Armand Schaubroeck has quite a back story, and as far as I can tell the best way to get the whole thing would be to listen to his debut album, this self-released triple-LP. (You might imagine he funded such a grandiose release with money stolen during the teenaged crime spree detailed on the album itself, but the business he started with his brother, House of Guitars, was already well underway by this point, so I will assume that was his chief source of revenue.) This album is, as Allmusic.com puts it, “The saga of Armand P. Schaubroeck, prisoner #24145, and his partner in crime, Daniel P. McCabe, sentenced as youthful offenders on February 21, 1962, and imprisoned for 18 months in the Elmira Reformatory, a maximum security prison.” And that’s just the setup. One particularly diligent and conflicted KCMU DJ fills us in with his own reactions here.
The Schaubroecks’ House of Guitars is still going strong. I don’t know if they’re still producing brilliant ads like this one, but if you’re in the Rochester area you should certainly drop in and check it out.
“A six side, 3 record account of a young man committing crimes, going to jail and the pains of his imprisonment, told through long stretches of dialogue and sparse music. Interesting in concept and bizarre as all hell that anyone would press something like this on to vinyl. But you know, it’s pretty hard to listen to – pretty damned dull even at times. On the label the dialogues are written in plain capitals + the ‘songs’ are in quotes. In general the dialogue works better. Perhaps play it w/ambient music behind it. Best parts: Dialogue of Scene 6, Dialogue of Scene 8, all of Scene 9, Scene 19. It’s all dark + ugly and often weak. But it’s highly original + works periodically. An L. Red Dots: Scene 18, Scene 14, + Scene 11. Oh – and I’m not sure if this is all ‘for real’ or if it’s just a performance artist piecing it together.”
“Used to play this at KCSC in Chico, CA. It’s pretty weird and worthy of some play. Surprised to see it here!”