of the 60's was pretty much gone. Hippies had moved on into society,
John Lennon was horribly gunned down by a psychopath, Woodstock turned
from an event about "Peace & Love" into a horribly commercial
event that overcharged kids to see bands singing about hate and violence.
And the worst of it all was the state of music!
all things new were bad. Computers were brought out of the office and
into the homes of the masses, and subsequently the Internet was created.
Global communities were formed that brought together people with similar
interests, regardless of where they were in the world. Within these
communities, a group of 1960's music lovers, who remembered Richard
and the Young Lions, had formed.
found out about this Internet community through his son and started
corresponding with these groups through their public discussion boards.
And this led to Richard doing a few online interviews on the music collector's
away in New Jersey, Lou Vlahakes, who was guided by some unseen 60's
musical force, decided to try and see if any of his old friends and
bandmates were on the Internet. In his search, he found much of the
same Richard and the Young Lions interest that Richard had found. But
best of all, he found Richard's e-mail address through one of the interviews
that Richard had given!
In a surprising parallel series of events (that 60s musical force again?),
Bob Freedman, also still in NJ, was also using the internet and found
Newsgroups and postings about Richard and the Young Lions, and was answering
posted questions and messages about the band, using "Young_Lion"
as his handle (how appropriate). Eventually, he contacted Richard about
the unexpected new interest he found in the "old band".
e-mailed Richard to reminisce about the old times and without either
of them realizing it, the spark was lit for a full-blown reunion! Most
of the other band members had kept in touch with either Richard or Lou,
and eventually they got together for a grand reunion. Bob Freedman was
part of the initial reunion, and also for a few band get togethers to
play, "for old time's sake", but, mostly due to other commitments
in his life, did not continue on. But he is with them in spirit.
practiced, and they practiced, and eventually got all the rust out of
their systems and began playing like their old selves again.
cousin of original Young Lion Ricky Rackin, was brought in to play rhythm
guitar, harmonica and vocals. Eric, who had gone on in the 1970's to
form the critically acclaimed "Eric Rackin Band", had
also become a hit movie song writer. He wrote "Livin' on the
Edge of the Night" for Iggy Pop, which was featured
in the 1989 movie, "Black
Rain", and "Show Me Heaven" with legendary
pop diva, Maria McKee for the movie "Days
of Thunder. He then brought in his studio partner, Rick Robinson
to play the Continental Vox Organ. Heres a piece of trivia for you
- Back in the old days, the band never toured with an organ because
of the difficulty carrying it around from gig to gig. Nowadays the band
has a more portable organ.
band now at 7 members strong they were ready for a comeback!
doing promotions for the first live show, the band got together
on July 10, 2000 for the WNYU:
Plastic Tales Psychadelic radio program in New York and
performed an acoustic/electric set of 6 songs - Their 3 hits
and the associated b-sides. The response was incredible!
you want to hear the full 2 hour show, click here
first live show was Maxwells
of Hoboken on July 15th 2000. They played to a full
house and showed the world what "34 years of pent up Roar
Power" sounded like.. The crowd responded to the band mightily!
pictures of the Maxwells show here.
thing was certain:
and the Young Lions were
the Maxwells show was so popular, they were booked for the "Garage
Rock Festacular" -
Cavestomp 2000 at New York's Westbeth Theatre on November
4th, 2000 playing with such garage band greats as The Troggs,
The Syndicate of Sound, the Blues Magoos, the Gants, and the
review for the show can be found here
2000 was an even bigger show than at Maxwells, solidifying Richard
and the Young Lions return.
success at CaveStomp 2000, Little
Steven Van Zandt who, with his company Renegade
Nation Productions, had recently partnered with CaveStomp, asked
Richard and the Young Lions to play at a few of their Cavestomp! Monthly
Music Series Shows at the Village Underground.
show was on March 31st, 2001, and they played with ? and the Mysterians
of "96 Tears" fame. Richard and the Young Lions had played
with ? and the Mysterians at the ALSAC benefit show at Cobo Hall back
in Detroit in 1966. Also on the bill that night was Dave Aguilar of
Chocolate Watchband, and the Greenhornes. The show was
after the show, Rick Robinson left the band and accomplished singer/songwriter/keyboardist
Shelly Riff joined
second show was on May 24th, 25th & 26th 2001,the band played with
the Zombies of "Shes Not There", "Time of the Season",
and many other songs fame. This show marked the debut of Shelly Riff's
career as a Young Lion. Sadly, there's not a lot of pictures of this
third Cavestomp/Little Steven show was on July 26, 2001 and
they played with The Troggs of "Wild Thing" fame.
was your webmasters first time seeing the boys play live,
and I was in awe of the energy that they created. The crowd
went nuts for the band. I would not want to be the band that
went on immediately following Richard and the Young Lions!
to see the pictures of the show.
here to see some
video of the show
Richard and the Young Lions are on a touring hiatus, working heavily
on their new CD.
Keep an eye out on this site for more news regarding it!
to paraphrase Bronx rockers Black
the story so far of Richard and the Young Lions"