Monday, October 10, 2005

Rick Kocor 1955 -2005




Rick Kocor, a very dear and close friend passed away a few days ago. I dedicate this blog entry to his memory.

I have known Rick since the late 80's. He was a songwriter and played guitar and keyboard in my husbands band. He was a such great composer of lyrics and music. His songwriting skills were so excellent, and everyone that heard them loved all of the songs that he wrote. Rick was a big music lover, and had a photographic memory for playing just about any song worth remembering from the 60's and 70's. His favorites were Elton John and The Beatles, but he also loved The Who, Yes, Cream, and other bands from that era. His musical talents will never be replaced, and they will be sorely missed by everyone who was a fan of his.

What I really loved about Rick though had more to do with how wonderful a person he was. While his own musicianship was immense, instead of seeking praise for his efforts, he would always go out of his way to praise the talents of his fellow bandmates. He valued friendship above all else, and had so much love for everyone around him, and everyone loved him back mutually. He was such a caring and giving person in so many ways, always positive and upbeat, even when things in his life were not going so well. I miss Rick so very much, and I am proud that he included me as one of his special friends. I'm very glad that through the music he has made over the years, his spirit will live on for a long, long time.

I love you Rick!

65 Comments:

Anonymous Glen Beckman said...

I only met Rick a couple of times, when I went to see the Approximations play. But, from those brief encounters, I could tell what a talented individual he was. It is so sad to hear of his passing.

Even though I didn't know you, Rick, I know that you touched quite a few people. You will be sorely missed.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Pratt said...

That's a fantastic picture Carrie, and it really shows Rick in his element. He could always be counted on to bring fun, laughter, friendship and music with him everywhere he went.

I have so many great memories of him playing and singing the most beautiful parts to my songs - basically turning them from ideas into songs - five minutes after hearing them for the first time. He used that same unbelievably quick mind to make me laugh uncontrollably over the silliest things, because the topic of the joke didn’t matter – it was all his personality and the way that he told the joke that made it hilarious. His wonderful personality worked like a catalyst that sparked friendships between people and made this world a warmer place.

“I’ll always keep the memory of your laughter, and the sparkle in your eye when you called my name”

Peace and Love forever Rick

-Tommy

1:57 PM  
Anonymous marci dehart said...

Tommy's right - it's an excellent photo in many ways,and..."every picture tells a story, don't it?" Rick loved that song...it's so hard for me right now to pinpoint any one memory or feeling - they are flooding my heart and mind as I type this. Rick was the kindest person I've ever known. He was always there when I needed him - no matter what. Nothing will ever be the same without him, but if I listen I know I will hear his laughter in the music and his music in my heart.

I will always love you, Gumby. I know you know that.

Until we meet again, my love
-Pokey

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Rusty said...

I'm still too upset to write coherently. On the way to work this morning I played "Won't Give In" (The Finn Brothers) over and over, thinking about Rick's love for Crowded House and trying not to crash because I couldn't see through my tears. I know Rick would think it's o.k. for me to try to cheer myself up by thinking of something absurd and hilarious, like his imitation of the old Jewish women in their Miami Beach retirement home, complaining about fish in the buffet line: "But where's the roast beef? There's supposed to be roast beef!"

I can still laugh, but my heart is broken. It will be better the next time that I see you, Rick.

Love,

Rusty

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Rick was one of those people you never forget. He had an amazing intellect and the quickest wit. He must have maxed out any IQ test he ever took. His musical abilities were unparalleled. The man could hear a song once and play it note for note. I loved how Rick could instantly pick out the similarities between songs and go seemlessly from one to another. But, as easily as Rick could mimic another artist's song, he always added his own personality and creativity to anything he played. Rick believed in lyric and melody and he reflected it in his own songs. We had Rick's CD on our MP3 player this summer on our trip to Europe, and I played the tunes on our long train trips. Dan and I joked that we could now say that Rick had toured Europe.

Most importantly, we loved Rick as a person. He was a part of our extended family. This summer we hosted Rick's 50th at our house. At the end of a long and fun day, a small group of us were sitting outside making small talk and enjoying the beautiful evening. At one point Rick turned to the group and said that it didn't get any better than sitting like that with your friends. I couldn't agree more.

I will always cherish that memory and the time I spent with Rick. Rock on Rick. Linda

6:07 AM  
Anonymous John said...

I have known lots of talented musicians in my life, but never one that could carry Rick's guitar case (or drum kit,or keyboard). Carrie's description of "awesome" really nails it. If there was anyone who wasn't absolutely in awe of his talents, well, they simply weren't paying attention. I didn't know Rick before he had to spend enormous amounts of energy fighting debilitating health issues, but when he was feeling good, he was simply one of the most funny, witty, entertaining people I have ever met. I know we are all struggling to take something positive from this sad time, but for me, I will always remember the Rick in Carrie's picture, and how he made us all better players than we ever thought we could be. I'll never forget that, and I'll try to honor it every day. Peace be upon you, Brother.
John

9:26 AM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Willie and I were very shocked and saddened by the sudden and untimely passing of Rick. In reflection about him, I thought of the first time I really had the opportunity of talking with him at length. It was at a party at Dan and Linda's where everyone was enjoying "the band in the basement" and I was describing how "Promise" began in our basement and how much fun it was over the years to see it and the friendships of the members keep evolving. Also, when he found out about my many years of working in and enjoying the crazy record business with all its special perks, I think he truly understood why we had so much fun at these gatherings and were so pleased at always being so graciously included.

