singer-songwriter from Florida who was a well-traveled youngster, residing
in Colorado, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C. He played the club circuit wherever
he went and when he was nineteen years old, he
hitchhiked to Los Angeles, California.
It was there
he was discovered by The Flying Burrito Brothers’ manager, Ed Tickman.
Gram Parsons had quit the band and they were looking for a
replacement. Rick had an
immediate impact. He penned and
sang vocals on seven songs on their eponymous album in 1971. Michael Clarke, Chris Hillman, and
Al Perkins quit the band in October and Rick was left alone to fill the
holes left by them. He
assembled a new group and they went on tour in Europe and released a live
album, Last of the Red Hot Burritos,
in 1972. It was, at least at
the time, aptly named.
Rick pursued a
solo career, and released his first album in 1972. Windmills was an all-star
affair that featured the talents of Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Bernie
Leadon, Randy Meisner, and Al Perkins. Neither it nor its follow-up, She is a Song, generated much
interest, and in 1974, Rick co-founded Firefall,
a Colorado-based country-rock outfit rounded out by Mark Andes, Jock
Bartley, and Michael Clarke.
They enjoyed moderate success in the 1970s and early ‘80s,
releasing a half-dozen LPs and peppering the charts with hits such as “Just
Remember I Love You”, “Strange Way”, and “You Are the
Woman”. They broke up in
1982. Rick went on tour with
Chris Hillman and then re-joined Michael Clarke in a re-hashed version of
Thom DeRosa, the director of entertainment at Homosassa,
Florida’s Sea Wolf club threw a fortieth birthday bash for him in
1989, with Rick providing the entertainment, performing a solo concert for
family, friends, and the local TV audience.
It was one of
his last performances, as he fell ill in the 1990s and it curtailed his
career. A British record
company, Gottdiscs, issued both of his solo
albums on a double-CD in 2005.