Rick Oricchio - R.I.P.
I am stunned and heartbroken to find out about the passing of drummer Rick Oricchio on October 6, 2016. Rick and I played in Polyester, a 1970s disco-pop-funk tribute act that was as much visual as musical, during the latter half of the 1990s. He was always dedicated and professional, and his drumming was rock-solid - enough to inspire me to recruit him to play drums on several tracks on my album Soul In Exile 2.1: Jersey Shore Baby (2007).
An example of Rick's work on my album.
When you first caught sight of Rick, you might be a bit intimidated, because he was a large man with a handlebar mustache who conveyed the image of a biker dude. But he was really a pussycat, and he had a wicked sense of humor that came out of left field when you'd least expect it. During lulls in rehearsals, he would start telling rapid-fire jokes and within minutes the rest of the band would be gasping for air from so much laughter. We tried to convince him to tell jokes between songs during shows, but he always shied away from that.
I knew he was ill, which was heartbreaking enough in and of itself. I had wanted to visit him once I had heard what shape he was in, but it pains me to say that I didn't manage to do it. All I can do now is post this tribute and say I'm so sorry. My sincerest condolences to his family, and to everyone who knew him. May his memory be for a blessing.
Neil ("Rick") Oricchio, of blessed memory.
ORICCHIO, Neil P., Jr., 63, of Little Falls, passed away on October 6, 2016. Born in Paterson, he grew up in Little Falls and lived in Florida for twelve years. He returned to the Little Falls area two years ago. Neil's passion was playing drums and he was a drummer for many bands in Florida and New Jersey. He is survived by his sister Deborah Benvenuti and her husband Sal, his nephew Paul and his wife Michelle, his niece Gina Testa and her husband Tony, two great nephews and one great niece. The family will receive their friends Monday, Oct. 10th for a memorial gathering from 5 to 7 pm with words of remembrance at 6:30 pm. at Gaita Memorial Home, 154 Newark Pompton Tpke., Little Falls. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 28 Kennedy Blvd., #180, East Brunswick, NJ 08816.