Another really fun time I was thinking about was the magnificent party Rick and Marci put on at the elegant old Olympic Hotel (in the same suite that had been recently occupied by Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett!!) and the delight Rick had doing his terrific "Elton" specialty as well as playing his own fun music. He certainly was a key factor in the growth and flavor of "The Approximations" and his contributions and presence will be greatly missed by all of us. I am pleased about all the great pictures and videos we have that Willie and Carrie have produced over the past few years so those great memories can be enjoyed once again.

Thank you, Rick -- it was a special delight to know you.

Nancy

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan observes:

When I woke up this morning I had to remember why things were different...oh, yea, Rick's gone. On the way to work I played a tape of a Yak's jam where he sang a song called "Now That You're Gone" -- it's amazing song, made all the more so since he is now gone.

I'm glad I'm not the only one with visibility problems on the road today. I will cherish these tapes, that capture his skill, songs, and humor.

When you are a genius like Rick, you don't have to worry about being philosophically consistent. He had such strong and principled beliefs -- in politics, in Christianity, in music, in conspiracies, and he believed to his core in the power of friendship. He was able to connect with people in person, and maybe even more so on the Internet. He would open his soul to them and make instant bonds. He would always tell me about his "friends" in Russia, Australia, Eastern Europe, the UK and in the Northwest. He was making deep connections with these people -- cyber relationships that mostly stayed that way, but real relationships nevertheless.

His gift in music made all dreams possible. His gift carried the burden of potential. If the music business were a meritocracy, Rick would have been a platinum star.

Another genius, Henry David Thoreau, made this observation: "The mass of humanity go to the grave with their song still in them."

Rick, you left us too soon, but at least while you were here, you sang your song.

You insisted that you were here to create, and you showed us the intangible rewards, and the dear price, that goes with this pursuit.

You touched many lives and leave us all richer for having known you. Rest in comfort and peace, my brother...

12:02 AM  
Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

very sorry to hear about your friend Rick...

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Eberhardt said...

I am so honnored I was able to get to know Rick for only a few short years. My heart is so heavy and it is broken for all that loved him. He was a larger than life caracter. The first time I ever heard him sing Tiny Dancer, I had to go out and buy an Elton John CD. Rick left his mark on every song he ever played or sang. Every time I hear a song her performed I always think about the good times I had at the Approximations gigs. And all the flirting back and forth with Rick. He was such a doll, I can't believe he is gone. Thank God we have his music, he lives on in in our hearts and his CD. I have a poster from him that he signed for me. On it he said I was his favorite fan. I truly believe I was. It has been hanging up in our home for over a year now and no plans to take it down. No one will ever replace him. I am just so thank full he was in my life. I feel awful I was not able to attend his 50th. I sent him my good wishes via a card. I hope he knew truly what a beautiful man he was and how much we adored him. I miss you dearly Rick!

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick was such an interesting guy. I am a huge Elton John fan and so was Rick. I was so blown away with how well he played piano and sang Elton's songs! He will surely be missed!

6:25 AM  
Anonymous pete said...

Rick, you've left us with good memories of times shared with you but you left much to soon. I guess, at this point, I can only say good bye my friend.

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Andy DeHart said...

We need people like Rick in this world. He was a free spirit, a good soul and he leaves such a huge hole in my heart. All friends and family bring something to our lives, each person a little piece of who we are. Hell, we were lucky to know him. I saw Rick play long before I knew him, in a bar up north, I think the band was Giving Tree, or something like that. My sister Marci was just getting to know him, I would later meet Rick as my future brother in-law. We had such good times. My children will miss their favorite uncle, who never forgot them and was always part of our family.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

Carrie, I'm so very sorry for your loss. He sounds like a gift musician, I'm listening to him now, and what a beautiful way to describe him.

I see that he played a Rickebacker guitar just like mine. Regarding your question to Stuee regarding Rick's bass. Music has always healed my soul. I think it would be a fitting tribute to take up the bass if you want to, especially considering his fingers touched those frets.

Bless You

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Annette DeHart said...

Everyone that knew Rick will miss him dearly. He had a great heart and always made you laugh. Rick and the "Approximations" played at my husband, Andy's Surprise 50th birthday party and I will always remember how much fun it was dancing to all the great songs. Alot of old friends of Andy's and Rick's were there. I'm so happy we could share that day and to hear him play. When friends and family were leaving the party they were thanking me for such a great party. It was the band that was so incredible. I am so thankful for those memories.

You will always be in my heart Rick and I will always love you.

