Ric began playing drums and percussion at school and joined two other
school mates to form a three piece band called The Falcons.
After only a short
time with The Falcons Ric was asked to join a well known local group,
Ricky Storm and the Stormcats. During this period, Ric met and studied with
Dave Quickmire, drummer with the hottest group in the area, The
Jaybirds. The guitarist was Alvin Lee and the bassist Leo Lyons.
Dave left The Jaybirds to get married and he insisted
Ric audition for the post, soon after, Ric took over the drum chair. Chick Churchill joined
as Road Manager but soon became keyboard player as The Jaybirds became backing group for a chart vocal
act, The Ivy League.
On several tours of
the United States Ric found the time to study at Berklee School of Music in
Boston, Massachussetts, with Alan Dawson, then drummer with The
Dave Brubeck Quartet. During this
time period Ric also began teaching young enthusiasts privately when he was at
home between touring commitments.
When Ten Years After ceased touring in
1976, Ric turned his attention to
running his own Music Publishing, Management and Record Production company.
One of the first signings to the publishing company was a song called
“I Can Prove It”, which reached number 21 in the UK National Singles
Chart, in 1977. The company also promoted a song into the finals of the
Eurovision Song Contest in the same year.
During these years, Ric studied tuned percussion as a part time student
at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Gilbert Webster, percussionist with the
BBC Radio Orchestra. When Gilbert moved to Manchester, Ric continued his studies with
Robert Howes, percussionist with
the famous Wren Orchestra.
For about 18 months,
commencing in 1980, Ric joined
Stan Webb in the thirteenth incarnation of Chicken Shack, which
was a sixties blues group that had a UK number one record with the number one
record “I’d Rather Go Blind” which was sung by Christine Perfect who went
on to world fame with Fleetwood Mac, and is known to all fans as Christine McVie.
Chicken Shack toured the UK and Europe many times in this short period
and made an album for RCA Records, “ Roadies Concerto”.
Ten Years After
re-formed again in 1983 for the Marquee Club’s 25th
Anniversary. Durning this short re-birth, Ric managed the group; negotiating
contracts, arranging pubicity, organizing travel and performance budgets and
playing the Drum Kit as well!
Between 1984 and 1986, Ric managed several
up and coming young acts and increased his publishing catalogue. A “Cover”
version of “I Can Prove It” was secured, sung by Phil Fearon, which
charted at number 8 in the UK Gallup Chart and went on to be a
multi-million selling record throughout Europe.
In between tours Ric studied further drum techniques and gained
experience of Latin percussion ensemble playing with Trevor Tomkins,
Professor of Percussion at the Guildhall and The Royal College of
In 1994, Ric formed The Breakers with
an old friend, Ian Ellis (from Savoy
Brown) and together they wrote and produced their first studio album called
“Milan” which was released in July of 1995.
Along with tours of the UK and Europe, The Breakers were guest with
Adams and Bonnie Raitt, on NBC Super Channel’s “Talking Blues” programme
that aired in Europe in March of 1996.
Another of Ric’s winning projects around the middle
the production of a series of ambient albums, the most successful of which was “The Spirit of Africa”.
This album has sold over 50,000 units in
Europe and is due for a re-release next year.
Ric worked once again with Ten Years After, touring and performing at
Festivals in America, Brazil, and Europe between 1995 and 2000.
More recently he was finding “gems” of “lost” recordings of the
band, remastering them, writing sleeve notes, and helping the companies involved to
re-issue and promote the products. These include:
Live at the Fillmore East (a double cd set), Undead, Cricklewood
In October of 2001 Ric recorded an album with
Leo Lyons and Texas guitar
slinger, Vince Converse, "LLC", and it is due for release in the near future.
One track from those sessions is included on the CD “From Clarksdale to Heaven”,
a Tribute to veteran blues man veteran, John Lee Hooker. Also included are contributions by
guitarists Jeff Beck and Gary Moore.
Ric is married with two young children and lives in the Derbyshire Dales,
England, where he also runs a highly successful holiday business, he is also writing
his autobiography, a novel and still
finds the time to help youngsters to learn to play percussion instruments!