Rick Bozzo: Living Legend of Rock and Roll History
Some History about Rick Bozzo: A Legendary Performer:
Rick then became the new bassist with Dick Wagner and The Frost on Vanguard Records. Originally based in Saginaw, Michigan, they later moved to Detroit. The Frost shared bills with Johnny and Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, Bob Seger, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Ted Nugent, James Gang, Grand Funk Railroad, Brownsville Station, Mitch Rider and the Detroit Wheels, and other mega stars of that era. Rick says,“Dick Wagner was one of the first recording artists in Michigan to retain complete create control over his own music”One of Rick’s first gigs with The Frost was at the Eastown Theater in Detroit opening for S. ly and the Family Stone. Another gig was at the Goose Lake Pop Festival performing for 150,000 people. After the departure of Dick Wagner, Rick played with remaining members,Don Hartman and Bob Rigg as a trio before adding keyboardist Robyn Robbins in Detroit.
After The Frost break-up, Rick returned to Los Angeles where Meatloaf was performing in Richard O’Brian’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” at the Roxy Theatre on the Sunset Strip. A mutual friend of ours named Jill was working the ticket booth. Needless to say, I was a regular in the audience.
Shortly thereafter Rick found himself playing on a worldwide USO Tour with show-band Greenflow. When Rick returned to California, he formed a band with his friend, Stan Keiser called Brass Knuckles. Rick convinced Meatloaf to come and sing over some pre-recorded tracks. Shortly after that Rick heard that M.L. had gone to New York to do a Broadway play, where he met Jim Steinman. So in 1976, Rick joined the rock band Sabu. This band was also involved in doing recording session work for various artists, also performing at the San Diego Sports Arena, the Swing Auditorium, the Ice Palace in Pasadena and the famous Whiskey A Go-Go and theStarwood in Hollywood.
In 1977 Rick received a telegram from Meatloaf. Rick then traveled to New York where he met and rehearsed for the Bat Out Of Hell tour with Jim Steinman, Ellen Foley (who sang on the “Bat Out of Hell” album) and Rory Dodd along with Meatloaf. David Sonnenberg and road manager Sam Elliswere also there. Then came calls from Sabu’s management company saying a deal was clinched with Polydor UK and that a Sabu album was to be recorded at Manta Sound in Toronto Canada. Rick says, “This turned out to be the biggest decision of my musical career, which was also influenced by Ellen’s departure from the tour to do a solo album”. On my way to David Sonnenberg’s office to sign the contract for the “Bat Out of Hell” tour, I told him I had another commitment and was going back to L.A.”.
Later that year (1978), Rick returned to Los Angeles and the Sabu band. They then took part in what was purported to be the first commercially available digital recording, “The Bee Gee’s Music”-Orinda Records , by theGlendale Symphony Orchestraconducted by Carmen Dragon, and produced by Harry Balk (who originally signed Stoney and Meatloaf). This was accompanied by a live concert atThe Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter they recorded an album for Ocean/Ariola Records just called Sabu, which included the hit Loose Lucy. Subsequent tours of Mexico led to several appearances on The Siempre En Domingo Show andNoche Nochehosted byVeronica Castro, viewed by over 50 million people in Mexico, as well as North, Central, South America, Italy and Spain, and Baby’os in Alcupolco. In addition the Sabu band recorded an album for Danielle Romo.
Soon after the release of their second album, SABU II” (MCA), Sabu toured Canada and the U.S. where he appeared on the Midnight Special, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore and Merv Griffin T.V. shows, as well as the Billboard Disco Convention in Studio One in Los Angeles and Monte Carlo, along with superstar Ann Margret. SABU II included the hits Rock Me Slowly (MCA-1217), and Wet and Wild, which later appeared on aKiss collecter’s tape. Around this same time, Rick also appeared on The “Ann Margret” album (MCA-3226), which sold over one million copies worldwide. In addition, Rick played on most of the records by disco star, Debbie Jacobs (MCA-3156), including the number one single, Undercover Lover.
Early in 1982, Rick completed an LP for Alpha Records/Japan with recording artist and former Playboy Centerfold, Cyndi Wood. In addition to frequent live performances with SABU, he recorded songs used in the cult classic movies “Hard Rock Zombies”,”Vice Squad”, “Skin Tight”, “Women in Rock and Roll; the TV show Mike Hammerstarring Stacey Keach and co-staring Emma Samms, and Vanity as well as the TV pilot Friends, and “The Ann-Margret Special” on CBS television. See photo of the ‘Ann Margret album” in thecredits section.
Jimmy McNichol and the Secret Service Band received rave reviews when they opened for James Brown at Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre. “It was frightening to open for that audience, but the fact that we pulled it off, and won the audience over, made it all the better”‘ he comments. After James and the Secret Service Band opened for Brown, he went on to work for the United States Secret Service as an advisor for entertainment and actually performed for Pope John Paul’s 1987 World Tour.
