Burger Records

Burger Records
Suburban Youth Pop Quiz #5 — Burger Records founders Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard reflect on foul-mouthed weirdos, saving lunch money to buy records and 'The Stooge Mobile' of their suburban youth.

To celebrate Huck 45, curated by artist, skateboarder and chronicler of teenage California Ed Templeton, we are having a Huck website summer takeover dedicated to Ed’s longtime muse, suburbia.

In this regular series, the Suburban Youth Pop Quiz, we ask characters from our world what their suburban youth meant to them.

Fifth up are Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard, founders of independent Californian record label Burger Records, which represents garage rock renegades like King Tuff and Ty Segall. As well as pioneering a sort of cassette-tape renaissance in Orange County, Burger put on the annual Burgerama – an all-age annual festival for rock, punk, and pop musicians – and other events under the burger banner.

Suburban Youth Pop Quiz #5

Where did you grow up and can you describe it in three words?
Sean: I grew up in Fresno. Three words to describe it… Dry. Hot. Pogs.
Lee: Anaheim, California, 92806. Rancho Del Rio!

Who was your weirdest neighbour?
Sean: No real weird neighbors, I was chased by a bird walking home with a worm once and had to run into my neighbour’s house unannounced.
Lee: Well, I grew up on a horse stable so I didn’t have normal neigbours that lived on a street full of houses. I had a backyard with rows of stalls filled with horses in ’em instead and a huge manure pile out back. We had plenty of strange boarders though. Terry Graves being one of the most eccentric, foul-mouthed weirdos I’ve ever known. He owned race horses yet, never rode himself. He wore lots of rings and things. He always said the most inappropriate things to kids and old timers alike, no one was off limits. He was funny as hell. A real jerk! Our current favourite weirdo neighbour happily walks around our industrial complex at dusk everyday playing an assortment of untuned instruments while his blind cat follows nearby.

What was the most important record you owned?
Sean: At the time, Michael Jackson – Thriller.
Lee: I used to save up my lunch money to buy records at Vinyl Solution and the Cypress College swap meet on weekends when we were kids. Anyways, I managed to have my wallet misplaced, lost, stolen, or whatever you call it, at school one day. My precious savings! I had a trip planned after school with a friend. I wound up scrounging $5 and went to Vinyl and still walked away with an original beat-up import copy of Damned Damned Damned!!!

Where did the bad kids hang out?
Sean: Behind the backstop at Woodrow Wilson Elementary.
Lee: If we were the bad kids you speak of we usually just drove around our hood getting stoned and most likely getting lost somewhere. We could usually be found on the weekends at Koos Cafe in Santa Ana, drinking 40 oz’s of cheap beer in our cars before we would enter the venue and raise hell.

Biggest fashion faux pas as a teenager?
Sean: Kris Kross, everyone turned their clothes backward the last day of Sixth Grade.
Lee: Chrome/metal black flys with rose-colored prescription glasses! Just plain God-awful looking and they weighed a fucking ton on my big ‘ol nose. I’d stick with Walmart frames and glasses from then on.

Who was your first celebrity crush?
Sean: Cyndi Lauper.
Lee: Miss Daisy Duke, Alyssa Milano, and Jessica Rabbit.

Describe your first kiss.
Sean: It was cool.
Lee: My first make-out session was with Annie Nguyen in the back of Sean’s old car he named ‘The Stooge Mobile’. He was too busy getting drunk and picking on the shitty band that was playing that night, losing out. Rivals to our group, theNOiSE!. I remember kissing all the way home, while Sean hung out the passenger window, probably puking, while one of the Sutter twins drove. Sean would later miss his SATs the next day due to being beyond hungover.

What happened the first time you got drunk?
Sean: I prank called my friend so many times his dad answered and yelled at me.
Lee: I acted a fool I’m sure. Kind of hard to remember. I do remember the first college party I attended as a teen. I got drunk on beer and wound up with two college girls in a dark room in a bed!! Well it was going well, then the girl on the inside tried to climb over us other two so she could puke on the floor and a tiny bit of puke landed on me. A friend called me out on it and next thing I know I was the leper of the party! Good times.

What is the naughtiest thing you did as a suburban youth?
Sean: I was expelled from high school for terrorist threats.
Lee: I used to borrow my mom’s big GMC truck and drive to LA to visit my first love, Heather. We would go up to Griffith Park and fool around in the back of the truck till the park rangers would come and shine their flashlights inside while trying to catch a glimpse of teen skin or sin.

What was the best party of your teenage years?
Sean: I’ve hated parties since forever, the best parties were private parties!
Lee: The best party in high school was when I decided I’d let my friend Kid Kevin celebrate his 20th b-day at my house. All of our high school punk bands played before F.Y.P headlined. It was fun but mostly stressful for me. I didn’t get drunk. I just picked up after everybody and dealt with the task of telling the bands to turn down since the cops showed up and threatened my mom with liability. For the rest of my high school tenure random people would ask when I’d throw another party. I never did again, well at least not at my house.

What’s your most embarrassing suburban youth memory?
Sean: I regret nothing!
Lee: One time at a party with the older guys someone made me arm wrestle their little brother. It was all being video taped. If I wouldn’t do it they threatened to rip my cherished Iron Maiden shirt off my body. They always ripped my clothes off! I hated it. They felt if they provided me with enough hand-me-downs that it was their right to rip me to shreds! So I reluctantly agreed to the match. At the very moment of losing, I got pantsed in front off the whole party! On video tape!!!! They fucking watched that video over and over all night. I was bummed at the time, with everyone laughing at my lil twanger like that.

What was the greatest lesson you learnt during that time?
Sean: Not to trust authority figures.
Lee: Moderation, my dear boy!

Who would you most like to see at a reunion?
Sean: The teachers and principals who expelled me to rub my success in their stupid faces.
Lee: I’d like to see all those girls again!

What was your first car?
Sean: It was an early 90s Thunderbird we dubbed ‘The Stooge Mobile’ ‘cos we loved Iggy and the Stooges.
Lee: The Hoopty! A 1982 Buick Skylark, with AM radio and pimp-ass soft seats!!

What was your food of choice?
Sean: Burgers, duh.
Lee: Bacon cheeseburgers, baby! With all the fixuns!!!

What was the biggest fight you ever had with your parents?
Sean: When I got wasted before the SATs and was too hungover to function.
Lee: I’d argue with my mom about her many cats taking over our house and pissing on everything, ruining my prized record collection. She would say if I wasn’t happy there, I could move out anytime. Argument over.

What book/film changed your teenage life?
Sean: If Chins Could Kill: The Bruce Campbell Story.
Lee: Office Space.

What posters did you have on your bedroom wall?
Sean: I had every inch of my room covered in posters and papers and stickers and notes, from the ceiling to the floor. I would daydream that if someone came to kidnap or murder me they would come alive and protect me.
Lee: I had my mom’s Easy Rider poster that she had in high school over my bed, plus band posters and flyers. I had a Dwarves’ Sugarfix promo poster and Cheap Trick at the Starwood! Plus, various bubblegum groups and seven-inch picture sleeves wrapping my walls. As a tween I collected beer babe posters and had those up.

Any hobbies you didn’t give up?
Sean: I still love love Weird Al and professional wrestling – Burger takes up all my other time!
Lee: Skateboarding. Skate or die!

What smell reminds you most of the suburbs?
Sean: The smell of melted lard.
Lee: Grass! Of all kinds.

See other interviews in the Suburban Pop Youth Quiz series and buy the Ed Templeton issue at our online store.

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