Archive for April 15, 2007

How to Say Goodbye, or a Jager for the Road

Photo by Melissa Zahnweh (Bells Bells Bells, Floozy, Undergirl)

From Paul Dellevigne:

I found out tonight (courtesy of Dave Lorenz) that his name in Polish means “good will”.

How appropriate. He gave me my first bar booking ten years ago, and he and Dave Rogers gave me my first bartending job over five years ago.

And in between he was there for me more times than I can count.

It wasn’t always pretty. More often than not, his advice hurt, hti you right to the core, but it was almost always right, and he always meant what he said.

He would hurt you sometimes, his honesty cutting you to the quick, and in a blink of an eye, he would realize that he hurt you and take you aside to apologize and make sure you understood that he was just exaggerating to make a point. Then, after he calmed you down, he’d sit with his drink and make sure to say, “It’s true, though.”

When my band stopped playing certain songs, he was livid. “You have three absolute fucking hit songs, and you’re too much of a pussy to demand that everyone just shut up and play them!” He was convinced that one day the Sinners would hit it.

Then, when he first heard Dave’s other band, El Dorado, he took me aside and told me, “They’re good. If you want to keep Dave in your band you better step it up.”

I never did.

He shouldered me through every broken relationship and did his damnedest to make sure I never did anything stupid, even when it meant forcing me to crash at his place.

When Tara came with me to TriTone for Skinny Dave’s memorial service just a few weeks ago, he took me aside, hugged me, and said, “It’s about time.”

Goddammit he cared so much that the only time he ever yelled at me and meant it was when I held my problems from him. “Dammit, Paul, how the hell can I help you if you don’t tell me when something’s wrong?”

After Skinny Dave died, another friend, Bruce, died. I talked to Rick about it and told him that our friend Kevin Karg was trying to find out what happened. Rick called Kevin to tell him personally. Kevin then asked how Rick was doing overall.

“I’d be fine,” Rick said, “If only everyone would stop dying.”

He had a heart attack less than a month later.

One more person has died, and I’m not going to be okay with it for a very long time.

In my heart, I want to say so much more about this man, but I truly don’t know what else to say except that he was so strong for so many people I just can’t believe we have to go it without him now.

In the long run, it makes sense that he had a heart attack. He carried so many people in there for so long, I guess something had to give eventually, and he just never stopped caring about the rest of us.

We’re going to bury Rick in the morning. I can’t tell you how much it hurts to say that.

April 15, 2007 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

Time Won’t Let Me

Taken at Tritone, Thurs. 4/12

Jay Schwartz:

I forget if I met Rick at Upstairs at Nick’s or the Firenze Tavern, two
earlier venues Rick did booking for. I got to know him much better at a bar
called Bennie’s, which he and partner Dave Rogers soon bought and
transformed to Tritone. That’s where Rick let me do more or less whatever I
wanted. First I booked a couple of Secret Cinema movie screenings (the
features RECORD CITY and BUCKTOWN), and later, music events, with me and/or
my wife Silvia spinning various themes of obscure music, both with and
without bands. If I said I wanted to devote a whole night to “sunshine pop”
music (a genre which was the polar opposite of the punk and garage rock
that Rick favored) or to Spanish ’60s records (even before Silvia moved
here and she’d discovered a group of Spaniards living in Philly, i.e.,
before there was any logical reason to do such a thing), Rick said go
ahead, and never batted an eyelash. If said musical experiments were
occasionally less popular than we’d both hoped, he encouraged me to try
something else down the road.

Years before, a friend with a band told me that Rick D. was the only nice
guy to deal with when trying to book his group. While I had some
connections through Secret Cinema and did deal with a few other clubs then,
I later realized what my friend meant. After years of doing these
semi-vanity productions at Tritone mainly because Rick was so nice to deal
with, it only just dawned on me that at this point I don’t even know who
currently is booking the other clubs in town.

Rick was a cult movie fan himself, and used to run video screenings at the
Firenze. I never approved of video screenings of movies, but Rick did it in
a low key way, and always had interesting taste, with lots of obscurities
form the Something Weird video label. He also used to have these running
sometimes while bands played. I still wish I had asked what the title was
of this one weirdo Japanese sci-fi thriller that was one of the strangest
things I’d ever seen. I now wished I’d asked him lots of things…I never
even learned what his real last name was until he died (I thought I knew
it, but it turned out there were whole extra syllables that I didn’t know

If I ran a d.j. night at Tritone, I usually had a lot of gear to pack up at
the end of the night — especially at the earlier events where I was
foolish enough to bring audio AND film equipment, so that I could provide
visuals and sort of kosher the “Secret Cinema” labeling of the event. After
a few nights of nearly falling asleep while packing all of this stuff up, I
decided I had the right to call anything I did Secret Cinema, and that
presenting either just film or just music was enough work for one night.
Even still, it can take me a while to pack up the equipment, and when
everything is boxed up and on the handtruck, I would be more than ready to
head home and get to sleep, right after waving goodbye to Rick and thanking
him for the gig.

However, that last step never went as fast as I planned, because it
inevitably led to a multi-branched conversation with Rick about anything
and everything that popped into our heads, peppered with Rick’s famously
laconic wit. Five minutes became ten became twenty, thirty, and sometimes
more, and when I finally left I knew I would be that much more tired the
next day, but I never cared because talking to Rick was always interesting
and fun. Rick loved talking to people and really thrived running a bar. Now
I’ll have all that time back in my life, but I don’t feel like I’m gaining
anything in the bargain. I feel cheated.

