Friday, March 26, 2010


When he was just 17, Rick Derringer's band The McCoys recorded "Hang on Sloopy" in the summer of 1965, which became the number one song in America before "Yesterday" by The Beatles knocked it out of the top spot.

Derringer also recorded and played with a version of Johnny Winter's band called "Johnny Winter And ..." and both Edgar Winter's White Trash and The Edgar Winter Group. Derringer also had a successful solo career, and his solo version of "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo" was a hit single. He also recorded extensively with Steely Dan, playing lead guitar on songs such as "Show Biz Kids".

n the 1980s, Derringer expanded his producing skills, discovering "Weird Al" Yankovic as well as Mason Ruffner. Rick was "Weird Al" Yankovic's lead guitarist for five years, before being replaced by Jim West.

In 1976 Rick created the Derringer Band which featured Kenny Aaronson, Danny Johnson, and Vinny Appice. He released four albums with the Derringer band and in '83 returned to his solo career with the LP, Good Dirty Fun. Derringer was the first album with these guys and was released in 1976. A versatile guitarist, singer, songwriter, session man and producer, Derringer has an extensive catalog and is a great often overlooked guitarist.

Let Me In
Beyond the Universe
Buy It

Funny Toon


Anonymous said...

I think this post overstates Rick Derringer's role in Weird Al's career a little. I'd give the credit for "discovering" Weird Al to Dr. Demento, who was the first person to play a Weird Al song on the radio (when Al was only 16!) or to Al's manager Jay Levey, who heard him as a solo act, encouraged him to put a band together (which, BTW, included Jim West from the beginning) and found him the record deal with Scotti Bros. Rick Derringer came on the scene after all this had happened.
This is the description of Mr. Derringer's contribution to Weird Al's oeuvre from Al's own website, in the "Players" section, maintained by Al's drummer Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz. And Jon should know, he was there.
Rick Derringer - guitar & vocals
Producer of the first six albums, and played most of the guitar on "WEIRD AL" YANKOVIC. Rick contributed misc guitar work and backing vocals on each album through UHF in 1989. Rick also joined the band live for a few songs at the Bottom Line in New York City in May, 1983.

homercat said...

Well then, I humbly stand corrected.

Deiter of Venice, CA said...

I discovered this LP in high school (yep, I'm that old) so it has a kind of honey-glazed nostalgia for me. The tracks you posted are two of the album's best. I remember rocking them on the car cassette on the way to my minimum wage hell-hole job. May've saved my life.

The follow up album, Sweet Evil, was worthwhile too.

I've noticed that Rick has in recent years become a sort of a Born Again Christian bore. Too bad: Great guitarist.

UncleAllan33 said...

Hardly a bore. I saw him in Fayetteville, Arkansas with Pat Travers just a couple of weeks ago at the 4th largest bike rally in the country and he never sounded better. I've seen him 5 times in the past two years and he keeps getting better!