Annette

7:07 PM  
Blogger Patti said...

From Patti...

I just learned that Rick is gone... what a tremendous loss, it is so overwhelming. Rick had two sides, his public side, and a very private side. My friend is gone, and with that the hours of conversations, debates, and philosophical musings. Rick taught me to open my heart again, and I thank him for that... even though now it is breaking. I will always remember you, and the special times we shared.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Carrie,
if you scroll down the page on my blog to the piece on Jason Feddy, there is a song there I think may help you. It's called Blue Day.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

It was about 1971. I was setting up my band for a Battle of the Bands at a high school. Suddenly I heard a note-perfect Beatles' "She's So Heavy". Such talent from a group of kids, 4 years younger than me. And that lead singer, Rick. (I knew the name because his older brother Bob played bass for the Orphans, the most popular local group.)

We became fast friends, and helped each other with recording 4-track demos. I even got him a day job with a bakery I worked at. We played numerous gigs, including his high school graduation ceremony.

Soon he was off to the West Coast, and I'd get an occasional call or e-mail. The high point was his holiday visit home, and a big jam session. He was the Keeper of the Flame. He paid us a tribute with "When We Were Young" and let us all sing and play on the track.

I produce for TV now. I tried hard to get him to do an hour, solo, in the studio with guitar, piano and voice, but never managed it. I wish I had tried harder. But I do have a lot of video and audio of him. And my memories.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Ann Trout said...

Thank you for creating this tribute to my friend and family member Rick Kocor. I first met Rick when I flew to MA for Rick and Marci’s wedding. We were all so young and full of hope of what could be. I first heard Rick perform when he sang a song he wrote for Marci at their wedding, accompanying himself on the piano. I was awestruck and of course crying my eyes out. Over the years we enjoyed many wonderful times together talking and laughing (he was so funny!) and just basically hanging out at numerous occasions. He honored my husband and me when he wrote a song for us and performed it at our wedding in 88. He was such a generous, kind and loving man. I am still in shock about his passing and have a hard time grasping he is really gone. He will always live in my heart and memory. He loved performing his music and watching the enjoyment in the eyes of those listening. Whether it was a small get together with friends and family or a larger venue, you always felt like you were witnessing something very special, and he never failed to give me goosebumps. I have always been so proud of him. He will be missed so much. Before we received the call notifying us of his passing, my daughter Marcie was bragging to her friends about him and talking about how proud she was of him. I think he knew how much he meant to us, and I think he still knows. I told my daughter that God wanted another heavenly voice in his choir, and a musician too.

2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I met Rick when he married my friend Marci who I have known since the 4th grade (I hesitate to call her my oldest friend, she might take umbrage :). There is a group of us who all went to school together and along with spouses or BFs we'd hang together, often going to concerts, vacations, dinner parties. I always enjoyed Rick's wit and presence, he always brought something different to the table. I was lucky enough to see Rick and the Approximations at Andy's 50th birthday party (which I think I invited myself to) and had a chance to chat with him. He gave me a tough time because I came in costume like the invitation suggested although I was one of the only ones!! I listened to his cd "Drawing Conclusions" (it had been awhile since I'd played it) after Marci had told me of his passing and was struck again by the power of his voice and the genuine love that he had of music, life and love. It has taken me awhile to actually sit down and write this out as my heart has been hurting since I received the news. In my life there will be a void, because Rick is no longer in it. Much Love, Always. Cathy

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Fred Staples said...

I introduced Rick to the Approximations in 1987-88.Rick and I worked as assembly mechanics for Boeing in Auburn. He was this hilarious bigger then life guy who always had us laughing around the shop. He would show up with a long black coat with musical notes running down the side with his long hair and Lennon specks, quite a sight in the land of Carhart and flannel. We talked music alot and I told him about some good friends that had a band he should meet. He said when and where. I think our jaws were all sore from dropping after watching him play for the first time. He was a musical Encyclopedia and we just ran with it. He grabbed us and took us for a Magic Carpet ride pushing us all to be better and play better. He also was nice enough to play some songs at my wedding. While performing Rick would look at me and spur me on to do it right and be as much part of the whole as I could be. He was the friction that warmed our creative juices, made us try new things and laugh the whole way through. I will never hear a Beattles or Elton song the same again. I will miss him and I'm proud to have called him my friend.

3:25 PM  
Anonymous sonja said...

