Press Kit

The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary

They were Boston’s house band

a documentary by Rudy Childs


Introduction: Massachusetts film director Rudy Childs has released a new rock ‘n’ roll documentary about The Dogmatics, considered by many in the early 1980s as Boston’s house band.

Through interviews with the band members and those who knew them, as well as never-before-seen footage, “The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary” offers an intimate look at the Massachusetts music scene of the 1980s and the continued relevance of the band.

Status: The full-length documentary film has been submitted to various 2023/2024 film festivals. Selections to date include:

Synopsis: Are you ready to experience what Lou Mansdorf at Rum Bar Records likes to call “Garage Rock 101”? See this intimate glimpse into the early 80s Boston music scene. “The Dogmatics: A Dogumentary” shares the untold story of the band that unwittingly pioneered and became emblematic of the genre.

This documentary is a four-year effort by family and friends, crafted as a tribute to the Dogmatics’ late co-founder and bassist Paul O’Halloran. It takes you back to the origins of The Dogmatics, recorded on long-forgotten 8mm film reels, giving you a glimpse into the dilapidated loft on Boston’s rundown South End, where the band lived along with many other talented musicians.

The quartet was no different than any other talentless, self-deprecating, beer-swilling, girl-chasing lunkheads with guitars. It wasn’t about money. Catching a girl’s eye, a free round of drinks, or simply completing a song in unison were their rewards. But somehow, success would discover them as they created music that everyone could agree on.

As their songs appealed to many audiences, they became known to many as “Boston’s House Band.” It’s not just a story of brothers – by blood and bond – but a rock and roll quartet that included identical twins with a shared passion for music and its rich history.

Band Biography: Formed in 1981 and still writing and performing new music today, The Dogmatics is a Boston-based band known for their pioneering garage punk/rockabilly sound. They released two albums in the 1980s and toured with renowned acts such as The Bangles, The Fleshtones, The Replacements, and Beastie Boys. Multiple bands, including The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, have covered their songs.

After the tragic loss of bassist Paul O’Halloran in 1986, they disbanded for quite some time. They never lost their friendship or love for playing together and would occasionally regroup for charity events in the following years.

In 2019, they teamed up with Rum Bar Records to record their first new material in over 30 years with the release of their EP “She’s The One.” The new tracks delighted long-time fans and newcomers alike. Despite the disruption of the pandemic, they kept up their momentum and released their latest EP, “Drop That Needle,” in 2022.

Director: Rudy Childs
Release Date: Pending 2023/2024 Film Festival Responses
Running Time: 1 hour 29 minutes 15 seconds
Band Information: View band & bandmate bios
Cast & Crew: View film credits
IMDb: View IMDb listing
View Letterboxd listing
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The Dogmatics, a Dogumentary
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Fact Sheet

  • Documentary four years in production
  • Voiceover by Dan O’Halloran
  • Located 10 spools of 8mm film dating back to 1981 (some with sound)
  • Unearthed several ¾” Umatic tape that had to be converted to digital
  • Discovered many early 80s live radio broadcast cassette recordings
  • Vintage footage surfaced from 1983 The Channel, Boston, MA
  • Unarchived 1985 USA tour footage recorded at the 9:30 Club Washington, D.C.
  • Found while researching footage from 1986 USA tour video recorded in Montana
  • 1984 Music Television Video of Dogmatics – Good Looking Girls
  • 1986 Music Television Video of Dogmatics – Thayer St.
  • 1983 Cat Records release of Dogmatics – Gimme The Shakes
  • 1984 Homestead Records release of Dogmatics – Thayer St.
  • 1984 Paul O’Halloran pens X’mas Time (Sure Don’t Feel Like) and Dogmatics record it for the A Midnight Christmas Mess on Midnight Records
  • 1986 Homestead Records release of Dogmatics – Everybody Does It
  • 2020 Rum Bar Records release of Dogmatics – EST 81
  • 2019 Rum Bar Records release of Dogmatics – She’s The One
  • 2021 Rum Bar Records release of The Dogmatics – Automat Kalashnikov in stere-o-phonic, old school Flexi Vinyl Limited Edition translucent Orange Flexi Record
  • 2022 Rum Bar Records release of Dogmatics – Drop That Needle
  • 2023 Dogmatics released a new single on 10/27/2023 (in the studio recording for a 2024 album)

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