October 4, 1956 - November 21, 1992
Ricky would show up at our early gigs, usually at the Sound of Music, begging to sing. We would relent and then watch as he slid down the mic stand and crumpled to the floor in slow motion over 2 or 3 songs. By the time the set ended Ricky would be lying on the stage or floor moaning, growling and muttering.
Paul asked him to come in and sing when we were recording demos in 81 that would become Sea of Unrest. He came with his demons who must have been dancing around while he was in the room recording, he was pointing and talking to someone. They served him well and brought him down.
He once stayed at my house for a week. He stripped my baby pot plants of all their leaves and tried to smoke them. One night he and my 16 yr old brother went out. My brother showed up alone 2 days later with 4 deep scratches around half his neck. Ricky had done them. I never found out what happened except bikers were involved.
Most of the time Ricky had a nurse or keeper. Most of the time when he was with the Midgets he had a "girlfriend". It was when he didn't that he was most at risk. He would go anywhere with anybody and take anything. In the end this killed him.
At the time Ricky died we were working on a new record, we had played our first gig with him since 1983 and there was more to come. Ricky was rediscovering his voice. What we could have done together I'll never know, syncophants made sure of that. We lost a lot when we lost Ricky.
Craig Gray March 13 2013
FROM TOM MALLON’S LINER NOTES FOR 1994 CD RELEASE
I don’t remember the making of Sea of Unrest all that well; The Midgets probably don’t either (for reasons better left unsaid). I do remember cramming Paul’s amp inside of an upright piano to do some overdubs and Ricky cutting pictures out of magazines, pulling one of my doors off it’s hinges and consistently showing up to sing on the wrong day, at the wrong time...on the wrong planet. “Be faithful to your mother and don’t tell her who you are ‘cause she will you that you are the bad guy.” At Ricky’s funeral there were two lttle boxes side by side, Ricky and his Mom. She had died the year before and I guess they just took her out for the occasion. As they got ready to put their ashes into what looked like a safety deposit box I couldn’t help thinking about that line. The obligatory speaker spoke the obligatory crap and summed it all up with “...all the joy Ricky brought to others with his voice.” Of course, everyone went silently hysterical when they heard that. Later I got to thinking about this but couldn’t come up with a description. What HAD Ricky brought to the world? Love? I don’t know. Compassion? Maybe. He had a way of looking at things unlike most of us. His lyrics were always incredibly insightful and at the same time hilarously funny. ( O.K., there a bit obtuse too.) I can’t think of anyone who excelled at this combination as well as he. “And then there might be someone else, there might be a few like me.” Unfortunately, there will be no one else like you, Ricky.
I miss him.
Tom Mallon Xmas 1993