Policeband was a one-man act - Boris, a New York City resident and classically trained musician who picked up on performance art while studying and teaching at Cal Arts in the early 70s. Boris became Boris Policeband after a live performance in 1976 during which he monitored, on headphones, police communications from a scanner and recited their chatter while he accompanied himself on electric violin. Boris was fascinated by cop culture and the often prosaic and sometimes poetic reality of law enforcement. Over the next couple years the cop-talk and violin-screech coalesced into discrete songs.
His live performances were extremely loud/edgy aggressive/dissonant, and even though most songs were under a minute long and a set rarely exceeded 10 minutes, Boris could quickly empty a room; and that was something he took pride in. The rooms he cleared included CBGBs, Maxs and the Mudd Club, as well as other venues like the Kitchen and Artists Space. Boris, a self-proclaimed Materialistic-Socialist and "Antidisestablishmentotalitarian", was a character and downtown club fixture. His days were spent combing through thrift shops for material to add to his collection of used books, sunglasses (which he was never seen without), and wristwatches. Every night he was in clubs where he leaned against a wall while listening to classical music with an ear plug on his transistor radio and bouncing his pink Spaulding off the walls and deftly catching it, all the while engaging in snappy repartee and/or swapping insults with passersby. Boris put Policeband down in the mid-80s to pursue his classical viola practice. It is said that he has since died.