HOW THIS ALL BEGAN

 

I grew up in Pawtucket, RI and attended around 250 shows between 1972 -1980 of which 100 I recorded for my private collection. I left RI that year to attend college in New York City where I majored in technology and worked on Wall Street, Sony Music, and eventually built a recording studio in midtown Manhattan. I’ve lived in different cities and travels to many places but the memories of growing up in Rhode Island were always there to remind me of those great times. 

I loved not only the concerts but the experience of the whole music scene that took place there.  Every other week my friend Jim and I would go to Beacon Record Shop, Goldy, or Mother Records to buy the latest LP.  We also pick up the local rock newspaper like the Point and Lou Papineau would tells about the cool new bands coming up like Aerosmith.  The trip was not complete unless we got a copy of Ty Davies’ NewPaper to see what concerts were coming to town. I practically lived in the Palace (now the Performing Arts Center) and the Providence Civic Center.  I was even lucky to catch the last show at the RI Auditorium and worked as a stagehand at The Leroy Theater in Pawtucket. When the concerts were over we could always count on Stuart Fine, Tony Lioce, Max Alexander, Bill Flanagan,….etc to review the show and give us their opinion.

One of the reasons for this website was because I came to the conclusion that rock n roll memorabilia is useless unless you display it somewhere for other people to enjoy.  Stored in Pawtucket was my old scrap books of concert ads, ticket stubs, live tapes, photos, backstage passes, tour programs…etc.  Also, I wanted a website for other people to post their memories of shows they saw and to contribute with their photos, ads, tapes, ticket stubs…etc.  This site is just beginning and will be updated constantly in order to let the world know that Rhode Island Rocks! 

- Paul Fernandes

CONTACT US: info@rirocks.net

 

THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING CONTRIBUTORS THAT MADE THIS WEBSITE POSSIBLE:

Bill Flanagan,…………is an American author and television executive. He was born in Rhode Island in 1955 and graduated from Brown University in 1977. His books include WRITTEN IN MY SOUL (1986), LAST OF THE MOE HAIRCUTS (1986), U2 AT THE END OF THE WORLD (1995), and the novels A&R (2000), NEW BEDLAM (2007) and EVENING¹S EMPIRE (2010).  As EVP/Editorial Director of MTV Networks, Flanagan oversees the series VH1 STORYTELLERS and CMT CROSSROADS. He has also worked on LEGENDS, VH1 ARCHIVES, HOTEL MTV, and many other series and specials. He was one of the producers of THE CONCERT FOR NEW YORK CITY after the September 11 attacks and has produced, co-produced or executive produced two televised concerts from the White House, THE BEATLES REVOLUTION for ABC, ELVIS LIVES for NBC, and VH1 specials with Garth Brooks, Paul McCartney, Clint Eastwood, Bruce Springsteen, and Oprah Winfrey. Flanagan acts as Ombudsman of the Sundance Channel series SPECTACLE: ELVIS COSTELLO WITH... He also appears on air as an essayist on CBS NEWS SUNDAY MORNING.  Mr. Flanagan contributed some early reviews when he lived in RI in the 70’s.

Carl Morstadt,,……provided his list of concert dates from 1978 -2009

Dacia Votolato,……grew up in Cranston, RI and was very active in the RI music scene from 1973-1988.  I originally met Dacia while working at Strawberries when it was located in downtown Providence.  Many great memories and laughs were had including a great trip we took to Morris Levy’s house in Ghent, NY (Levy owned Strawberries, Roulette Records, sued John Lennon and other shady ventures :) but aside from his business life he enjoyed having summer employee parties on his estate.  Dacia contributed a wealth of dates and pictures capturing the classic Living Room years of the 80’s & 90’s

Dan Lampinski,……grew up in Pawtucket, RI and recorded over 100 concerts in the Providence/Boston area, mostly between 1974 and 1978. His earliest recordings were made with an internal microphone deck, and though they are somewhat lo-fi compared to his later work, some very great moments in rock history were captured for posterity. In late 1974 he bought a Sony TC-152SD tape recorder, a Sony ECM-99 stereo microphone, and began using Maxell cassettes. He was also fortunate enough to have a friend who provided excellent taping seats for many shows, resulting in high quality recordings. In 1977, he switched over to a Nakamichi 550 tape recorder, two Nakamichi CM-300 microphones, and continued using Maxell cassettes. Some of the 70's bands he recorded includes: Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Queen, Blue Oyster Cult, Frank Zappa, Jethro Tull, ELP, Kiss, Black Sabbath, The Who, Al Stewart, Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen, Supertramp, Jean-Luc Ponty, Moody Blues, Neil Young, The Faces, Rush, Rick Wakeman, Kansas, as well as several "under the radar" acts.  Dan still lives in Pawtucket, RI and contributed his concert list from 1971-2009, ticket stubs and ads for this website.

James J. Gillis,……grew up in Pawtucket, RI and graduated from University of RI in 1981. He started his career at The Newport Daily News in November, 1980 and has won more than 40 writing awards over the last 30 years.  Some of the articles he wrote covered the Newport Jazz Festival’s since 1982 and the Newport Folk Festival since 1985.  As an avid music fan James J. Gillis felt it was always important to write about not only the major acts but covered the local scene as well like the early days of the Newport bands including Throwing Muses and Belly. His contribution to this site includes articles and a historical perspective of local bands, dates and events.

Eric Theissen……..is a graphic designer who creates beautiful CD art work for many of the shows recorded.

Mederick "Rick" Bellaire…......is a long time Rhode Island resident and renaissance man.  Rick has done many things including publishing (Music Man Newspaper), Musician (Rick Bellaire & Trouble) and is one of the Founders of The Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame which is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to celebrating, honoring, and preserving the legacy of Rhode Island musicians, educators and industry professional who have made significant contributions to the national and Rhode Island music scene.  Mederick Bellaire is a walking encyclopedia of musical history and avid record collector.  Below you can read interview conducted by him in the early years of the newspapers history.

Michelle Contrada……..is a photographer who shot rock bands in the Boston/ RI area.  We saw many great shows together and a lot of memories to go with them.  Michelle presently lives in southern RI and works in the medical health field.

Lou Bruno……spent the first 18 years of his life in Providence where he became a music and concert collector. His four years of college in Philadelphia widened his interest in music, particularly progressive music. Moving to Boston in 1976, Lou became immersed in the local music scene at the Rat and other clubs, while a graduate student at Northeastern University. Lou and his wife Linda live in Medford, MA, and he has been working in the educational publishing industry for the past 30 years. He still considers himself a son of Rhode Island and cherishes the musical and local food memories he made there. Lou provided his wonderful collection of ads from the late 60's-70's.

Paul Fernandes……..contributed his concert database, scrap books of concert ads, tape stubs, photos and concert memorabilia to this website.  He presently resides in Oakland, CA.

Randy Hein…….was the owner of the Living Room nightclub in Providence and its main focus was more on the burgeoning local scene.  Randy was a wonderful personality that took pride in making everyone feel comfortable who played his club.  Randy was unique because he was motivated by his heart and the love of music and will forever be missed.

Rich Lupo……..started Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in 1975 and through out its history and three different locations, Lupo's Heartbreaker Hotel is the premier venue for most concerts that visit RI.

Rudy Cheeks……..is a life long Rhode Island resident. While attending the University of Rhode Island, Rudy and his friends created the band the "Fabulous Motels" and later the "Young Adults." Throughout his career he has been involved at many levels in different types of live performance, films, television shows, documentaries, radio shows and countless other ventures. Today he is known for his Dr. Love Monkey column or as Jorge in Phillipe and Jorge in the Providence Phoenix. His widespread involvement in Rhode Island has made him a popular figure in many artistic arenas. Rudy contributed some early articles published in the NewPaper including an interview with David Byrne of the Talking Heads. . 

Ty Davis……..is a writer/publisher who informed us of what was going on in the Rhode Island rock scene.  In the 70’s we couldn’t wait for the latest issue of his NewPaper to come out and read all about the cool things that were happening and the reviews of some of the great concerts. His newspaper eventually merged with the Boston Phoenix in 1988 and became the Providence Phoenix under his guise. You can read some of Ty’s classic clippings under the writers & newspaper section of this site.

 

This site is dedicated to

Randall C. Hien (1949 - 2006)

for giving so much of himself in helping local bands find a venue they could call home.

also

The site is dedicated to all the people involved in the music scene of Rhode Island

past, present and future.

You the musicians, club owners, music writers, promoters, record store owners,

radio stations, instrument stores and the fans like

Hera Votolato, who is still Rockin after all these years.

WE LOVE YOU ALL!

 

CONTACT US: info@rirocks.net

 

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