Real or Fake? Gipper’s Kids
As if keeping up with today’s bands weren’t hard enough, the Internet has led to the unearthing and documentation of virtually every garage, indie, punk, rockabilly, hardcore, ska, swing, you-name-it-core group that ever made — or even thought about making — a record.
There are millions of ‘em, and some have names and backstories more interesting than their music. With all of the musical archeology going on, we decided to highlight some of the more outlandish outfits of yore. We also completely invented some, imagining zany combos that never actually existed but totally should have. Think you can tell the fugazies from the genuine articles? Take a stab below.
Had Alex P. Keaton fronted a hardcore band, it would have sounded like Gipper’s Kids. Like Michael J. Fox’s iconic ‘Family Ties’ character, these fine Orange County fellows were all about law and order, traditional values, supply-side economics and, as the name suggests, Ronald Reagan. Coming out in favor of the Great Communicator in 1985 might have been the most punk rock thing a band could do, and in ’86, when they dropped their debut EP, ‘Morning in America, Midnight in Moscow,’ they couldn’t have been more out of step with their liberal peers.
But that’s what made the GKs so endearing. Led by singer-guitarist Trickle-Down Timmy, the foursome sang semi-ironic songs about cutting taxes and funding death squads in South America. In 1987, they released their one and only full-length, ‘Six Flags Over Moscow,’ a fast and furious fantasia about invading Russia and turning the Kremlin into a theme park. Despite a lack of mainstream success, the band outlasted Ronnie, releasing a handful of singles before calling it quits in ’91, when the fall of the Berlin Wall rendered their pro-capitalist, anti-commie message moot.