Twist Records will soon re-release the classic "(It's A) White Trash Thing," along with Rudi's second solo effort, "Ladykiller," as a 2 CD set. Release date is November 27th. Rudi and The Midnight Plowboys will immidiately follow the release with a tour of Germany and Italy- stay tuned for show dates!
Being gifted with the ability to anticipate trends before they happen can be a blessing or a curse, depending who you ask. For Rudi Protrudi, whose Fuzztones were the fore-runners of the Garage Movement, this ability has made him a legendary cult figure,which, of course is a bittersweet claim to fame, but one he is proud of nonetheless. Trendsetting is nothing new to Protrudi, whose instrumental side-project, Link Protrudi & The Jaymen revived guitar-based instrumental music, and Link Wray in particular, back in '86, anticipating the "Surf Revival" which followed shortly after. Still not content, they went on to record the "Slow Grind" LP, becoming the first instrumental Rock 'n' Roll group to strip Burlesque music down to a 3 piece Wray attack. In 1994 Protrudi's Jaymen recorded "Seduction," an album of psychedelic middle-eastern exotica, pre-dating the Lounge Revival and the burgeoning interest in middle-eastern pop music soon credited to Madonna and Plant & Page. In 1995, Protrudi went back to his Pennsyltucky roots, and recorded "(It's A) White Trash Thing," a daring move considering that Country, even vintage County with a subtle psychedelic approach, was far removed from the garage raunch he was known for. White Trash Thing was a collection of warped Country tunes reminiscent of his childhood spent in the Keystone state. "I would rush home from school just in time to catch this great 60's Rock 'n' Roll show called "Where The Action Is," and this really corny hillbilly show - The Porter Wagoner Show - would come on after it. I used to watch it because it was funny, but I soon found myself digging the music." Protrudi began playing professionally in '66 and by '67 was playing Elks Lodges and bars with his band Rigor Mortis. "These places would be filled with rednecks who would give you the option of playing Country music or die," Protrudi says. Thanks to the band picking up some Johnny Cash and Buck Owens tunes, Rudi enjoyed a long career playing in cover bands, and further encouraged his fascination for White Trash culture. Rudi's last Pennsylvania band was a full-blown hillbilly outfit called The Dognappers. The Dognappers were welfare musicians salaried by the state to play charity gigs: mental hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and parks. Their repertoire consisted of standards, hillbilly and Velvet Underground covers. An elder wheel chair ridden nursing home resident died at one of their gigs, while they were playing "You Are My Sunshine." It probably killed her. One thing for sure, stagnating in Pennsylvania was killing Rudi, whose aspirations included fronting his own Rock 'n' Roll band and moving to NYC. By 1976, Rudi formed Tina Peel, the first (and maybe only)Bubblegum Punk band, and with both their sound and attire, pre-dated the New Wave movement that was to follow 4 years later. Tina Peel did relocate to NYC in 1977, but by 1980 Rudi's mission had changed, and he formed The Fuzztones, whose career is well documented elswhere. After The Fuzztones finally disbanded in 1992, Rudi's interest reverted back to the Country music he'd known as a teenager. He recorded his first solo album, "(It's A) White Trash Thing," in 1993 with his band, the Midnight Plowboys, who promptly broke up after playing only three shows. Probably for the best, as there was no real interest in "alternative" country in L.A., where he now resided. By 1997, Hillbilly fever set in once again and Rudi formed the Tujunga Killbillies, their moniker a tribute to the town Protrudi was now calling home. Tujunga, a small southern California town made up of hippies, misfits, bikers and speed freaks, was nicknamed "The Rock," by local residents, due to it's reputation as the meth-amphetamine capital of California. An ever-changing line-up of the Killbillies stuck it out for four long years, playing bars and the annual Tujunga Street Fair and Watermelon Festival, replacing musicians along the way who had succumbed to the sort of White Line Fever that Tujunga was famous for. They recorded the follow-up to White Trash Thing, entitled "Ladykiller," in 1999 but label interest eluded them, so it stayed on the shelf until 2003 when Protrudi released it on his own Sin label. It's almost 2008 now, and Country music, Rudi's kind of Country music, is enjoying a well-deserved revival. Thanks to Twist Records, you can now enjoy the music that helped to spearhead that revival.
See Pics from 2006