Ricky Blue

about Rick .... by Rick

Rick is proud to be a baby boomer (anyone born from 1946 to 1964). Because he was born in September, the 9th month of 1946, that means he was probably conceived in the early morning of January 1st, 1946 - just after the singing of Auld Lang Syne. So if you are a Catholic and believe that life begins at conception, you know that Rick could very well be the world’s first baby boomer.

Although he is not a perfect baby boomer: for instance he knows that John F Kennedy was shot but he doesn’t have a clue where he was at the time.

He was born in a taxi cab in a tunnel under the Mersey River between Birkenhead and Liverpool. So his roots are in the city that gave rise to one of the most successful musical acts of all time: Yes, George Formby.

He left England and came to the Promised Land at the tender age of two. He spent his childhood in Laconia New Hampshire; Philadelphia, PA; Toronto, Ontario; Kennebunkport, Maine; Brooklyn, New York; and Red Bank, New Jersey. He finally settled in Montreal at the age of thirteen.

His father’s only advice to him was that would have to learn how to live on his wits. So every day Rick tries to live on his wits. But he won’t mind telling you – it has not been easy.

He attended Sir George Williams University in Montreal where he eventually earned an MA in English. He was well liked by many of his professors and occasionally became as intoxicated as they were – with ideas, of course. (He never used mind expanding drugs. You could tell that by his grades.)

At University he wrote poetry and searched for the meaning of life. Eventually he was struck with a revelation: he realized that the truth is funny. So he spent most of his youth singing, laughing and making love. The rest of the time he wasted. The years flew by. When he was young his hair was red, then it went blonde, then it went grey and finally, it just went.

Rick likes that fact that one never knows what is coming next. To know what is coming next would be boring. If you are really certain that you know what is coming next it could only be because you’re watching a David Suzuki documentary.

Many of his classmates from University are now retired. But Rick does not ever plan to retire; mainly because he doesn’t play golf. Also, he realizes that now that baby boomers are living longer they need to keep working to stay engaged in the world; especially those who invested their RRSP money in Nortel stock.

Rick has a very practical relationship with his art: he does it to make a living. Unlike some, he doesn’t admire people who suffer and die for their art. He feels sorry for them. And he is doing his damnedest to make sure that it doesn’t happen to him.

In order to stay alive in the highest taxed jurisdiction in North America he has at various times sold shoes, worked at a radio station, and taught communication at John Abbot College (CEGEP). He has also written songs for educational films and slideshows. And he once won a Clio (Advertising) award for a jingle about saving energy.

Before teaming up with George Bowser he played in obscure 60s and 70s Rock Bands with names like “The British North American Act” and “Mantis”. He is pleased that recordings of these bands are now highly collectible, if only because so few of them were ever printed.

He was christened Rick Blue by a tap dancer named Mary Monday in the mid 1970s. They performed in local bars where he played Ukulele and she danced. After that he started a band called “Ricky Blue and Sonic Stew” and played the depraved and rowdy dives of working class Ville LaSalle and Montreal West where he was given many Black Russians and once was even given a black eye. When he teamed up with George Bowser to play Pubs in 1978 he kept the name Blue. The alliteration was too enticing to resist. He is often asked if he is related to a local family named Blue. He explains that he is actually related to the Mississippi Blues who were descended from the Delta Blues although most of his family went to Chicago and became the famous Chicago Blues.

Rick wrote a bi-weekly column for the West Island Chronicle for five years and is now writing for the Montreal Suburban newspaper. Recently he has begun to write plays for local summer theatres in the Montreal area: the comedy “Campbell’s Sutra” is part of the 2008 Hudson Village Theatre season, and the musical “Let’s Be Frank” is part of the 2008 Lac Brome Theatre’s season.

Rick has been one half of Bowser and Blue for 30 years and he is very proud of the stature that Bowser and Blue have achieved in that time. He believes, along with many researchers, that humor can lengthen one’s lifespan. So he is hoping to get in a few extra days. In fact he thinks he has finally found the purpose of life. That is to stay alive as long as you possibly can. This is now his aim.