An Interview with Bill Babin
Drummer for The Rubber Memory
Bill Babin, drummer for the Rubber Memory (see last month's issue of The Lance Monthly that features interviews with band members, Ted Haas and Park Seward by clicking onto the archives link), responded to our questions after the deadline for the December 2001 posting had passed which was unfortunate. So in order to offer as much information on the band as is possible, we've printed Bill's recollections. For additional information , visit their website at: homepage.mac.com/therubbermemory/PhotoAlbum1.html
[Lance Monthly] How did you first get interested in music?
[Bill Babin] Like so many others born in 1952, I was captivated when the Beatles came to America in 1964. Of course, I at first wanted to play guitar, but after getting my first one, a Sears Silvertone acoustic, I quickly realized it was not for me. I then naturally switched over to drums and began pounding out rhythms on everything with my hands. It has never stopped since.
[Lance Monthly] Was the Rubber Memory your first band?
[Bill Babin] Yes, the Rubber Memory was my first band. We got together first in 1965 when I was in seventh grade. The band played together in its original form (David Greene, David Parker, Park Seward, Ted Haas, Bill Babin) until August 1970, when we released our self-produced album, "Welcome." At that time, David Greene and Park Seward left the band. We brought in Joe Montelepre on keyboards and played for one more year in that format.
[Lance Monthly] Was there any significance to the name "Rubber Memory?"
[Bill Babin] I don't remember the details of how we got the name the Rubber Memory. I believe it came from David Greene's brother, Fred.
[Lance Monthly] Where did Rubber Memory practice?
[Bill Babin] We played in a dilapidated room added on to Ted's carport in Metairie, Louisiana. It was a great place to rehearse and bother the neighbors. Many of the photos of the early band, found on our website, were taken around "the back room" and Ted's house.
[Lance Monthly] What type of jobs did the band typically get?
[Bill Babin] Both the Rubber Memory and Oakridge (Bill Babin-drums; Ted Haas-guitar & vocals; Brian Simeon-bass & vocals; and Joe Montelepre-organ & vocals) played a wide variety of venues: private parties, social clubs, fraternities, high school dances, and often, Battle of The Bands.
[Lance Monthly] Did you compete in many Battles?
[Bill Babin] Yes. We went after many Battle of The Bands! According to Ted's records: 3/23/68 St. Agnes - Finished last; 5/10/68 St. Matthew - Won; 11/15/68 St. Leo - Finished 3rd; 4/27/69 St. Francis - Finished 2nd; 10/10/69 Sacred Heart - Finished 2nd; 10/1169 Teen Fair - Did Not Place; 2/7/70 Warren Easton High School - Won; 4/12/70 The Computer - Won; 4/26/70 The Computer Did Not Place
[Lance Monthly] Did you become very popular during this time?
[Bill Babin] I think we got rather popular locally. There were several fraternities that called us regularly to come play. We remained busy, but we were not a "big name" act.
[Lance Monthly] How would you best describe the band's "sound?"
[Bill Babin] The music we produced has 1969 stamped all over it. We reiterated all the popular themes of the day - PEACE, LOVE NOT WAR, DRUGS. The sound that we produced was strongly influenced by the Beatles, Grand Funk Railroad, and Steppenwolf.
[Lance Monthly] Besides "Welcome," did the band record much?
[Bill Babin] Yes, there are other recordings besides the album. I believe Park Seward has them. There are also some really hot Oakridge live recordings.
[Lance Monthly] Did Rubber Memory appear on any local TV programs?
[Bill Babin] As far as I can recall, we made No TV appearances. Again, Park would probably have the 8mm film of us. There is some great stuff. (AUTHOR'S NOTE: Be sure to check out the band's website for video clips from this footage.)
[Lance Monthly] Why did the band end up calling it quits?
[Bill Babin] David Greene and Park Seward left the band in September, 1970 to go to college. In August 1971, David Parker left the band and we brought in Brian Simeon on bass and became known as Oakridge. That band played together until about January 1972. It was a great but short-lived band.
[Lance Monthly] The band has recently reissued the "Welcome" album. What can you tell me about that?
[Bill Babin] The album was reissued in December 2000. Copies are available from the members. [Editors' note: Check the website for more information.] Ted Haas [will know] about the release of the CD version.