Rick and I didn`t meet in a very typical way, because we somehow got in contact on the internet and directly connected as we talked about music. This was the begining of our friendship, because since I sent music over to Rick he was always trying to encourage me and support my music. Because of the fact that Rick made music himself he could help me to understand that being emotionally is not a bad thing in soceity, it is even a good quality for a song writer.
Now a days when emotions are supressed so many times, Rick could give me the feeling that emotions are naturally and he was making it clear to me that emotionas are a necessary basic for music.
He constantly told me to believe in my music and he was the first Person, who recognized me as a songwriter, even though I had doubts on my music.
Rick invited me to stay at house in late 2002 for 3 months to record some music there. And as I remember that time, we always had lots of fun together. He was always making fun of my "v", especially in the word village, because iam from Germany and my accent was kinda strong on some words.
Then in december 2002 he left to London for 2 weeks and he let me stay at his place alone, but I wasnt alone I was taking care of all these cats and kittens, which were running around like crazy.
He showed me all his trust towards me, without expecting anything back.
At some point he was like an "american father" to me and one time he said "that I was like the daughter he never had".
Even though we had a big age differences between us, we came along well and Iam very thankfull that I had the chance to spend my time there.
The last time we have meet was when I came to Seattle in spring last year again and we went out to see Lisa Loeb playing in the crocodile cafe. Often when I was weak or struggling with growing up, Rick found the right words to make me believe more, that these moments are precious for writing music and to be creative and not let myself fall into a dark hole of depressions.


Maybe the special thing about our friend-ship was that we both were sincere, though we meet on the internet.
We have meet eachother at a time of my life, when I graduated from High-school, trying to find my path. Rick was always there, when I needed help and advices.
He told me about how much he was wishing to move to London, because he really liked it there. I know that he wanted to travel alot more european countries.


Rick had the gift to understand emotions. It was good to see how much he was involved into music and we often joked about the grunge-scene in Seattle and all the kids with their greasy hair and jeans with holes in it, listening to Nirvana. I was 20 , when I visited Rick and I would have never expect people at Rick`S age to be so cool, being into music and such. He always said to me that he felt young at heart,
and thats why i say thank you for all these great talks about music and deep thoughts.

i will miss him.sonja his german friend.

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will miss you Rick your smile, compassion, laughter, and humor will be with us always in our hearts. I agree with another friend who stated "Rick you left us to soon, but at least while you were here, you sang your song." And Marci I know in my heart that so much was because of you. I can see you in heaven Rick smiling bigger and singing and playing your music to the One who blessed you with your many gifts and talents. We will miss you and carry you in our hearts.
Michelle Eddy

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Every so often, Rick and I would send each other tapes of songs we were working on. I have about 6 tapes of Rick's unreleased songs. I am going to put some of them together on CDs, including his unreleased "first album" Inquisitive Conversations, a classic. I will share them with any interested friends. I don't think Rick would disapprove.
Steve
blackburst@aol.com

5:57 AM  
Anonymous pattye smith said...

Carrie - Thank you for this site. And Marci thank you so very, very much for including us in this connection. You're an amazing woman and have had so very much to contend with in all of this. I met you at a couple of Rick's birthday parties and he always spoke of you with great affection. I know he didn't mean to give you such pain and he is extremely proud of you.

So many of us from Bergie's Bar in Renton where Rick sang for the past few years miss his loving spirit, his songs and his friendship so very much. We had a wonderful wake on October 14th and hoped our tears and Elton songs and sharing of memories were enough to honor him. Those Elton songs are still hard to hear without a tear to remember Rick by. His cds are even harder. It's so impossible to believe he's really gone. Earl and Noreen Love who own Bergie's put his cds on their jukebox long ago. Every now and then someone plays one of his songs and it is as though you could turn around and still see him there. It's still so hard to believe he's not. The wake was originally to have beem my birthday party, but when we heard the news about Rick, we converted it to a wake. It was packed that night but when his friend Doug Benjamin who plays a beautiful sax played Amazing Grace you could have heard a pin drop. I got up and said a few tearful words and as I told everyone then, beyond sharing Elton songs and the friendship we all knew over time in that venue, he had incredible talent, an extremely bright mind, wonderful humor and a deeply religious spirit. I explained to them that the song he often sang, "I Still Haven't Found What I've Been Looking For" really had nothing to do with girlfriends, but with his lifelong journey to find a better way to serve his Lord. We all agreed that now his search could be over, he would be without pain, and he really had found what he was looking for. Rick touched so many people in such a wonderful way. Another like him won't cross our paths. He made us better people by knowing him and he will be remembered always.

I will always have a special place in my heart for you, Rick. Watch over us and give us a nudge from time to time when you know we need it. Love and hugs, Pattye

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I've been going through my old tapes sent by Rick. I've found at least one gem: An unreleased (I think) song called Without You. Just Rick's solo voice at the piano with a touch of strings. Excellent sound quality. The chorus takes on special meaning now. This is what I'll remember him by:

"Without you, life wouldn't even mean a thing
Just silence, not even a song to sing."

6:32 AM  
Blogger Barb Frank said...

The first time I went to Bergies Rick go up to sing an Elton John song. He had on his leather pants and his long black coat. The music started and I thought to myself, this guy is an Elton John wanna be. He started singing and I almost fell off of my chair. I was in awe of him.
It took me a couple of months to get up the nerve to talk to him but I'm really glad that I did and that I had the change to get to know this talented witty man.
I will miss you Rick.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

Hi Carrie. I met Rick through the internet about 6 or 7 years ago and came over to the US to stay with him in 1999. I wonder if it was you and your husband he and I went to see one evening for a meal when we had tortillas? I recall you both worked for Microsoft and had a outdoor jacuzzi at your house that didn't work then but you were contemplating having it repaired/restored. Hope you don't mind me asking but was that you? I recall too that your husband and I both wrote poetry.

