Richie Scarlet, the "Emperor of Rock and Roll"
by Donnie Tranchina
Richie Scarlet, the “Emperor of Rock and Roll” by Donnie Tranchina
Frehley’s Comet was an American Rock Band formed and led by ex-Kiss lead guitarist, Ace Frehley. In 1989, for “Trouble Walkin,” Frehley changed the lineup; Tod Howarth was replaced by Richie Scarlet, and The band continued until 1995, with Richie Scarlet remaining throughout.
Richie Scarlet, is really the working man of rock. He lives and breathes his craft, never to be mistaken as ‘weekend warrior.’ His musical credibility is highly respected amongst his musical peers, having played in bands with legends like Ace Frehley (KISS), Leslie West (Mountain), and with the members of the Alice Cooper Group. Richie has spent many years playing in several bands, his real musical prowess can be discovered through his solo work, which his first solo album, “Hit for Hit,” was released in 1984. As a solo artist he had many great CDs, starting with “Wise Guy From New York” in 1997. Richie has covered the gamut of original music, cover songs and even a live album. His CD “Fever,” was released in the fall of 2010.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Richie to get to know him a little better, and to discuss his most recent work...
Donnie Tranchina: So Richie, first off, thanks for taking the time for this interview. You've been really hard to nail down lately, you're so busy. Tell us what's been going on with you?
Richie Scarlet: Thanks for the opportunity Donnie. But busy is an understatement; we've just finished recording a new album at Prime Time Sound, in Mt. Vernon, NY, and it's called “I Plead The Fifth.”
Donnie Tranchina: I’ve been listening to some of the tracks; great collection of songs. Any collaborations we should be aware of?
Richie Scarlet: I wrote 5 out of the 9 songs. Two were covers, one by Sal Scoca and me, and the other was with Pete Gallinari. I believe this was our seventh solo album.
Donnie Tranchina: Can you tell us a little about Frehley’s Comet?
Richie Scarlet: I played with Ace Frehley of Kiss for a number of years, as well as Leslie West and Sebastion Bach. I was in the original Frehley’s Comet, but I wasn’t on the album; I ended up recording my own album instead. It was called “Hit for Hit.”
Donnie Tranchina: I saw you with Ace on the Bad Boy tour; Peter Criss and his band performed also. It must have been a dream come true for you.
Richie Scarlet: That was one of my most favorite tours that I’d ever done.
Donnie Tranchina: So Richie, you’re known in the industry as the “Emperor of Rock n Roll...”
Richie Scarlet: Ace Frehley started calling me that... and it just sorta stuck I guess.
Donnie Tranchina: Who are your top three guitar players?
Richie Scarlet: My top 3 guitar players are, Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Chet Atkins.
Donnie Tranchina: Top three bands?
Richie Scarlet: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Sex Pistols.
Donnie Tranchina: Okay, your stuck on a desert island and could only take one CD with you. Which one is it?
Richie Scarlet: The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars by David Bowie.
Donnie Tranchina: Richie, what would you like to say to all your fans?
Richie Scarlet: I would like to thank them for making “I Plead The Fifth,” my most successful CD, and “Without Your Love,” my most successful single. Which at this time it is #1 on the Indie Chart across the nation!
I would like to thank Richie for taking the time to speak with me on behalf of Rock Show Magazine.