Rolling Stone's April 7, 2005, "Children of Rock" cover story mentioned the Fabulous Rudies, a North County band with ska roots. The issue included short articles and photos of 15 rock-star kids (Sean Lennon, Ben Taylor, Kelly Osbourne...) and their parents. In the blurb on Sebastian Robertson (son of the Band singer/guitarist Robbie Robertson), it noted that Sebastian was producing an album for the Rudies.
Tom Voris, an Oceanside economics teacher and founder of the Fabulous Rudies, says the 2003 radio success of their song "Forget It" drew the attention of Jeff Gordon, who worked in artist development at the now-defunct Dreamstreet Records.
"He had his own management company," Voris says about Gordon. Robbie Robertson had been a Dreamstreet vice president. The plan was to have the younger Robertson produce the Rudies' record. So, Voris borrowed $30,000 against his North County home to hire Sebastian Robertson to produce the record. Voris's $30,000 payment to Gordon covered Robertson's producer fees and studio time at the Village recording studio in Santa Monica. Voris says the elder Robertson showed up to Rudies recording sessions.
"It was insinuated that Robbie would be there to help push the record [to other record labels]," says Voris. "I asked if I could get that in the contract. The lawyer said they could not put Robbie's name on it. I still went with it anyway."
Voris says it became clear during the recording sessions that the younger Robertson "had a problem" and that the band had to take over production duties.
"The record was almost finished," says Voris. "We had to go down and get the [recording engineers] from the Village to get the whole thing finished."
Sebastian Robertson now works at Taxi, an L.A. music-licensing company. He did not return a phone call.
Gordon's response: "I have no comment on anything at this time other than to say the Fabulous Rudies are a great band with a great live show.... I'm doing everything in my power to move the band forward."
Voris says Gordon is not acting in any official capacity with his band and that 1000 copies of the Robertson-produced record have been sold since May of 2005.
Besides playing today at the Warped Tour's stop at Coors Amphitheatre, the Fabulous Rudies' CD-release party for their third self-produced album will be held on July 22 at the Belly Up Tavern.