BADVILLE is a tattoo and a town located in the 4th dimension. And now, a song. How it happened as told by Adam Wells (who’s ass-tatt is the cover of the EP): ‘As I remember it, one afternoon Liz (Nicholson) was working the bar at the Brendan Behan. Bill Brown was inside drinking. I had a cigarette out front, even though I had been trying to quit. When I came in, I sat with Bill and he asked how I was doing with quitting smoking. I replied that I "have been bad, Bill". He said "Bad Bill? You can't be Bad Bill, I’M Bad Bill!" During this exchange Liz misheard and asked "Badville? " to which we all had a good laugh and concluded that we all lived in Badville. At some point I said that I wanted a tattoo of an angry house that says Badville underneath. Bill drew it, but being a sincerely talented artist, his version was too nice looking, so I said, yeah like that but shittier, so I re-drew it in my crappie style and that became the tattoo. Bill went first (Fat Ram’s Pumpkin Tattoo), I went second, and at some point John Ryan came in (who had no tattoos at the time, but had been in a tough spot like the rest of us) and I asked him of he wanted to get it and volunteered to pay. He said fuck it, why not? And went and got his. I covered the bar while Liz went next door and got hers. At this time the manager of the bar came in and asked where Liz was. I told him she was next door getting tattooed. :) We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Behan and later on Jill Fisher came in and we all said she had to get it as well. It didn't take a lot of convincing and she went and got hers and became the 5th member of Badville, and the last to get it on that first day.’ Over 61 people now have it. Each year they collect money to sponsor a Porta-Potty at the JP Music Festival. ‘Badville gives a shit’ they brag. I wrote the tune. It’s god damn classic. Part Velvets, part Cars, all Nickel & Dime.
(LIKE ‘EM) CRAZY. Always have. They move me like Verlaine was moved by Rimbaud. They rattle the cage. The verses are true about people close to me. Death and suicide. But the tune is all easy pop rock happiness.
(YOU LOOK SO) PRETTY IN SUMMERTIME. Well, you do. All of you. In dresses, in shorts, on the sidewalks, on a bike. Unaware of being admired. In a world of your own. A kid, a teenager, young or old. Knock-outs from within and without. (Video includes 74 girls and women from the ages of 1.5 to 101). Berlin’s homage to all girls everywhere. (Don’t drive into a tree.)
AWKWARD GIRL. She is and that’s what makes her gorgeous and alive and fearless and oblivious. I wrote the song before I met her. As the quiet observer I sometimes hide in a corner at the bar, watching like Latrec as a song comes true on a napkin.
MY GIRL IS GONE. Demo. Written in a flash after my cat, Sofi, 20 years old, had to at long last be put down. But it’s true of any great loss. It destroys as it fills you up.
"You were such a major influence on me as a songwriter! But it was you as a performer. I was watching a master on stage those many years ago, watching you turning into characters (Ugliest Man In The World) inspired me beyond myself."
- Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen)
'It was great to see you play too. It was my first time seeing you perform with the full band and you guys totally killed it! What a great band, they really do your material justice and I can't believe that I've never seen you guys before!'
- Thalia Zedek
"Berlin is the consumate front man"
“More true joy onstage as I’ve seen from any live band, ever.”
- Scott McMicken (Dr. Dog)
"I love his performance, his band, his songs. His lyrics have gravitas and humor, which is a way of saying they are sadly funny. Thanks for inviting me to play with you guys. I loved it!"
- Gordon Gano
'I wish I had your guts.'
- Lou Reed
'I think everyone wishes they had your guts, Rick. You are one in infinity.’
'Tremendous show the other night. I could not leave. Great new songs. Can't wait to dig into the recording.'
- Dennis Brennan
'Finally got to watch the videos. I really like them. I think my favorite tune is "Badville but I like them all. Tunes sound great and it's always weird for me to hear your voice on new tunes because it's like listening to this continuation of verses from you that I feel like I've been hearing my whole life, so it's a cool thing. Really like the way Sammy's horn playing adds something that's really unique. The parts are simple and sparse but it's just a sound I feel like I never hear on recordings.'
- Matt York (Boston, Texas)
'The last song on your new record is treacherous. It's just so f****** sad. Everybody in the world can understand that song. The funny part about it is the rest of the record is recorded so much better. But the emotion leaks through perfectly.'
- Dave Crespo (WAAF, WEMF)
'Love the record mate. Will come over for the launch!'
- Colin Fielding (Melbourne, Australia Folk & Roots Radio 3INR - 96.5 inner fm)=
'In the huge stage of talented New England artists Rick stands out. In the large universe of local stars Berlin is one of the brightest. Four decades into his career, Rick Berlin still tantalizes audiences with his creativity and artistry, and to this day his music is as trend setting and trend breaking as ever.'
- A J Wachtel (The Noise)
'Rick Berlin is a real hero.' 'Jesus it was a great nite Rick !!!! i have been playing your 5 & 10 band cds . what can i say pretty freakincool / you are irrepressible . its all a movie in my head . love to ya xxxwaaa!!'
- Willie 'Loco' Alexander
'I listen to BADVILLE and love it. You have such a badass sound, it really speaks to me.'
- Clint White (President WiT Meadia, Whitney Museum - American Art)
re My Girl Is Gone: 'I've known Rick for 30 years. So sorry for his loss. Leave it to him to write such a courageously raw tribute.'
- Mark Baxter (Vocal Therapist and Coach)
'Love the new EP -- and "My Girl Is Gone" made me cry, actually. It's nearly SEVEN years since I had to put down my beloved cat, Memphis at 13 (stomach cancer), and I felt and feel exactly the same way. Just fucking crushing and devastating. I remember having to do an interview for my Globe column the next day and could barely hang in there.....there's a hole still.'
- Jonathan Perry (RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog)
'Great to see you (Jonathan Perry) paying tribute to Rick Berlin, a terrific songwriter and performer, and a caring person. Rick has been such an important part of the Boston and national music scene for decades, and he's a great example of a true artist—motivated by the love of the work and the need to tell stories, to share what he has to offer with the world and make it a better place in the process. Really happy to see this. He motives me to write my own songs more carefully, thoughtfully and artfully.'
- Ted Drozdowski
Recent Ink re BADVILLE ep Release:
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out: Rick Berlin in Badville (Jonathan Perry's Life In Analog blog)
Rick Berlin, The Interview (A J Wachtel, THE NOISE)
Sounds Around Town (Ed Symkus)
LIVE review of BADVILLE release night in The Noise (Harry C. Tuniese)
rick berlin w/ THE NICKEL & DIME BAND
jesse adams-lukowsky (guit)
rick berlin (vox)
mike deLisle (bass, vox)
sam dudley (trombone, vox)
jane mangini (keys)
ricky mcLean (guit, bells, vox)
rob manochio (guit)
al radzikowski (kit, vox)
pete weiss (tubular bells, guit)
engineered by pete weiss
produced by pete weiss w/ the band
recorded at verdant sound, vt
mastered by bob westin @ chicago mastering service
label: teenage heart records
cover photo by adams wells
back photo by anthony sahadeo
graphics by nick kent & rick berlin
songs by rick berlin