He was born Richard Kaiser in South Africa. At a very early age, Richard cut his teeth on a handmade classical guitar borrowed from his sister.
“She taught me 5 chords and ‘The House of The Rising Son’ and the rest came over time.”
At 15 he bought his first bass, a V62 Hofner Beatle with terrible action, and started his first trio, Fagin. “I played at my fathers 70th birthday
and scared all his guests away.”
The Hofner V62 Beatle
He tried out for a few bands, Sheriff (an Eagles cover band) and others he doesn’t recall. Then he started
a 5-piece R & B group called Nantucket Sleighride. A tour of duty in the army had him playing in That Damned Army Band,
touring various military camps in the operational area. On his return, he married the drummer’s sister and that was the end of the band.
“After the divorce, I learned to play acoustic guitars again and progressed back to the bass.” This was followed by a 4-year stint with a
7-piece jazz outfit called Night Train when the Hohner ‘The Jack’ was his instrument of choice.
The Steinberger pickups combined with Flatwound strings gave a beautiful ‘Dog Kennel’ sound that lent itself to the intricacies of the big
band jazz sound they where trying to achieve.
Hohner 'The Jack'
South African politics and opportunities drove Richard to immigrate to the US, and after a while settled in Hyde Park, NY. There he met
Dave Feroe who introduced him to the Hudson Valley music scene and soon they were the Dave Feroe Project, playing various benefit
concerts in the area. While gearing up for our second “Tattoo and Body Piecing Expo” benefit concert at The Chance he met up with Mike
Failla and Pt Crispell.
Much later, Mike and Pt had formed Set to Go and they where looking for a bass player. “They called me as I was gearing up to find a
band and a match was made in Hyde Park (close to Heaven).
“Now ‘Smokin’ Toad’ is a group that has the kind of unity and enjoyment of playing that any musician would break down doors to join.
My only regret is not having met these guys 35 years ago.”
My babes (besides the 2 already mentioned):
The Guild DV52
The Carvin XL75P