The Rip Chords
Genre: Surf/Hot Rod, Vocal/Instrumental
Geographical Area: All over the USA!
Band members live in California, New York and Pennsylvania.
Interview with: Mitch Schecter on
9/27/13 by email
Last interview date: December 2005
Band formed in:
1963 -broke up in
1965...reformed 1996 to present
NESMA member since:
1. What is the current
line-up of your band?
Has your line-up changed since your last
interview? If so, how?
Yes - longtime Band member
Freddy Brog retired to Florida, and we added a sax player, Jay Leslie, who is
also in Sha Na Na and The Tokens.
2a. If so, what process did you use to deal with the change in the line-up?
We have decided to go with just
one guitar instead of replacing Freddy, but the addition of Jay on sax, and Amy
on keyboards more than makes up for the loss of the rhythm guitar.
2b. Did the change in line-up affect your sound or the direction the band was
No, not really. We are first and foremost a vocal band, relying on
strong harmonies, so no direction change took place...just a bit of a shuffle of
the rhythm chores between guitar and piano.
3. Since your
last interview has your music taken on new or different directions? If so, how?
No....same direction since the original band in 1963.. :)
4. What NESMA
bands have you had an opportunity to perform with, or share a show with?
The 9th Wave,
The Sharkskins and
The Clams come to mind.
bands of any genre have you played with or networked with?
Lots......Locally, The Sharkskins, a great surf band, have done
some things with us. We also work closely with a few national artists, which is
all part of the "oldies shows" we are included in from time to time. People like
Ron Dante (The Archies), Al Jardine (The Beach Boys), Donna Loren (Beach Party
6. What is
the break down of cover vs. original material in your live shows and/or
I would say we are about 80% original...20% cover on stage...and about 95%
original on record... we have covered a few here and there on our current CDs.
this changed since your last interview? If so, how?
No, not really. Our CD "Cobra Beach" is 100% original material...with the
exception of 3 re-recorded Rip Chords classics...which, although written by
outside writers, they are Rip Chords songs.
recording have you done since your last interview?
"The Rip Chords...Now!" on Collectables Records, "Cobra Beach" on
RFM Music, and "Best Of The Rip Chords...Today!" on Spectra Records.
does your band typically practice?
I have a small studio at my house that we rehearse in....and of
course hotel room rehearsals take place a lot.
does your band typically wear for a performance?
We have Hawaiian shirts, of course. Along with white jeans and
sneakers....a summer vibe.
10. Do you ever have
additional performers on stage with you?
These days we are self contained....7 members strong...although
when we play out west, we have some friends sit in with us from time to time.
Last time we were in California, this past summer, longtime Beach Boys drummer
Bobby Figueroa sat in with us. And we have also had Billy Hinsche and Tom Jacob
onstage with us as well. And we recently backed up Donna Loren on two songs she
sang in "Beach Blanket Bingo" and "Muscle Beach Party" when we were out west. We
brought her up onstage in the middle of our show. There are videos of those
performances on YouTube....as well as our website, and Donna's website. We hope
to perform more with Donna. We are talking about that now with her. She is still
a great singer, and still beautiful! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_UUABw_DKY
11. How do you continue to
A variety of agents.
12. Approximately how often
do you perform out?
Our touring schedule usually takes place during the spring and
summer months. We are pretty inactive during the winter.
13. What have you found to be
the single most effective promotional tool youíve used to further your bandís
Our website, and some great public radio stations. I'm on FaceBook, and Twitter,
and I do a lot of band promo on there....but I find that our website is about
the best tool for us -