Band leader and frontman John Felice was in the first, unrecorded, lineup of The Modern Lovers with his next-door neighbour Jonathan Richman in the early ’70s. He later worked as a roadie for The Ramones.
Hardly surprising that he would go on to sing in the first truly great Boston punk band (although they sounded much more like the Flamin’ Groovies than the Sex Pistols).
The Real Kids came together in mid-1976 and played regularly in and around Boston, finally making the trip to New York in March 77.
Live, The Real Kids could be a thing of raw beauty to watch and hear. But when Felice wasn’t in the mood, he would play pissed-off rock star and the results were desultory at best.
Their self-titled debut album – cut in three mad, mad nights of pure energy and lots of ice cold beer and launched in January 1978 – featured nine great Felice compositions such as All Kindsa Girls, My Baby’s Book, Better Be Good and Taxi Boys (which later became the name of an offshoot group), along with spirited covers of Buddy Holly (Rave On) and Eddie Cochran (My Way).
Personal squabbles, management problems and possibly fear of winning or losing kept the Real Kids from guaranteed success though, and the original lineup never recorded together again.
Bassist “Alpo” Paulino died on 7 February 2006 at his home in Falmouth, Massachusetts. He was 50.
Alan “Alpo” Paulino
Howie (Howard) Ferguson