Steve Rydzewski

AlleyPicsMay98ish

I do miss Ray a lot, and the Ricochets were a great bunch of guys.

I’m so glad I listened to a friend who told me years ago to check them out when they came to Philadelphia. My sister tells me it was Wayne “The Train” Hancock who recommended we see Ray.

They next played a little radio station in Bernardsville, PA that my friends and I trekked up to and had a great time. Only about a dozen of us filled the place. Ray did several songs over the airwaves that I never did get a recording of! I’d love to have some live recordings of them! After the show we went to a bar across the street for a couple hours before closing the place 2am. It was here my friend and I hung out with Ray. I remember Ray was upset that someone had then recently stole his saxophone. That sucked to hear, and especially to a guy like him.

A day or two afterwards we made the 65 mile each way drive to Reading, PA to see them again. It was a FANTASTIC SHOW! He was such a clown, always popping with energy, a real entertainer with a great songlist and terrific singer. He and the band looked like they were having as much fun as us. They were always so tight and the music infectious. And the band played for hours! Poor Ray looked exhausted as the night went on yet the bastard owner egged Ray on for more songs. We were satisfied and ready to get back home, but the band kept playing! Of course we stayed!

I always kept up with Ray’s records (I hope I have them all!), I even remember seeing Ray & the Ricochets on the CBS Saturday Morning show that’s now up at YouTube, and that’s probably one of the last times I “saw” Ray. Hadn’t heard too much if anything about him for a while then the poor guy died. Yes, I miss him.

I still have a few autographed LPs or CDs and the most prized possession is their tour poster with the High and Wild cover photo they they all (Ray, Jimmy, Steven, and Pete Turland) signed, “Happy Birthday Diane” to my sister.

Great memories of a great band, and a much missed entertainer!  Take care, Gayle and good luck!

Steve Rydzewski