After I heard Rick had died I watched the video that he and I took of my visit there, just driving around with friends of his, and going up the Space Needle, and I was crying with laughter at his sense of humour, he was just relentless. I can't quite believe he's gone. I can't bring myself to remove his name from my chat program lists, I keep expecting to see him online. Whe I was there he gave me a rough copy of the Posies CD which I play a lot, then when he found out I was getting married in June this year he said he'd send an official copy with a wedding gift. I still keep expecting to see it in the mailbox. The world is a duller place without Rick.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Jill said...

...and he was planning to move to the UK this summer...I can't believe we over here have been deprived of such a man. It's just not fair. Rick is someone I KNOW I'll meet again in heaven :)

8:52 AM  
Blogger Carrie Pratt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:54 AM  
Blogger ian g. said...

I shall be giving these tracks a good listen.
You've written a very nice tribute to a passing friend.

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only met Rick online, we were always going to me, but time has run out now, but from the talks that we have had online I found out that Rick was a very tatented man, and most of our talks was about his song writing and I write poems, I well miss our talks online, angel_plus_one

1:54 PM  
Anonymous kanina cox said...

I am truly saddened about RIck's passing. We met online about 4 years ago and i will never forget his love of music. We spoke often about Music, Seattle (i would love to move there) and he was always encouraging me to do so. One can tell a lot about a man's friends and i can see Rick was a LOVED and Cherished friend.

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's so easy to get angry when I hear "everything happens for a reason" and so hard to understand why you were taken from this world. But we are all so lucky to have had you here for the time we did. See you on that big stage in the sky.
K

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I've been going over my old videotapes of Rick. I have about 1/2 hour of various jams we had with the Massachuestts gang, but the real gems are these:
Many of you know that Rick did "When We Were Young" on his "first CD" as a tribute to his old MA friends, and let us all play and sing on it. I have a Hi8 tape of Rick doing two lip-synchs to it, one sitting at a piano and one on a stage with his late brother and various friends. I also found a VHS of the overdub session whan he did his lead vocal (later replaced by another), we all did BG vocals, Frank Withey did his solo and Bill Bissett overdubbed percussion. From the same night, I have a copy of a similar VHS from Nick Hasomeris. Using this, some stills, some archival footage (he refers to the Beatles on Sullivan and Herman's Hermits), I have enough to do a very touching "music video" of the song. And I have a Final Cut Pro edit system on the way. I'll put it together and debut it on my cable show, but I'll let you all know when it's ready.
If anybody has any good video or stills, please contact me at whca9@verizon.net

7:30 PM  
Anonymous c.c. schaefer said...

Rick was an enormously talented man with a great gift of expression. I not only enjoyed watching and listening to him perform, but looked forward to the times we would have together to talk. He also had a very spiritual nature and he was very helpful to me when I was losing, to cancer, someone very important in my life. Rick was always available to talk, and his belief helped me to be stronger. In memory of Ron Rick would sing the song Blue Eyes for me, and it always made me cry, he sang it so beautifully. He was an amazing talent and a good friend whom I shall always miss - a great loss to us all. I know I will see you again someday, Rick, and I will always love you.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

Hi Carrie,

Very sorry to hear about Rick,
I didn't know him but he sounded
like a wonderful human being.
That line about the old lady at
the buffet had me rollin'!! I
worked at a membership Country
Club for old Jewish ladies for
20 years,I don't know how I
did it for that long but I've
changed careers and I am now
working in a nursing home as
a Certified Nurse.Just kidding,
but close!! Anyway,can you please
email me your private email
address as I have an important
question to ask you pertaining
to WHO DVD's.Thanks!

lowgens02@aol.com

5:59 PM  
Blogger Justin Kreutzmann said...

haven't been posting too much I see.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great sorrow and disbelief at the physical loss of my dear friend of 25 years, makes it impossible for me to put into words a proper tribute at this time. Rick and Marci both have been true friends to my children and I.
Carrie, thank you for this place to share and grieve. It's been very comforting to read how many people's lives were touched by this one very special man.

Marci, I say this to you without reserve, all that you are doing to help Claire and put things in order would make Rick very proud and put his heart at rest.

Rusty, thank you so much for reminding me of the Jewish ladies at the "Beefless Buffet"! I can close my eyes and hear Rick go through that routine. I'm not sure where the tears are coming from when I open my eyes again. I guess a little cheer and a great big giant broken heart.

Jeannie Beannie

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Paige said...

.....Ricks been in my life since i was born.....he was a father figure to me....but more then that he was a mentor...he always told me to keep wrighting and singing...he was always special to me...all i know is..ill always miss and...and when i sing...it will be for him

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

I dug out my old master tapes of Rick's late 70s "first album", "Inquisitive Conversations", and though there were a few probloematic spots, I've produced a master CD of them. Copies available to any of Rick's friends, send mailing address to blackburst@aol.com.

