sewed nifty shirts for us to wear at the show, and she played tambourine too. Our friend Caroleen Beatty also came over to the gig in the van with us and the kids. The kids, with typical youthful bravado, had skipped the few rehearsals we'd suggested, saying they'd just "make it up on the spot." Caroleen got them to at least come up with some song titles, and wrote up a set list for them. We worked from that at the gig, just made rhythmic noise while the kids yelled, and it sounded great.
Li'l Mike later pressed up vinyl from the board tape, and somehow the band Sublime (friends of Li'l Mike) even quoted the kids in a song. I moved to DC for a while. Susan met some guy in the supermarket and he played bass. No one remembers his last name. Reiner went back into the mental hospital, the magic summer ended, and in true 80s punk fashion, the band broke up before the vinyl came out.
Giuliano died two years later. Sad and true.
These four songs are the only legacy, but when they're this good, that's enough.
--Michael W. Dean, Los Angeles, 2007.
Giuliano Bourbon: Lead Vocals
Jacob Romanow: Vocals
Michael W. Dean: Bass
Rainer Campbell: Guitar
Tony Fag: Drums
Anthony ???: bass (later)
Li'l Mike: Guitar
Susan California: Tambourine, seamstress
Li'l Mike's blog post with more on the history of the Scabs
Radio Station WFMU blog post on the scabs, including posts from three of Guiliano's relatives.
Click for high-rez scan of lyric sheet.
Click for high-rez scan of EP inser (note: the mailing address is not valid anymore.)
The Rolling Scabs on Google
Fan Site someone started on MySpace
back cover. Left to right: Giuliano, Li'l Mike, Reiner.