Culture

Rockin’ with the Rockets

Tuesday, September 4, 2018



On August 28th and 29th fans were treated to an unprecedented performance by Supertramp’s Rick Davies and legendary guitarist GE Smith as they resurrected Ricky and The Rockets at Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett. Iconic promoter Ron Delsener, who was responsible for the venture, joined the sold-out crowd that included Eric Fischl and April Gornik, in singing along to Supertramp staple “Don’t You Lie to Me.”


Ricky and The Rockets originated in 1985 when, after playing an almost three hour set, several band members were “too wired to go sleep,” said Davies recently at his home in East Hampton. He found a baby grand piano in a hotel bar and after a round of drinks and the addition of a guitar, sax, bass, and drums, they were performing the music that influenced many of Supertramp’s songs: jazz and blues. These always unannounced after hour gigs became an anticipated sequel to the main concert with the tour manager or local promoter securing a venue, be it a small club, hotel bar, or “any small space,” said Davies.


After being diagnosed with incurable multiple myeloma, Davies was forced to cancel his sold out 2015 European tour to seek treatment.  Local musicians Bryan Beyer, Dave Giacome and Pure Prairie League’s Mike Reilly would stop by his home to jam and boost Davies’ spirits. Upon learning of these visits, Delsener, who lives close to both Davies and Smith in East Hampton, suggested that they meet. “I didn’t even know that Rick lived so close—about a mile away!” said Smith of their December 2017 meeting, “He and his wife Sue came over and Rick started playing this 1930’s blues slide piano and I picked up my guitar…” And the idea of bringing The Rockets back to life was on its way.


While introducing “Downstream” at The Talkhouse, Davies thanked his friends for their support during his recovery; singling out Sue he said, “I wouldn’t have gotten through the last couple of years without her.”


In the audience, Sue wiped away tears as he sang,


“To know you as I know you now

That is all I need

And we will get along somehow

If we both believe”


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