A few highlights: Living A Life of My Own, a killer leadoff song, a later Beatles influence. Someone Who Loves Me, hard to describe. A bit of Elton. The Most Popular Song, pure Rick. Inquisitive Conversations, a guitar-led, a bit of Rundgren with a Yes bridge. Breaking Away, a brass-driven tune with Rundgren changes. There Is An Answer, off-kilter reggae. Love Should Live Again, Steely Dan meets Elton. The Way That I Love You, more Steely. On this reference take, Rick stretches a bit for the closing vocals, but it's a great song.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Carrie Pratt said...

Thanks for the offer Steve! I'll make a bunch of copies and bring them to Rick's memorial at Dan's house on 12/17.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Ronnie Incitti said...

My brother, my mentor, my friend.
We go back to Colorado in the late 70's where we played in a musical comedy company called Giving Tree with Jeff Valdez.That's the first time I experienced his unbelievable talent. He took me with him on one of his recording dates where we worked with Tom Scott and some other heavys . In my heart, he was the heaviest of them all. One of the old band members called me the other day and told me of his passing.
Thank you for all the laughs and the love and of course... the music old friend.
I'll Love you always,
Your brother Ronnie

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Ann Trout said...

Re: Steve's comment...

I've been going through my old tapes sent by Rick. I've found at least one gem: An unreleased (I think) song called Without You. Just Rick's solo voice at the piano with a touch of strings. Excellent sound quality. The chorus takes on special meaning now. This is what I'll remember him by:

"Without you, life wouldn't even mean a thing
Just silence, not even a song to sing."


You are right, it's unreleased. He thought about putting it on his first CD but didn't. By the way, it is the song I mentioned in my post, the song from my wedding. Obviously it has very special meaning for me as well. Now, for two reasons.
Steve, I just sent you an e-mail.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Bill Mattocks said...

Hi Dan, Linda, Fred, Tom, John and Rusty,

I've been putting off writing to all of you because I still can't believe that Rick has passed away. Although Rick and I occasionally bumped heads musically, he was and still is one of the most talented persons I have ever known. I will miss his wonderful versions of Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man and his versions of Beatles songs. I got to the point where I preferred Rick's versions to the original.(I feel the same about Rusty's Paul McCartney and Beatles stuff) I will miss hearing him play the opening keyboard Am chord to Unchain My Heart and the big grin he would give me when he nailed the ending. I will miss that wry sense of humor on his face during Mr. Conspiracy. I will miss that East Coast attitude and his ability play virtually anything he wanted to. But mostly I will miss Rick. If there truly is a heaven, I hope Rick is there. That he is happy and sitting behind a big grand piano, playing and singing his heart out.
Without all of you letting me play with the Approximations, I probably never would have met Rick, and that truly would be a loss for me. Although I never say it and at times seem grumpy and out of sorts, I love you all.

I would also like to add this to my original thoughts. Last night was the memorial for our friend and fellow Approximator Rick. I don’t think I have ever attended such a positive memorial. Surrounded by family and friends wishing the best for Rick, seeing the pictures from his life and watching the videos I was again awed by the talent and personality. I actually was not looking forward to attending last night, but I have to say after listening to and talking to everyone I found it to be uplifting. Perhaps that is just what Ricky had in mind last night. I went downstairs to our rehearsal area in Dan and Linda’s basement and just sat there looking at the piano for a while. Remembering all of the good times we have had playing there seemed to help. It seemed an appropriate place for us all to wish our friend well in his next life. In closing, I would like to thank Dan and Linda for offering up there home and hearts to the celebration of Rick’s life.

Peace and Love be with you all,
Bill

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Dave Croce said...

Hi All,

What a great space dedicated to such a great friend and incredible talent. Thanks Dave Karahalis for letting me know about this.

I was friends with Rick for close to thirty years and to this day I am still blown away by his amazing musical talent. I, like Steve, have many tapes Rick had sent to me over the years with many unreleased songs of just him singing with a guitar, or a piano and some even acapella, I believe.

I have his voice at the beginning of the cassettes, asking me to give a listen and "let me know what you think, mate!". I would listen to each song, write notes on what I thought, call him up and give him my thoughts, ( which was easy cause I loved just about everything he ever did..)

I was also lucky enough to get to play lead guitar on a few of the songs on his Drawing Conclusions CD with a bunch of friends and great musicians. I even got to play on one of my favorite songs of all time, "If I Don't Get Your Attention". One of the toughest things for me to come to grips with is who will get to hear that huge catalog of great songs??

I wish there was a way some of his musician friends could get it together to record some of the best of his unreleased material as a tribute to him. Maybe someday, that would be cool......Maybe Steve has an idea or two, maybe someone else.

I am almost to the point of pulling out his old cassettes, not sure if I could get through them all, but this blog has made me think it may be time to do that.

