It’s with great sadness that I share with the readers the news about the passing of Peppi Marchello of the legendary Good Rats. He was 68 years old and it was a heart attack that took The Songwriter from us last night.
Since I was a latecomer to the music of The Good Rats I have to thank some friends who really liked them and made sure that I was able to get some exposure to the sound much later than their original heyday. My friend Rocky had a shop that was pretty much the only place you could find their CD’s, and I actually first saw Peppi and his sons do their version of The Good Rats at a local bar in Bay Ridge. Lucky for the fans of these classic tunes, the original band would reunite for shows at the B.B. King Blues Club and sell out each and every show. Speaking honestly about him, I could tell you that Peppi Marchello was a fantastic front man that kept you engaged throughout the show with casual audience conversation or a quick joke that made you feel as though you were watching an old friend dish out some tunes as opposed to being an iconic area music figure. For those who never had the chance to see the Rats, I should mention that Peppi was known for playing air guitar on a baseball bat and this same bat would later smash a garbage can which he used to store the rubber rats that had been brought along for the audience to catch (if they were lucky). The interesting thing about the Good Rats is the wealth of great material that so many people still have yet to discover. During their original touring time, they were the band that other groups aspired to be like. One such band is Twisted Sister but there are numerous others for sure. The Rolling Stone referred to them as “The world’s most famous unknown band” and it was not for lack of hard work and resolve. After any of their shows Peppi would never shy away from talking to his supporters and even at his age was performing about 100 gigs a year with his band. Continue reading The Songwriter Says Goodnight; Peppi Marchello of The Good Rats Has Passed Away (7/10/2013)→
The Good Rats were back in NYC and doing another one of their reunion shows. I caught them doing this last year and it was a very good time so I was not going to miss the chance to enjoy it once again. If memory serves me, back in 2009 there were two shows being held and they were on different nights but this evening one would follow the other. The early show held the most appeal for me so that is the one we are reporting on and you can enjoy the scoop about the whole show by scrolling on down below.
Artist: The Good Rats Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New Yotk, NY) Opener: n/a Date: 4/16/2010 Label: Uncle Rat Music
While March had really blown the doors off for the Metal community, I had to say that in looking at the shows hitting us in April that the month was off to a pretty respectable start itself. So far it had been focused on the Rock and Roll side of the fence and given us some great memories to carry across the span of the whole year in terms of the music that it was delivering to the fans. This Good Rats performance at the venerated B.B. King Blues Club seemed to be the perfect treat for those that managed to get their taxes done and gone, and for those who chose to up their entertainment ante a little bit there would be not only one, but two performances this evening for them to enjoy. Last week we had the American Led Zeppelin guys of Cactus out and about at this same space and they really gave us a heavy dose of Blues laden Hard Rock to chew on all week. Tonight was more about the Classic Rock side of things as the “Greatest Band You Never Heard Of In Your Life” was reunited once again and prepared to dish out some really incredible tunes. Here is how the event went down should you have been one of the folks that missed out on the fun. Continue reading Good Rats @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/16/2010)→
Artist: The Good Rats Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY) Opener: n/a Date: 4/25/2009 Label: Independent Artist
If you are a fan of the Heavy Metal genre then I am rather certain that by now you are very well aware of the band Anvil a little bit more nowadays based on a movie that was done about their consistent struggle at fame and fortune in the music industry game. The film shed some serious light on just how hard this business is and showed that not everyone manages to find the success that they so richly seem to deserve. With that being said, what about those bands that have been at their craft for many years longer and didn’t have the luxury of a movie to help them snare some of that long overdue attention. One such band is the New York based Good Rats who were formed in 1964 and were one of those Long Island club circuit bands that played out over and over and based on their ardent support base would find almost every gig that was done being sold out with no room to breathe in the venue. The band’s most popular lineup consisted of lead singer Peppi Marchello and his brother Mickey (guitarist) along with John “The Cat” Gatto (guitar), Lenny Kotke (bass) and Joe Franco (drums) who together released a number of Hard Rocking and melodic albums. Despite the bands devoted fan base, the stratospheric heights that some bands manage to attain somehow eluded the Rats but I guess in the Rock and Roll world there are more stories like this than there are not and that is what made a night like tonight rather special because it would find the classic lineup of the band reunited and performing for the second of two sold out nights at Times Squares popular venue B.B. King Blues Club & Grill. Having been from the generation that came after this bands heyday I was glad to be a part of the fun tonight since I had long been enjoying the music of the group on such great CD’s as “Tasty” and “Ratcity In Blue”. For those who might be in the unaware, the music of the Good Rats was at times very hard rocking and always very melodic with some cool backing vocals and hooks. Continue reading The Good Rats @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/25/2009)→