The Richy Chronicles- Volume One- Edition One.

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Memories from Richy’s Childhood- New York Dolls #1

One night in the early seventies, when I was about 15 years old, I was hanging out on a street corner in Astoria, Queens with three  friends, Ed Christman, Billy Bell and Billy Nevins. As I recall, it was a late summer night at around Midnight and we were all starting to come down from an acid trip we had been on and we were looking for something to do. All of a sudden a car pulls up, and my older brother sticks his head out and asks us if we want to go along with him and party, Nevins and I say yes, Bell, who has always been afraid of my brother declines and goes home instead.

My brother was a bit of a notorious character in the neighborhood who would disappear for months at a time only to resurface as either a roadie/technician for an assortment of major rock bands, or as a leg breaker for low level gangster types. Whenever he was in town, it always meant that we were in for some kind of an adventure, sometimes it involved hanging out with cool bands that we liked (The Byrds, Badfinger, The Kinks) and sometimes it meant helping him collect money from some creepy lowlife, which was never as much fun.

On this particular night, he drove us to a old rundown building somewhere on the lower east side of Manhattan.

Having smoked a few joints on the way, Nevins and i were already paranoid and ready for disaster. We got onto a shaky old service elevator and proceeded to go up to the 8th floor. When we got off we were greeted by a man dressed as a woman with a small monkey on his shoulder. The monkey was psychotic and the man looked like a prostitute. My brother introduced us, and the guy seemed nice enough, but with my 15-year queens homophoic mind, I was concernd that maybe we stumbled in some kind of infectious queer-factory.

We went into a smaller room that turned out to be a recording studio. There were a lot of people crammed into the room, including a few more men dressed up like sleazy women, and a bunch of actual sleazy women who were dressed up as themselves. Their presence made me and Nevins feel a lot better about the situation. They were passing around what turned out to be lines of cocaine, which I had never done before, and joints were being passed around as well. After a few minutes, a few of the ‘ladymen’ and their real ladies went into the sound room and strapped on instruments.

We were left in the room with my brother, a friend of his called Night Bob, and a really strange and interesting character who was introduced to us as Todd. He was a really funny guy who seemed to be in control of the proceedings. The band started to play a song, it sounded terrible, and my brother and Night Bob and Todd all kind of rolled their eyes and laughed about it. When my brother commented on how horrible the guitar playing was, Todd turned to him and said “Don’t worry, I’m going to go in and re-do all the guitar parts later”

Anyway, it didn’t really mean that much to me then because I wasn’t aware of who any of these people were. It was just another wacky experience with my crazy brother, but of course as it turns out, it was a recording session for the first New York Dolls album with Todd Rundgren producing. At least that’s how I remember it. After all, I was pretty stoned at the time.

all truth- by Richy Vesecky

Next Memory- Losing My Virginity @ Stevie Wonder’s Inner Visions Record Release Party. Stay Tuned.

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2 Comments

  1. met mr rundgren at a hotel lobby when I was traveling w/ the psychedelic furs. Seemed as though he was a bit tired of another introduction of yet another “groupie” of the musical trade. Can’t help but feel as though sometimes people can’t see others sometime. No hard feelings. just a sense of others that are feeling a bit superior.

  2. […] – the most read post on HappyParts blog since it’s inception, Richy’s – Guitar Parts Later. HappyParts has been requesting a second installment – When he lost his virginty at Stevie […]


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