Today I attended Rick D’s memorial service, along with what seemed like
hundreds of other people. I knew many, but most I did not know. That crowd
contained people of every walk of life, of every race, every age group,
from several different eras of Philly underground music history and people
far removed from the music scene. That he touched so many people and so
many kinds of people in his short time on earth is the best testament to
his character, his warmth and his generous spirit.

Our sympathies go out to his family and to his friends, which probably
includes everyone who ever met him.

April 15, 2007 at 11:26 pm 2 comments

A Month of Sundays

Taken next door to Bob and Barbara’s, Thursday night 4/12. Prettified by Valania.

Plain Parade is honored to reunite on Sunday, April 29 as part of Tritone’s “A Month of Sundays,” a weekly series for the eclectic mix of bands, DJ’s and promoters that received Rick D’s unconditional support. Organized by Bob & Barbara’s/Tritone bartender/waitress Beth Boccassini, “A Month of Sundays” gives us all a chance to say thanks to The Man in the Vest.

Tritone is located at 1508 South Street. 215-545-0475 All events are 21+

DJ’s Evile Mlle. Femphis (Tritone bartender Kelly Wolff who also used to do “Songs About Fucking” at Silk City) and Thunderchicken (Tritone’s weekly soul night, “45 Piece”) spin Rick D’s favorite music.

Donations encouraged to Philabundance:

Plain Parade presents:

Camille Escobedo’s Joan Jett snarl rides atop a bracing Cheap Trick guitar crunch from an amped-up garage band that’s ready for bigger things. (Dan DeLuca, Philadelphia Inquirer)

THE NOTEKILLERS (Ecstatic Peace)
While the rhythm section churns furiously, David First peels off a series of scrambled guitar lines, precise even when he’s improvising. His diagonal riffs are marvelously untraceable (Surf-rock? New-wave? Heavy metal? Free jazz? Serialism?), and somehow these dense compositions inevitably come out sounding like party music. It’s clear this band ranked with any of New York’s much celebrated no-wave acts.” (Kelefa Sanneh, New York Times)

FOXYCONTIN (Rich Kaufmann from Electric Love Muffin & Rolling Hayseeds)
I don’t want to lie and say I liked his ’80s ensemble, Electric Love Muffin (though 1987’s Playdoh Meathook has its charms). But Rich Kaufmann learned enough about sad-eyed songwriting while teamed with Kevin Karg for the country-fried, tear-soaked Rolling Hayseeds to know how to make noisy, guttural, disillusioned pop-punk with his first band in some time, FoxyContin. Look for ex-Sonny Sixkiller skin man Lance Crow to rage through what Kaufmann promises will be “no sensitive-singer-songwriter-singing-about-the-state-of-parenthood here.” Good. (A.D. Amorosi, CP)

JUST ADDED! PAUL DELLEVIGNE (The Sinners, former Tritone bartender)

Laboring for nine years with little in the way of commercial reward or mainstream attention has gotten Undergirl good and pissed. The group’s second record, the incendiary My Flash on You, seems to vibrate with the anger of the overlooked. Fusing revved-up guitars with Amy DiCamillo’s furious howl, the record cannily evokes the days before punk rock got its fangs filed at the local Hot Topic. DiCamillo’s delivery is more Poly Styrene than Brody Dalle, and the group’s unpretty fuzzed-up chord patterns seem at times like they were nicked from a ruddy British sublet (“Radio Action” even appropriates the outro from “God Save the Queen”). The band approaches its live shows with equal ferocity, making it one of the hardest- working underrated bands around. (J. Edward Keyes, PW)

To these ears, garage bands succeed when they remember to temper the thrash with tuneful melodies. Philadelphia’s Jukebox Zeros (love the name, guys) rock out plenty on their full-length debut Four On the Floor, but they never let their love of squalling guitars overtake and drown out their catchy songs. The Zeros effortlessly channel ’70s-era punky-power poppers like Iggy Pop (‘Blue screen burn my TV eye,’ yowls frontman Peter Santa Maria on “Ch. 48”) and Stiv Bators (opener “Flophouse” echoes Bators’ snarl, and the band does right by a cover of the Dead Boys’ ‘High Tension Wire’), but they’ve got their own fun identity. ‘Film Noir Love’, appropriately dark and stormy as it sounds, seems to have been created so the band can have a laugh over the double entendre ‘private dick’. And ‘Don’t Tell Me (More Than I Wanna Know)’, aided by a B3 organ which really should appear more on the album, celebrates avoiding dreaded TMI (Too Much Information). And when they’re not being silly, the Zeros have attitude and guitar solos to burn: ‘Why doncha just go away?’ snaps Santa Maria on ‘Fun Suck’; elsewhere, he kicks at the dirt on ‘Cigarettes and Sorrow’. Like their heroes the Dead Boys, the Jukebox Zeros are young, loud and snotty and they’ve got the chops and sense of humor to back it up. (Stephen Haag, PopMatters)


ELLIOT LEVIN organizes a jazz tribute. Bands TBA.

In other news, Scott Parker, a doorman and sound engineer for Upstairs at Nick’s and former Thorazine bassist, wants to put together a not-for-profit memorial CD project together in honor of Rick. If you want to be involved or know anyone who does, you can contact him here:

April 15, 2007 at 11:18 pm Leave a comment


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