Posts Tagged ‘Rick Blaze’

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The late Dave Cuneo – never forgotten

I was saddened to hear about the recent passing of Worcester’s Dave Cuneo, who played with Rick Blaze in The Ballbusters for several years. I hadn’t communicated with Dave for several years, but I recall his enthusiasm / passion for his music and the Ballbusters in particular, and that thought makes me smile. Yesterday I was reading though some letters that Dave had sent me around 1999 – 2002, during the making of the two Ballbuster albums, “Manhattan Babylon’ and “Peoples Republic Of Rock n Roll”, (both of which came out on my old label, Vicious Kitten Records). Dave’s passion for his music is clearly evident in his words – and he was as optimistic about the future success of The Ballbusters as I was. No, he may not have been a household name – but he was (and still is) in the circle that I moved in. He grew up in Harvard, Mass, and graduated from the Bromfield School in 1983 playing for many years with his two brothers. He played in many venues across Boston, Worcester, as well as shows with the Ballbusters in Europe. He had star potential, and in a just world – should have had more success and due than he got. As all of those Ballbuster guys (and gals) should have. Not only was he a great guitar player who had an amazing voice, he also played drums (go listen to The Disciples CD with Kevin K and Jeff Crane), and as my friend Kevin K reminded me today, “He was a really good songwriter”. This is evidenced by songs like ‘Born To Die’, ‘Little Gypsy’, ‘That City’ or ‘Slipping Away’, the ballsy opening track on the ‘People’s Republic’ album. He released two solo albums (that I know of), “On The Streets Again” and “You’re Not Around Anymore” and both emphasise his musical talent and penchant for melody.  He created great, original rock ‘n’ roll that still sounds great today – as it will in another twenty years. Rest in peace Dave. You won’t be forgotten.

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Rick Blaze passed away on the evening on August 9, 2011. He was 52 years of age. Rick Blaze had been active on the East Coast scene, in particular the NYC and Massachusetts club scenes since the late 70s. Rick played in several bands throughout his career, but his most prominent outfit was The Ballbusters. To honour his memory, in this special show, former owner of Vicious Kitten Records Colin Gray talks about Rick and will play nothing but Rick Blaze rock ‘n’ roll – released on Vicious Kitten from 1999-2002. If you didn’t have the chance to listen to the current episode of Rockbrat Radio, you can download or listen to it now. Click on the Blog Talk Radio play button. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Rick Blaze passed away on the evening on August 9, 2011. He was 52 years of age. Rick Blaze had been active on the East Coast scene, in particular the NYC and Massachusetts club scenes since the late 70s. Rick played in several bands throughout his career, but his most prominent outfit was The Ballbusters. To honour his memory, in this special show, former owner of Vicious Kitten Records Colin Gray talks about Rick and will play nothing but Rick Blaze rock ‘n’ roll – released on Vicious Kitten from 1999-2002. Be sure to tune in to this special tribute podcast to one of the East Coast’s best – Rick Blaze.

When? For folks in the US – (East Coast) – Saturday 27 August at 6 pm (EDT). In Australia, thats Sunday 28 August at 8 am (Sydney time).  

Listen live at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rockbratradio/2011/08/27/rockbrat-radio-20–rick-blaze-tribute-show

Press release for Vicious Kitten Records release of the Rick Blaze & The Ballbusters album from 1999 ‘Manthattan Babylon’. Reprinted for you to rediscover what a GREAT band the Ballbusters truly were. Please note that the contact details on the press release are no longer curent. (Click to enlarge)

 

