Rick Perrone - The Night Rockers

MaineList Article: Rick Perrone - The Night Rockers

Rick Perrone - The Night Rockers

Rick Perrone, of Old Orchard Beach, is a name that’s been tossed around for several musically-oriented projects throughout the years. Many people today recognize the name from his band; “The Night Rockers” who appears regularly in venues across Southern Maine. Yet, Rick’s story goes much deeper than the miscellaneous gigs that he’s managed to keep in circulation for the past 30 years.

“The Night Rockers” is Rick’s 4-piece classic rock band, currently doing gigs along with Chris Skidgel on lead guitar, piano, and vocals, Angelo Derosa covering bass and vocals, with Steve Reny on drums. Rick Perrone fronts the band with vocals, guitar, harmonica, and saxophone.

Rick also performs with Angelo Derosa in an acoustic duet as “The Rick Perrone Project” which enables him to book gigs during occasions where a full band would be too much, allowing Rick to really fill in his schedule.

Rick has performed in several other bands throughout the years, including a position as lead singer in “Cool Shade of Blue”, a 9-piece jazz band. Rick also played with “The Real Band”, “This was a bunch of college kids back in 1987-1989”, Rick revealed, explaining that they toured the road, traveling all across New England while they were together. Some might remember when Rick performed as “Ricky & The Resisters” back in the 80’s too.

Achievements & Opportunities

Achievements & OpportunitiesThere have been several opportunities for this night-rockin’ cover-artist to open for big names too, including; “Leon Russel & Edgar Winter” back in 1988, as well as “James Montgomery”, “Bill Chinook”, “Herman’s Hermits” and “The Fools” to name a few.

One performance, on a Labor Day Weekend back in 1990 at The SeaPac in Old Orchard Beach, Rick sat down and enjoyed a dinner together with “Extreme” and a popular local band of that time, “Nevada Beach”, which many remember throughout the 80’s in the local club circuit.

Many local musicians who were active on the scene a decade or so ago will remember Rick Perrone’s involvement with “Biddeford Public Access” and “UPN-35” during his hosting of a weekly television broadcasting called “Late Night Express.” The show was designed to capture original Maine acts from a variety of musical styles usually covering Alternative, Blues, Folk, and Hard Rock bands.

Rick’s open-mindedness to showcasing musical talent was never limited to any particular genre. I remember some of the shows, particularly the one he hosted for “David’s Playground”, which I believe I still have recorded on VHS somewhere within my collection.

Rick’s involvement with the show was made possible by “Steve Poulus”, the producer for “Late Night Express”, who organized the entire project. After inquiring with Rick about this memorable experience, I was delighted to discover that he and Steve have actually had recent discussions about bringing the old show back into existence in an effort to continue to support the local music scene. They have not made any concrete plans at this time, but are speculating the possibilities.

Formula For A Busy Schedule

Formula For A Busy ScheduleWith over 28 years of cover performance experience, Rick has seen it all. His current band, “The Night Rockers” has been rocking local venues for the past 19 years, so when you see a band that’s stuck around that long, there’s usually a reason why.

“As a vocalist, I try to project a true conviction behind what I do!”, stated Rick, obviously troubled by peers who sometimes lack depth behind their performance. “Be true to the music.” Rick’s heart is all about the music, and he takes his performance seriously. He believes that reproducing another bands song goes far beyond just hitting the right notes, it’s a singers job to also try and recapture the original artist’s emotions for which the songs were meant to be sung.

“I am busy 5 to 7 days out of the week during the on seasons,” boasts Rick, “I find myself booking a minimum of 2 weekly gigs in the off seasons.” Rick pays credit to his venue-friendly set list, which features mainly songs that are known to work with the target audiences in the clubs where he performs.

“Brown-eyed Girl” might not seem like a popular song to many bands starting out today, but how can anyone deny Rick’s logic when he’s continued to book gigs for nearly 3 decades?

Rick’s set list includes popular classic rock songs by bands like; “Lynyrd Skynyrd”, “Creedance Clearwater Revival”, “Van Morrison”, “Rolling Stones”, “Bob Segar”, “Blue Oyster Cult”, and “Tom Petty”, with a touch of 80’s bands like; “Bon Jovi”, “ZZ Top”, “Kiss”, “Georgia Satellites”, “Motley Crue” and even “Twisted Sister”, as well as more modern hits from bands like; “Matchbox 20”, “Everclear”, “3 Doors Down”, “Foo Fighters”, and “Nickelback” to name a few.

“My all-time favorite band is “Aerosmith” Rick confessed, with great appreciation for this epic Boston band’s vocalist, “I’m a Steve Tyler wannabe!” he amusingly admits, adding; “They are the kings of rock, in my honest opinion.”

By continuously rotating or changing around his set list, Rick is able to keep listeners involved. He tends to be flexible with a variety of musical styles, with selections as far apart as Country and Hard Rock

Thoughts On Original Music

Thoughts On Original MusicAfter performing for so long as a cover artist, it seems the only remorse that this night-rockin’ performer has is; not diving into the original music scene sooner. With so much involvement towards helping other original artists throughout the years, and while always keeping a steady booking schedule, Rick never really made the time to treat himself to recording original songs. He’s only now considering taking the time to record his own original CD in hopes to hear his own songs played on local radio stations.

“I always wanted to make a difference in the World. Maybe make a song that helps change things, or somehow make the World a better place.” He approvingly declared, revealing the heart-felt ambition that still drives him even after decades of performing in local clubs.

“I might have gone big-time… once upon a time.” Rick stayed in Maine due to his involvement with children and family, despite many opportunities to follow bands to far-away places. “I could have traveled to places like “Pittsburgh”, “L.A.”, “Boston”, or as far away as “The Virgin Islands” if I didn’t feel obligated to be here for my family”, Rick explained empathetically.

Rick has learned how to market his cover-bands, how to get people to his shows, and how to entertain a crowd of listeners who expect to hear their favorite songs. “A lot of guys have the ability to produce a great CD or Press Kit, but few really know how to market their own material.” Rick’s focus has been more on booking than recording. “One of my goals is to take what I’ve learned with marketing my cover bands to the next level and begin to market my own original act.” Rick knows that the next feat will be what many of his peers are taking for granted… Recording and producing his songs on CD which will be required in order to reach those goals.

Sax & Drums & Rock-n-Roll!

Sax & Drums & Rock-n-Roll!Rick’s interests in music began at around 17 years of age, when he began to sing and play the guitar and harmonica. He picked up the saxophone around the age of 20, and later began to study under “Bill Street” at USM in Portland between 1989-1992.

One of the things that helps set his performance apart from other working bands in the area is the saxophone.

“People really seem to dig the sax”, Rick’s point is valid, since the instrument itself stands out to listeners who are not accustomed to hearing those tones from other bands performing in the same venues. “We get a lot of requests for songs that feature the saxophone.”

When Rick is not busy performing in local venues, he keeps relatively busy with his own company, which is more of a side-project compared to his involvement in the music scene. “Perrone’s Home Repair” is a business he started which generally involves some carpentry and painting.

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