Rick Bozzo and Rock & Roll History

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early Rick Bozzo

Highly influenced by the mania of the first British invasion, Rick Bozzo began his musical career in the San Fernando Valley of California as bass guitar player and vocalist with the hard-rockin' blues group "The Winding Roads". Some of their first gigs included the The Balboa Community Center, "love-ins" at Griffith Park, L.A. Battle of the Bands at Pacific Ocean Park, high school dances, outdoor concerts, and The Teenage Fair which was held annually at the Hollywood Palladium. Rick and his band was opening act for such groups as Steppenwolf, Iron Butterfly, The Grass Roots, Arther Lee and Love, Canned Heat, Blue Cheer, Paul Revere and the Raiders (with Mark Linsey), and the Electric Prunes.

Around this time Rick met Marvin Lee Aday, now know to the world as Meatloaf. After several months of playing gigs in Southern California as "Meatloaf Soul", members Rick, Pete, Sue, Frank And ML went to Michigan for two years where they toured the Midwest and recorded their very first record on the Majenda label as Popcorn Blizzard, playing with rock and roll rebels such as The Who, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Wayne Kramerand The MC5, as well as Motown acts such as Rare Earth. In addition, before they achieved fame, Rush with Geddy Lee was an opening act for Popcorn Blizzard. After the breakup in 1970, Meatloaf and Shaun Murphy aka "Stoney" joined the Detroit cast of Hair at the Vest Pocket Theatre. (see the separate story; MeatLoaf and Me).

After arriving in Michigan, the very first thing we did was to stop off at a local radio station in Saginaw. Our drummer Pete who was with Dick Wagner and Mark Farner of the Bossman went inside and announced the arrival and plans for the new band Popcorn Blizzard. This is the first time I heard my name on the radio! After settling into our band house we got right to work. One of our first gigs was on a flat-bed truck at a shopping mall in Midland, where we were seen by Jill LaFore who would become Meatloaf's all the way up to the Rocky Horror Picture Show era and well as Betty Gerstacker who's mom later became our financial backer. Shown on the right is Meatloaf and Rick at the band house in Freeland Michigan in the winter of 1969.

Rickand Meatloaf

The Frost

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 Sly 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.

Telegram from Meatloaf 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 the Starwood in Hollywood.

In 1977 I 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 Ellis were 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.".

Steffen Presley, Paul Sabu, Rick Bozzo, Dan Holmes

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 the Glendale Symphony Orchestra conducted by Carmen Dragon, and produced by Harry Balk (who originally signed Stoney and Meatloaf). 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, 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 a Kiss 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 Hammer starring 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 the credits 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 with Gene Simmons
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 hit Call 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 as R. Dean Taylor, Freddie Parrin, Kim Fouley, Steve and Nat Kipner, Geoff Leib, Mark C. Anthony, John Townsend, Paul Sabu, Malcolm Jones, Chris Hillman, and Tom Seufert.

The Glendale Symphony Orchestra

Glendale Symphony Orchestra

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, by The 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.

Undercover Lover Sabu Sister Power

1985/86 Rick recorded the "Heartbreak" album on Heavy Metal America, ID#HMA36, a subsudiary 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.

Ann Margret Sabu - Hearbreak Debbie Jacobs Bent Branes
CD Release on Getdisconnected.com
DSC 5008 (Aug. 16, 2006)
CD Release SPV/MTM 2006 Debbie Jacobs 2006 DSC Records Hit single Bottoms Up
Bent Branes - Terraform Records

Edward James Olmos and Rick Bozzo
Edward James Olmos and Rick Bozzo

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.

Bozzo and Carmen Appice
Rick Bozzo and Carmen Appice

Bobby Hayden band
Bozzo, Hayden, and Amato

In 1987 Rick was still recording with Sabu followed by a two day television shoot and appearance on the set of USA Underground on cable TV, a rock show that was hosted by none other than legendary Carmen Appice of King Cobra. Other acts featured along with Sabu were the all girl band Precious Metal, and King Cobra. The recording of this show netted a video for the Sabu Album, Heartbreak

Jimmy Jamison, Rick, Dereck St Holmes
Jimi Jamison, Rick Bozzo, Derek St. Holmes
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 199?, 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.

Many more photos can be viewed in Rick's extensive Scrapbook section. Rick also saves time from his professional activities to teach bass privately. Rick has had endorsements with G & L Guitars and Basses by Leo Fender and with Hipshot Music Products for the HS bass extender key.

New! Rick now has a separate page for the latest news!

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