Rick Blaze (Richard Bloise) passed away on the evening on August 9, 2011. I am saddened by Rick’s passing. I knew he had been experiencing poor health for several years, but am still shocked by his death, at only 52 years of age. Rick Blaze had been active on the East Coast scene, in particular the NYC and Massachusetts club scenes since the late 70s. He plied a style of rock ‘n’ roll that was heavily influenced by his musical hero, Johnny Thunders, but was also fused with a large dose of Stones’ style blues. Rick played in several bands throughout his career, but his most prominent outfit was The Ballbusters. I knew of Rick via Jeff Dahl, and in the mid 90’s managed to pick up the debut, self titled album by Rick Blaze and the Ballbusters. Talk about a killer album. This was an album so inspired by Thunders and the Big Apple you could almost taste it. Some people may know of Rick because he released a live album with Walter Lure on Dionysus records. Rick also had his own label, Glam Records. When my brother and I started up Vicious Kitten fanzine and then Vicious Kitten Records, having Rick on the label was a priority. It was a privilege to have Rick on Vicious Kitten Records. I did my utmost to promote the Ballbusters to anyone who was prepared to listen. Vicious Kitten Records manifesto was to promote artists around the world who primarily were inspired by Johnny Thunders. Jeff Dahl, Kevin K, Nikki Sudden and Freddy Lynxx were on board – and so too was Rick. The Ballbusters recorded two albums for Vicious Kitten Records, ‘Manhattan Babylon” in 1999 and the criminally ignored ‘People’s Republic Of Rock ‘n’ Roll” in 2001. I got to know Rick pretty well throughout that time – and also both Jeff Crane and Dave Cuneo of the Ballbusters (both good guys and superb guitar players). Rick and I spoke on the phone occasionally and corresponded a lot by letter, fax and email. Rick was an enthusiastic supporter in my vision of Vicious Kitten rock n roll domination. We talked enthusiastically about bands we’d like to have on compilation albums, or about other aspects of the business. I remember how happy he was when he received copies of the “People’s Republic” album and how impressed he was by the artwork. Rick was always giving of his time and always had time for up and coming bands he believed in- bands like Loose and the Valentines from Italy come to mind. Although it was ultimately not successful, he established a US branch of Vicious Kitten Records and managed to release “Rock ‘n’ Roll War Volume 2”. As my priorities in life have changed in recent years, I have not stayed in touch with Rick as often as I’d have liked. Yet I often think back to those days when he spoke enthusiastically to me about the Ballbusters and the endless possibilities for success. I always liked Rick’s enthusiasm. I’m sorry I didn’t get to tell him so before he died, but I’d like to think that he knew that I was big believer in Rick Blaze rock ‘n’ roll – and Rick Blaze the person. I am proud of the two Ballbusters albums he released on Vicious Kitten Records – and I hope he was too. They are superb rock records and should have been massive, but I know they are appreciated by discerning rock fans around the world. From the US and Italy to Japan to Spain, France and Germany – Rick Blaze will never be forgotten. I shall always think fondly of him when those records are playing. No one could ever doubt Rick’s commitment, sincerity and passion to push the rock ‘n’ roll he loved so dearly. Rick Blaze never made it to the big time – but he created inspired rock n roll that still sounds great today – and will still sound great in another ten or twenty years. Rest in peace my friend – you will never be forgotten. Forever rockin’ in New York City. Buy Rick Blaze albums here

Rockbrat Remembers: Rick Blaze R.I.P

Posted: August 11, 2011 by rockbrat in Rockbrat Remembers:
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Rick second from left with The Ballbusters

No longer will you see Rick Blaze walking down Avenue A, or at CBGB’S or any place in NYC’s Lower East Side. You see Rick Blaze left us this week and the world of rock n roll is a lesser place because of it. He lived and breathed the rock n roll life and cut some great records. He figured greatly in the lives of me and my brother, and I was saddened to hear of his passing this week. The thing which made Rick Blaze stand out from the rest was his voice. It was clear and cutting, much like Bon’s or Kevin K’s. The first time you hear it, it jolts you and you think ‘man that guy’s got a great rock n roll voice’. Which he did. He also had a great knack of writing very catchy rock melodies.  I’ll never forget the first time I heard his tune Rockin In New York City, around 1996. It floored me. I remember saying to my brother that if we one day start a record label we should have Rick Blaze on the label – which we did; releasing two album’s worth of fiery, gutter-guitar fury. Rock n roll can chew you up and spit you out and for most it is unjust. However like Bator and Thunders, the rich gathering of recorded material Rick Blaze leaves behind is indeed priceless. Rest in peace brother.