Robert's Pizza Bakers is a comedy Italian folk music band based in Chicago. It currently consists of Robert Stainton, Ernie Vienna, and Louis Agustin. It performed at Pizzeria Due during the 1980's and currently tours during GP production off seasons.
The first live performance of Robert's Pizza Bakers was in 1981, and the band was a duo that consisted of Robert Stainton and Louis Agustin. The band opened for Devo, one of Robert's favorite bands, at a summertime outdoor free concert held by the local branch of the Boy Scouts of America at Comiskey Park. The duo was pelted by the audience with rocks and Coca-Cola cups. A rock knocked a string off Gerald Casale's "Be Stiff" bass guitar, and the duo's parents had to reimburse Devo for damages and repairs. Years later, Mark Mothersbaugh stated that the Pizza Bakers were the worst band to ever open for Devo. Another early gig at a Child World toy store also ended in the duo's parents having to pay for repairs; this time for kicking a snare drum at a cash register, damaging it.
The first demo of Robert's Pizza Bakers was called "I'm So Damn Hungry!" and was recorded and released in 1983. The band initially consisted of Robert Stainton, Ernie Vienna, and Louis Agustin. Most of their demos were recorded in a Voice-o-Graph booth inside a dime store near the apartment complex where Robert lived as a kid with an accordion, a kazoo, and a Bee Gees Rhythm Machine and had no mixing done whatsoever because of Robert's then lack of experience as a musician, and were sold in very limited quantities due to the fact that Robert and his friends didn't have the right money to buy the proper equipment and as a result made makeshift copies out of the Voice-o-Graph recording disks that they had recorded the songs on. Only 103 copies of the "I'm So Damn Hungry!" demo are known to exist, and are incredibly hard to find. Jake Sanford found his copy of the demo at the Rietta Flea Market in Massachusetts, and despite looking very dirty, it was still in playable condition. In late 1983, after a string of demos throughout the year, they released their last demo, "Pizza Bakers Unite!" which was recorded in a recording studio inside a Macy's and distributed via a local record label named "Stapler Records" and distributed outside of Chicago by Deity Records.
The debut album from them, "Italian Food Songs", was released in Chicago by Stapler and distributed outside of Chicago by QMO Sales. The album was recorded in the basement of the Marshall Field and Company Building with a karaoke machine and pre-recorded tracks.
The second album, "Tales of the Chicago Peoples Kind", featured many new songs, including the theme song to the 1984 Heathcliff cartoon, of which the Pizza Bakers sung the English version of. Like the first album, it was recorded in the basement of the Marshall Field and Company Building with a karaoke machine and pre-recorded tracks. Apple Entertainment released the record.
The third album, "The Ballad of the Spruce" was released in the late 80's, and by then the lineup was Robert Stainton, Louis Agustin, and Houschäng Néjadepour. The album consisted mostly of Volksmusik songs covered in English, with the title track being a cover of Die Woodys' Fichtl's Lied. Ernie Vienna had left the group to keep up with his work for the Billboard Liberation Front. This, along with the next few albums, were released by the Gilmar Record Club label.
The fourth album "Lovebirds" was released in 1992, and had the lineup of Robert Stainton, Louis Agustin, and Kristian Michaels. Christine Martinez (as Selena Kitsy) also did some singing on the album.
The fifth album "Robert's Pizza Bakers: Live in Concert" was released in 1993, and was recorded from the soundboard at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. This album had the lineup of Robert Stainton, Louis Agustin, and Kristian Michaels.
The fourth album "From Chicago With RC Cola" was a tie-in with RC Cola released in 1995, and was recorded at Sunburst Studios, the same studio where "It's Hard To Say I Love You When You're Sitting On My Face" was recorded at. This album had the lineup of Robert Stainton, Louis Agustin, and Kristian Michaels.
The sixth album "We're All Idiots" mostly consisted of Hi-NRG songs and Italian folk music songs, released in 1996. It was recorded in the basement of Jake Sanford's house. This album had the lineup of Robert Stainton, Louis Agustin, and Kristian Michaels. This was Louis Agustin's last album with the group before Louis left the group to join the Selena Kitsy Empire, until he returned in 2016, doing work for both bands after Morgan Anderson's death.
The seventh album "Do the Whammy!", released in 1997, was themed after game shows, and had the lineup of Robert Stainton, Bobby Z, and Kristian Michaels.
The ninth album "The Revenge of the Spacepeckers" was released in 1999, and was mostly a euro disco/italo disco album. The lineup was Robert Stainton, Bobby Z, and Kristian Michaels. The album has a hidden track, which is audio of Robert and Kristian's wedding in Spain.
After a long hiatus, the tenth album, "The Return" was released in 2009, and had them singing parody Italian folk songs entirely. The lineup was Robert Stainton, Mike Hoffman, and Morgan Anderson.
The eleventh album, "Super Pizza Bakers Forever!" was released in 2016, and featured the return of Louis Agustin after his replacement, Morgan Anderson, died from suicide by jumping off a tall bald cypress tree in the Cache River State Natural Area in southern Illinois to his death as a result of him being diagnosed with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. This is Will M's last album with the band, as he was replaced with Ernie Vienna later on the year.
- Main article(s): Robert's Pizza Bakers/Equipment
- Robert's Pizza Bakers: Live in Concert! (1990)
- The Lovebirds Tour (1992)
- The Pizza Bakers-Kitsy Empire World Tour (1994, ft. the Selena Kitsy Empire)
- The RC Tour (1995)
- The Shake-Up Tour (1996)
- The Italian Food Tour (2004)
- The Crazy Tour (2008)
- Pizza Bakers in 3D (2010)
- Our Most Stupidest Tour Yet! (2015)
- These are the Men Who Bake Italian Food (2016)
- The Goodwill Tour (2017)
- Italian Food Songs (1984)
- Tales of the Chicago Peoples Kind (1985)
- The Ballad of the Spruce (1988)
- Lovebirds (1992)