Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Gabe Fulvimar was part of the local rock ‘n’ roll scene when he met the guys behind Burger Records at the Cleveland neighborhood bar Happy Dog. His garage-synth project, Gap Dream, was born through inspiration from Burger Records cassette tapes. Fulvimar has recently moved to Fullerton, CA to pursue Gap Dream, and live and record with Burger. Listen to Gap Dream here.
The guys behind Burger Records don’t do CDs, they’re sticking with the vinyl and cassette tapes of their youth. An anomaly or a novelty—either way it’s working for them—in part, because they don’t act like any other record label. And mostly because of their pure enthusiasm for good music. Music and burgers.
A now bygone band formed by Lee Rickard and Sean Bohrman in Fullerton, California, which was an experiment in pure improvisation—testing what would happen if the bandmates didn’t practice or write songs.
Thee Makeout Party!
The four-piece garage power pop band of Lee Rickard and Sean Bohrman. Most of Thee Makeout Party’s songs were recorded in one take and self-produced—leading to the establishment of their own label, Burger Records, in 2007.
Lee Rickard and Sean Bohrman—the minds responsible for Burger Records—met at their Fullerton, California high school in the 80’s, when they collaborated on zines and an essentially music-less improv band called The Noise! While self-producing an album for their second band, Thee Makeout Party, Sean and Lee began doodling hamburgers everywhere and, in 2007, Burger Records was born.
Burger doesn’t sign bands. They invite those they know and admire to record and release cassettes through the label. Their annual festival, Burgerama, features a lineup of these bands with sounds from surf-rock to garage-punk to power pop and psychedelic. And their new hybrid station, Burger TV, documents what’s going on with the Burger crew, live shows, music videos, and general absurdity.
Issue sat down with Sean, Lee, and Gap Dream’s Gabe Fulvinar in a back room at the Burger Records store in Fullerton, its acid green walls overwhelmed with music posters, stickers and paraphernalia. They all currently live at the store, even Gabe, who arrived from Ohio to tour as Gap Dream and never left. Appropriately, our interview was erratic and wandering and often paused for someone to take a hit—which seems like a completely honest look into the life of a Burger boy.
Lee Rickard: Hello, hi, I am Lee Rickard from Burger Records and I’m here with Gabe Fulvimar, of Gap Dream.
Gabe Fulvimar: Hi, how’s it going.
LR: And my partner and best friend, Sean Bohrman.
Sean Bohrman: What’s up.
LR: Sean Thomas Bohrman, okay, some respect. William Lee Rickard here, Gabriel number one Fulvimar.
Teal Thomsen: Where is everybody from, first of all?
SB: From Fresno, California.
LR: Anaheim, California.
GF: And Akron, Ohio!
TT: When did you start making music?
GF: I started making music, making my own songs, when I was probably about sixteen. I had a 4-track and that’s how I would record and write my own songs.
LR: Sean and I had our first group when we were about the same age, called The Noise! (it’s an exclamation point). That was our attempt to make music and, believe it or not, we have some a cappella.
SB: It was our attempt to make music the quickest, easiest way, so we didn’t practice or learn to play any of our instruments. We didn’t think about what we were gonna do before we went on stage—we kind of just went on the stage and whatever happened, happened.
LR: Pretty much Burger style, to this day.
SB: We got kind of popular. People were talking about us, which was funny. I remember going to a show at the Showcase Theater in Corona. I was waiting in line and these two kids were like, “Have you seen that band The Noise?” and I said, “Yeah they suck!”
And once, at Cuz café, we had to go apologize for making a mess. But before we went to apologize, these two little Mexican kids who had seen us play—breaking stuff, getting kicked out, yelling at everybody – said, “Hey, aren’t you guys The Noise?” We were with the Colonel and he put his arms around us and said, “These guys are The Noise!” Like we were popular or something…
TT: Who did you guys listen to growing up and who is your music influenced by today?
GF: The first time I realized I liked music, I was very small. I don’t remember how old.
SB: You were in the womb.
GF: I was watching TV, I think I was two or three, and I saw this video—Hall & Oates’ “Maneater”—I later pieced together, because I still like that song. I think that is the first song I ever liked. And I remember seeing it, but now I remember just a few seconds of the video.
SB: What seconds stuck out in your mind?
GF: The part where he is picking the bugs up and washing his face with them. It’s so gross—he’s washing his face and the faucet’s running and the sink’s filled with mealworms, and I can just see his hands with the tips of his fingers coming out. Then he puts it on his face and all the bugs were sticking in his mustache.
SB: My earliest musical memory is watching Van Halen jump on MTV. And every time it came on, I would get up on the coffee table and just start jumping. I am crazy, and might as well jump right?
LR: Yeah, might as well.
SB: My world jumped. I went with my dad to Selland Arena in Fresno, and we looked down into a parking garage area until I caught a glimpse of them walking into the arena. I grabbed my “5150” tape I wanted to get signed, and Alex Van Halen, the drummer, walked from a door to a car, like from here to this door over here (he motions an equivalent distance in Burger Records), waved and got in the car. And that was it, but it was cool. I was like, “Dad, that was Alex Van Halen.”
LR: My earliest musical influence is what Sean tapped into already with Van Halen. I also had “5150” on cassette. It was my second cassette tape in my arsenal. The first being the Buddy Holly and The Crickets Best Of. And neither tape had artwork or anything, so I didn’t know what the people looked like. I just had the tapes—I found them on the ground at some tweaker’s place in Riverside. And I played them out of my little Fisher-Price boom box with animal sound buttons on it. That, I wish still had.
That got me into rock ‘n’ roll and then, in 1988, my mom start dating Steve Kerr. He turned me on to Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses and that kind of got me a little more twisted and weird and I brought Guns N’ Roses tapes to show-and-tell in the first grade and stuff like that.
“We had real MTV. No one has anything
like that now, except for Burger TV.”
— Gabe Fulvimar
GF: I took mine to school, too. I had a little Bobby Glove fanny pack and I wrote on it “Metal Tapes” in Sharpie. In there, I had Appetite for Destruction and I had Metallica … And Justice for All and The Black Album and I had Iron Maiden Powerslave. Oh God, I think I even had some MC Hammer in there, cause I was digging on MC Hammer then. I was into whatever was purveyed to me because, at that time, we actually had MTV. We had real MTV. No one has anything like that now, except for Burger TV.