The Gruberger Brothers-Greetings From Reading, PA LP
Jay and Solomon Gruberger were born to play music. They formed the legendary proto-punk/living room band O.Rex in 1973, when younger brother Jay was a mere 12 years old. Future Gizmos’ lead singer Kenne Highland joined the band for sporadic jam sessions in the Gruberger's Brooklyn home. Beating most punks to the punch, O.Rex managed to release a three song maxi-single on their own Oral Records in late 1976. By that time, Kenne was a member of the Gizmos as well as a full time Marine! Within a few months, Kenne and the Grubergers would meet Kim Kane of the Slickee Boys, and it was this meeting of the minds that would form the Afrika Korps. They immediately set about recording what would become their monster, 22 song debut LP. Music To Kill By was released to great critical acclaim in late 1977, but the Grubergers would soon part ways with the rest of the Korps.
Those who stuck around would drop the Afrika and release a second album. Meanwhile, Solomon and Jay relocated from Brooklyn to Reading, PA and tried to form a new band. Having trouble finding a drummer but determined to keep things moving, in early 1978 they recorded an eight song EP under the name Spike. They took photos for the cover and even titled the EP "90 Miles Per Hour", but the record never made it to press. The Grubergers would continue to record at the same studio over the next couple years but nothing was released from those sessions. Jay would go on to work as a bass player for hire until his tragic death in 1993, and although Solomon continued to play for enjoyment, they never did play their own material for the public after moving to Reading.
It was during the production of Gulcher’s O.Rex double CD collection in 2009 that we learned of these recordings. We knew they shouldn’t remain unheard, so we collected the Spike EP and the other, unreleased studio sessions from 1978-1980 for an LP that hints at what a second Afrika Korps LP could have sounded like if the Grubergers had stuck around. Mastered from the original tapes, and we even got Kenne Highland (O.Rex, Gizmos, Afrika Korps, etc.) to give us his reactions to these recordings! Pressed in an edition of 500 copies on black vinyl, with full color cover and insert with liner notes.
Listen to sample tracks from the LP: