Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Good Rats

Location:   Long Island
Year:   1964

The Good Rats have been rightfully described as "the world's most famous unknown band." Their collegial fans include such famous performers as Kiss, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Alec Baldwin, Rosie O'Donnell and others.  A number of performers, including The Ramones, have credited The Good Rats among their inspirations.

The Good Rats have opened worldwide for such acts as Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, The Ramones, Ozzy Osbourne, The Grateful Dead, Kiss, and Journey, among many more. 

The band is extremely proud to have been inducted into the Long Island Music Hall Of Fame along with Billy Joel, Kiss, The Ramones, Blue Oyster Cult, Pat Benatar, Barbra Streisand, Mariah Carey, and other world-famous locals.  

The Good Rats began as a college band at St. John's University in Queens, including Peppi Marchello, who was to become their scuff-voiced frontman. Their first album, The Good Rats, was released in 1969. 

The Vietnam War and other less earth-shattering events like girlfriends, marriages and relocations, led to many changes in the lineup, but Marchello remained the center of gravity. 

In 1974, the band released Tasty, an album of pop standards, ballads, and fusion, which gained them national attention as it charted across the country due to heavy airplay on the Album-Oriented Rock (AOR) stations of the day. The Good Rats went from an opening act to a headliner, and their stage antics (throwing rubber rats into the audience, using metal garbage cans as bongos) immensely entertained their audiences, A number of albums followed, among them Ratcity Blues and From Rats To Riches, none of which garnered the national attention of Tasty, though the band remained a local favorite.

In 1980, the band broke up, but Peppi Marchello and his brothers and sons continued playing local New York venues, and other old (and new) bandmates slowly began coalescing around the Marchello core. In the mid-1990s The Good Rats qua The Good Rats began playing again as The Good Rats. They continue to release albums and to play smaller venues. 

On July 10, 2013, Peppi Marchello died at age 68, following cardiac surgery. 

The band plays on. 

This post is dedicated to Donna Heder who inspired it, and to the memory of Peppi Marchello, without whom it could not have been written. 


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