Rick's musical beginnings go way back to his childhood in Prince George's County, Md. A love for music was instilled by his Mom and Dad. Rick's Father sang, played guitar and harmonica with his Navy brothers (a bunch of fellow fun loving Filipinos). One of his earliest memories are of them playing and singing at his Mother's birthday party. What fun they were having!! "My Mom is a beautiful songstress of Italian born heritage. She once sang for an amateur hour contest back in the 40s". She sang in church choirs in her youth, as well. She loves 40's music!! With that kind of musical influence, Rick was off to a great start!
He took lessons on a couple of different instruments, one of which was the accordion (age 8). He remembers Aunt Julie listening to one of his practice sessions and stating, "Just think Richard, one day you'll play for Lawrence Welk"! That was the end of his love for the accordion.......Eventually, Rick learned the trumpet. One time (in band camp...just kidding) in 7th grade junior band, his director told him that he had too many trumpet players (and he wasn't one of the better ones). The director asked me if I would try the French Horn and Rick was a very good French horn player, competing in many adjudication festivals ("okay, so I was a band nerd").
At 12 years old, Rick started playing guitar with his best friend, Darrell Brown and that is was when he realized how to play by ear, instead of reading notes. Rick and Darrell cut their musical teeth on America, Simon and Garfunkel, Jim Croce, the Doobie Brothers and Santana, to name a few. During this time, Rick started singing in school chorus and school musicals. "Singing was always easy for me, since my family always sang around the house". Eventually, he was privileged to receive formal voice training from a man named David Taylor. David was my choir director all through high school. "He was a great musical influence on me and my abilities". David took Rick's vocal range from a 9 note scale to a 3 1/2 octave range! And that was just his full voice. His falsetto was up into the mezzo soprano range. "I must thank David for developing my natural talent and his ability to encourage me to try harder".
As Rick went on through his teens and twenties, he taught himself to play drums, electric bass, keyboards and synthesizers. Rick started playing in rock bands when he was 15. Since then, he have done some really cool stuff. Had a band in high school called, Steed. They played talent shows, met girls, played pool parties, gigged on back porches, at bonfires, met girls... you get the idea.... Rick also played in an Elvis Tribute band, toured the Chittlin' Circuit with a Baltimore rock act, played in St. Thomas and St. Croix, USVI with another rock band, and played with one of his Brother's group, here in town (The Mystery Band). They did the local club scene, private corporate affairs, and played on the high seas on a cruise ship (this was in the 90s).
Eventually, Rick settled down and got a real job as a paid professional firefighter in 1994 with the Jacksonville Beach Fire Department in Jacksonville Beach, FL.
Currently, Rick is with Jacksonville Fire Rescue Department in Jacksonville, FL. He is an engineer/ paramedic on Engine 13 at Fire Station 13 (Special Operations Team / USAR FLTF5).
"I have been blessed with the opportunity to serve my community as a public safety employee and as an entertainer. You know what they say....ALL WORK AND NO PLAY....makes life just a bunch of bill paying blues"!