Steve, if you have ANYTHING you can send, please do. You can email and I will get you my address and make some copies of what I have for you as well.....or if anyone else would like. My email is croce1919@hotmail.com

Well thanks for listening (reading), it's great to talk to some of his friends....let's keep him alive in our thoughts, actions and hearts.

I know you are happy where you are Rick!

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Steve said...

Dave:
Good to hear from you. I haven't checked this page in a while, so forgive me for not noticing your post sooner.

I don't know if I'll ever get over Rick's passing, or Bob's either.

When I met him in about 1971, he was this "younger kid" (3 or 4 years made a big difference in those days) in a very talented group. We worked together on and off, and were even competitive in a "John and Paul" sense, trying to impress each other.

But when I drifted to other things, Rick remained true to his calling, and he became the spiritual guru of all the musicians from the Brockton area. I, too, remain in awe of his talent, and I am fortunate to have been his friend.

I am still VERY eager to do SOMETHING in his memory. There is enough material for me to do a video documentary about him: video clips of him performing, jamming, talking, and even a formal lip-synch to When We Were Young. I'd love to get interiews with many who knew him and put together a show in his honor. It would obviously appeal to us, his friends, but I want to tell who Rick was, to those who remember him from school and gigs here in MA, and share it with his friends in WA. I hope Claire is ready to share her memories and pictures with me sometime, and Marci, too.

And maybe we can gather up all his tapes and give them to someone with good audio equipment to find the best recordings and make a set of CDs for us all. Maybe Dave Karahalas?

And you and I and Dave and Jeannie MUST get "the gamg" together for a night to remember him, and hopefully soon!

blackburst@aol.com

8:26 AM  
Anonymous Steve said...

More sad news. Rick's first band was "the Pledge" in Brockton. Once every coule of years, Rick would come home and we'd have a series of jams, including former Pledge members Frank Withey (guitar) and Larry Harvey (drums).

I just got word that Frank Withey passed away, but no details yet.

Brother Bob, then Rick, now Frank. What a cruel twist of fate.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Taylor said...

What to Say. There arent enough words to describe the impact Rick Has made on my life. I have know rick since birth. He and my dad were in a band together in Highschool. And that music connection really shaped who i am today. Rick has always been a source of inspiration to me be it the subtle pushes to do more as a musician, or just advice on life in general.
Rick will never really be gone. His voice and Heart will live on through his music, and his spirit, in the hearts of his friends and family.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I'm Bill S. an old friend and it's come to my attention that tonight there will be a three hour jam in honor of Rick, done in the same fashion of years past, come one, come all. It will be at the
"JamSpot" in Sommerville. It's from 8 to 11. If you need directions google jamspot.
I'll be thinking of Rick and jammin.
Bill out

10:59 AM  
Anonymous Jeannie said...

I wanted to post a tribute to my friend and I will as soon as my thoughts and words come together. I do, in the meantime, want to update the blog site about the East Coast tribute we held in honor of Rick's memory. We held it on the evening of what would have been Rick's 51st birthday. The music was awesome as always but there was a very large hole in the sky that night. During the planning of the memorial for Rick, we lost another dear and extraodinary musician friend, Frank Withey. He was featured on Rick's Drawing Conclusions CD.
I'd love to say a whole bunch of uplifting things but the plain old fact is, it was sad and still kind of unbelievable to a lot of us. We have talked about putting a tribute together for Rick in the way of a DVD so if any of the West Coast buds would like to join in I'm sure it would be appreciated as it would probably be a time consuming project. What a great way to do something in honor of a person who gave so much to all of us. Rick was a great one for bringing people together and what an appropriate way to say we love you and will always remember you.
I was very fortunate to have met alot of the West Coast friends at the big B-day bash at the 4 Seasons and spent time with Rusty when he came to Mass with Rick. We'll keep you posted as things come together.

12:18 PM  
Anonymous Steve R said...

From Steve R:

I need to contact Marci. Are you reading this, or can anyone ask her to email me immediately:
blackburst@aol.com

7:32 AM  
Anonymous Ramish said...

Carrie, I am an old friend of Rick. We lived together in Brockton during the 1980's together with Nick and David Mansulla.
I have only now learnt via this site, of Rick's unfortunate passing. He was definitely a star.

I would really like to restablish contact with Nick and David. If you have their email addreesses, can you please send them to me?
I am based in Trinidad and Tobago now and would really like to touch bases with them.

I would be grateful if you would contact me at ramishramlochan@hotmail.com
My telephone number is 1-868-389-9913.

Thank You and God Bless.

Ramish Ramlochan

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Terri James/Ludwig said...