Rick Bozzo and Kiss founder Gene Simmons
at the NAMM Show in 1992
Greg Giuffria and Angel
Rick joined the band Angel which later became Guiffria and began working on a the album that would become known as Guiffria. This was the last line-up for Angel because 3 of the original Angel members protested using the name “Angel” and its Logo, therefore the band changed its name. This album was a top 40 album and produced the top 20 hitCall to the Heart. The album was recorded at Cherokee Studio and produced by Andy Johns and Greg Guiffria and landed the band a 3 album record deal on Camel/MCA. Lee Di Carlo produced some tracks for them at A&M Studios. After Rick worked with Angel/Guiffria, he re-united with Paul Sabu to record the album Heart Break. Rick also recorded hundreds of publishing demos for Unichappell Music, Gold Hill Music and Screen Gems in addition to numerous demos for songwriters asR. Dean Taylor, Freddie Parrin, Kim Fouley, Steve andNat Kipner, Geoff Leib, Mark C. Anthony, John Townsend, Paul Sabu, Malcolm Jones, Chris Hillman, and Tom Seufert.
After a short stint with Meatloaf (1978), Rick returned to Los Angeles and to the Sabu rhythm section, featuring Dan Holmes on drums, Steffen Presley on keyboards, John J. Mandel on percussion (percussionist for Gino Vanelli), and Rick Bozzo on Fender Bass. They took part in what was purported to be the first commercially available digital recording,The Bee Gee’s Music-recorded at Burbank Studios on Orinda Records, byThe Glendale Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Carmen Dragon and produced by Harry Balk (who signed and co-produced Stoney and Meatloaf on Rare Earth/Motown Records).
This was accompanied by a live concert at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter they recorded an album for Ocean/Ariola Records just called Sabu, which included the hit Loose Lucy. Subsequent tours of Mexico led to several appearances on The Siempre En Domingo Show and Noche Noche hosted by Veronica Castro and viewed by over 50 million people in Mexico, North America and South America, Italy, Spain, and Baby’os in Alcupolco. In addition the Sabu band recorded an album for Danielle Romo also on Ariola Records.
1985/86 Rick recorded the “Heartbreak” album on Heavy Metal America, ID#HMA36, a subsidiarity of EMI with SABU. This album was voted one the best albums of 1985 by readers of Metal Force magazine. This was followed by a video for a show called USA Underground, hosted by Carmine Appice, which featured King Cobra, Precious Metal, and Sabu. This show has aired throughout Europe and Japan as well as on VH-1 and MTV in the states. The “Heartbreack” has recently released by Long Island records, IP#LIRC00109, in Germany. Rick also met and became friends with Larry Graham who’s legendary slap and pop bass style was a big influence on Rick.
I started working on Sabu’s next project, Only Child before I got a call from actor/singer Jimmy McNichol (brother of Christy McNichol), formerly the “All American” heartthrob of General Hospital, a very popular television soap opera. In 1988 Rick performed with James McNichol and the Secret Service band for the 1988 Presidential Primary Convention for the real Secret Service, in San Clemente.
In the late 1980s Rick joined forces with CBS recording artist Susan Lynch, Who had just had a hit single in Canada and Europe that was produced by Terry Melcher. After a quick change in the name of the band to Renegade Featuring Susan Lynch, the band toured the West Coast of California, and was eventually was signed by Grand Slam Records. At this point the band recorded an album and produced a supporting music video which sustained favorable reviews. But, as luck would have it the company went bankrupt, which lead to the break-up of the band.
As the 80s came to an end, Rick was playing at Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Knotts Berry Farm, and The Ambassador Hotel with Playmate Centerfold Cyndi Wood. In addition to these appearances Rick played bass on a session recorded at the same studio The Beatles recorded in for Capitol Records, Studio-B with Paul Sabu and Rusty Garner for Limahl (lead singer for Kajagugu), Only for Love which was featured in a major motion picture.
In the 90’s, Rick replaced bassist, Joe Reed in Bobby Hayden’s band and at the time Lita Ford’s drummer Randy Casstillio had just come off tour and agreed to performing a number of shows and record the No Stranger to the City EP at United Western Studios in Hollywood. This was followed by an independent video recorded for MTV, (Living Free on Daddy’s Money). The video led to performances at the Whiskey A-Go-Go, and Palimenos as well as two Midwest and Indiana, Bobby’s home state.
In 2010 Rick once again returned to the Indianapolis area to work with Bobby again on his Broadway Project with producer Orlando Jones. During this time several appearances with Carson Dresing culminating in performances at the Indiana State Fairgrounds for The American Diabeates Association, The Cincinatti Blues Fest, The Pepsi Stage at The Indy 500, and the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.
Go to http://www.indiepulsemusic.com/heartbeat4kids to learn more, Donations can be made at http://www.paypal.me/xmg – Any Amount will help!
Leave a Reply