Oh my, oh my...here it is December 18, 2008 and I had the shock of a lifetime last night when I was told by my daughter Dana that Rick had "moved on." Marci, my dear, sweet Marci, one of my best friends since 1st grade (don't sound like much of a friend since I'm just finding out), my heart is just aching for you. I wish so much I had been there for you and Andy and Anne and just everyone, you have no idea how horrible I am feeling right now. Please let me make it up to you...I have lost contact with you and Andy and would so much like to regain our long, long friendship/family. Rick was such a very big part of the laughter and love I had the pleasure of experiencing way back when. Marci, remember Lynnwood? I begged you to come hear this band that Steve and I had discovered...Giving Tree! Hilarious and very musically talented! Lo and behold, that was only the beginning, wasn't it? Port Ludlow, what can I say? Please, oh please I hope you read this...please contact me at toptec@charter.net. I love you Rick...and I love you Marci!

Terri James

3:03 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I knew Rick well during his years in Brockton Mass. Back then he lived with his mom and brother bob. I think he slept with his guitar. The apartment where they lived was always this wonderful mess. Tons of food, which I remember because I was always hungry in those days. His mom made what they called polish chicken soup. Drop a chicken in water, add veggies, and whala 3 hrs. later magic.
We were "born-again" Christians and would talk endlessly about the bible. Rick, and Nick Hasomeris, and Ramish Ramlochan kind of adopted me into their circle.

I remember it was Christmas eve and snowing hard, Rick having a heart of gold had a cab pick me up and bring me to his house where I could spend a few hours with friends. What a guy.
Then there were the days we spent at the parking garage together. If I remember right that's where he earned enough money in tips to fly out to Seattle where Marci was. Marci, if you reading this I'm sorry for your loss. After Rick met you (again) your all that he could think of. You might say you were his obsession. The love of his life.

Peace all, I could go on for hours about Rick. I have no doubt that we will all see Rick again someday, with his beaming smile, great sense of humor, and of course his guitar.

Dave Mansulla - Ct.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Steve Roy said...

Rick;
It's been a while since anyone has posted here. I just wanted to write a message to you and keep the flame alive.

I remember playing a battle of the bands at East Bridgewater High, and hearing an amazing rendition of "I Want You - She's So Heavy." I looked over, and there were these 4 "little kids" - you, Frank, Harvey and Ben: The Pledge. And I remember thinking that you guys played much better than us older guys. We met, and I found out you were the brother of Bob Kocor, one of my idols from The Orphans.

Next, I remember helping you move that old piano up the stairs at Green Street, and you helping me record my originals on a 4-track Teac. And we did one of your songs, too.

Then I remember exchanging tapes with you over the years. You were very gracious in your praise of my stuff, and I was knocked out by yours. And there was the constant jamming - I've ALMOST learned all the chords to your lost classic, Keeper of the Flame!

When John Lenneon died, we were drawn together like magnets, into a mutual bereavment society. It was amazing, how identical our feelings were.

Sure, we debated religion and politics, but we always had mutual respect. And there's no doubt that your faith saw you through some tough times.

It was tough to see you move out west, but we always stayed in touch, exchanging tapes, by phone and email. And then there was the annual Thanksgiving visit home/jam!

Now, you've left us, and there is a hole that can never be filled. Thank you for your friendship, support, humor and music. You wrote/sang that some of the best music was made in the player's own music room - I don't know if you knew it, but that appplied to you more than anyone. You created many masterpieces that only a few of us were privileged to hear.

I got together the last few years for the Frank Withey Scholarship concert. It was great to see the old gang, and your name was mentioned many times. You were a very special friend, Rick. I miss you very much. I'm sure your faith has taken you to Heaven, and I bet you're entertaining everybody there right now.

Steve Roy
March 26, 2009

8:10 AM  
Blogger Mystica said...

Im so sorry, i didnt know =(

I thought i had found rick again. =(

R.I.P

7:07 AM  
Blogger c said...

I just found out about Ricks passing yesterday, and I feel so very sad for him. Rick and I went thru the same training course at Boeing and hired into the same shop on the same day in 1986. He was, and still is , to me such an amazing musician and friend for the few years we worked together in Auburn.I lost track when I left our shop in Auburn and went thru some personal hell myself going thu a divorce, and I was so very amazed that he remembered me when my son got murdered in 1995 and he showed up at the funeral to pay respects and support me spiritually. All I can say is I wish I was there to help him in his distress. A note to Marci, Rick talked about you all the time and everyone around us knew that you have always been, and will always be the love of his life. God Bless you lady.
Best Regards,
Carol R.

11:12 PM  
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Anonymous Marsee Trout said...

Rick,
I know I'm late, everyone else found this years ago.
But I just want to say I love you and miss you.
The only memory I have of you is going to yours and Marcis house and staring at your lava lamp forever. I thought you were the coolest. You left too soon. Before I really got to know you, I was only 10, but you always be in my heart.

I love you.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What happened to Rick and his brother Bob? O have known Bobby since the 6th grade and we hung out together. Bobby was a fantastic bass player back in the day. I know he had some problems and of course I knew Rick through his brother and once sold Rick my Wurlitzer piano back in the early 70's. I've been living in Vermont the past 25 years so I've been out of touch with most of the people in Brockton. Sad to here of the passing of both Bob and Rick. Can you tell me a bit about what happened? Thank you.
P.T. drummer

10:00 AM  

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