Rick Berlin/The Nickel & Dime Band
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Rick Berlin/The Nickel & Dime Band

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
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"Rick Berlin OLD STAG Hi-N-Dry"

Produced by Rick Berlin | Recorded by Joe Stewart | Mixed by David Minehan at Wooly Mammoth | Mastered by Dave Locke at JP Masters

For what may well be his most completely realized and thoroughly beautiful album, Boston’s legendary Rick Berlin has gathered another team of talented youngsters (most notably the string section of Joseph Simcox, Katie Franich, Christina Hornby and Meredith Cooper and Sand Machine singer Jay Dave Jeremy) in his Jamaica Plains apartment and an empty Boston University classroom and emerged with a baker’s dozen of musical treats. While the cracking heart-rending vocals and poetic pathos remain Berlin’s trademarks, the strings (arranged by Brendan Cooney) give the ensemble of lyrical observations a story without words. Whether laying a bass foundation for his Lady Elaine Farichilde whine or wafting along with him as he reaches for the most emotional shades of each note, the strings offer Berlin a base and a goal and provide support when things turn personal and introspective.
Though titles like “John Lennon’s Nose” and “Happy Lesbians In The Snow” may seem frivolous, they give Berlin room to play and often lead to insightful inspiration. Other titles, such as “How Can I Hate People I Don’t Know,” are clearer in their intent, but they are not the only songs that deserve close listening. In fact, whether it’s in the subtlety of the music or in a heart-felt passage, nearly every song invites listeners to leave the noise of the street (which is also used here to subtle but great effect) and join the musicians in Berlin’s apartment. There, they will not only be surrounded in swirling strings, but will also have the pleasure of meeting characters (which is the right word) like the mysterious ex-roommate “Michiko, “ the even more mysterious (yet somehow more human) “Unknown Soldier,” and an uber-groupie known simply as “The Fan.” As he is so comfortable inviting people into his room and into his life, Berlin tells it like it is, using frank language and sometimes sacrificing tonality for emotionality. Shock value? This is way beyond that - this is a set of keen observation steeped in well-considered lyric and wrapped in a musical package that invites repeated listening and deeper contemplation. (Hi-N-Dry) - Matt Robinson - Performer Magazine


"Rick Berlin OLD STAG Hi-N-Dry"

What do you call a record with songs like “John Lennon’s Nose,” “Happy Lesbians in the Snow,” and one about a prostitute roommate who doesn’t eat? Especially when it’s just voice, keys, some occasional strings, and recorded in a living room? I call it a small masterpiece. Berlin’s made all kinds of music here for decades, and never fails to surprise, but rarely does anyone’s material match its delivery with such finesse. It’s impossible not to feel his experience in your gut, as his voice floats from whimsy to heartbreak, from ecstasy to absurdity, from wisdom to mystification, all set to words and music that unspool countless reels of a life lived fully, gladly (I’m pretty sure), and recklessly. In a perfect world, he’d be writing Broadway scores, but of course he’s too smart and speaks a hundred times the truth of that swill. Check these lyrics from “How Can I Hate People I Don’t Know?”:  “Prejudice is simple/ ya just make up a lie/ judgemental is mental/ it makes ya die inside/ you’re old, you’re ugly, you’re a frisbee freak/ I hate you, why not?/ my face is buried in the ass of sheep.” As JFK once said, “Ich bin ein Berliner!”  - Joe Coughlin - the NOISE


"MP3 of the week"

Weeks ago, JP luminary Rick Berlin's latest full-length, OLD STAG (Hi-N-Dry), threw us into a tizzy that continues to this day. At this rate, we'll harldyh be able to stay still in our pews at North Cambridge's sstately Prospect Hall (the former church on Roseland Street), where, this Friday, he'll roll out 'Rick Berlin's Torn Pocket', an all-star medicine show of 'music and curiosities' featuring Berlin at the piano with his 'Old Stag String Quartet' and the 'Old Stag Singers,' as well as a host of special guests including Providence's Low Anthem, the Cello Chix, the Boston Hoop Troop (and yes, that means hula), Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, harpsichord heartthrob Leon Schelhase, and something called the 'Scream Along With Billy Show'. If ever we've called something else a hullabaloo before, we take it back. Bring some extra cash for your own copy of OLD STAG, and in the meantime, check out Corey Smithson's enchanting video for the heart-squeezing album closer, 'You're Light Is On', at the phoenix.com/onthedownload - The Noise


"New England product, 2008"

For the Lynchian weirdness suggested by Palmer’s title (but not quite fulfilled in the album), turn to the ever-prolific RICK BERLIN, whose Old Stag (Hi-N-Dry) will be led out on September 22. Recorded with Joe Stewart at Berlin’s JP digs on Centre Street (except for some incredible string arrangements, which were tracked in a BU classroom), Stag picks up where 2006’s Me & Van Gogh left off: brilliant lyricism (see: “Happy Lesbians in the Snow” and “John Lennon’s Nose”), tender and varied instrumentation, and Berlin’s tremulous vocal like a flickering bulb at the dark end of a creepy hallway. It may be his best recording yet — which is saying a lot. He’ll no doubt have copies at the ready for his September 22 show with Casey Malloy at Jacque’s Cabaret — now that’ll be Lynchy. - By MICHAEL BRODEUR the Boston Phoenix


"Old Stag (Hi-N-Dry): A-"


The former Orchestra Luna frontman shows an uncanny ability for turning anguished poetry and sparse piano strokes into compelling music. Recorded in his Jamaica Plain living room and named for the Egleston Square bar, Berlin produces a theatric, gritty and emotional opera for the marginalized. With ambient street noise and the hushed sighs of a string quartet, his brand of art-rock cabaret recalls Lou Reed channeling Kurt Weill - and it’s just as spooky. Download: Your Light Is On. (Appearing tonight at Prospect Hall, Cambridge.) - Nat Dow - the Boston Herald


"Rick Berlin – Paper Airplane (Hi-N-Dry)"

Though some of his younger fans may not relate to the erudite references to Charlie Rose, Richard Burton, or Jackie Gleason, the musical references on the latest album from Boston legend Rick Berlin are evident and well-chosen. From the Talking Heads float of “If I Wasn’t Such a Bum” to the Specials groove of “Hard 2 Be Liked” and the Beatle-y feel of “My Firiend” to the E Street blues “Walkin’ in the Hood.” As for the more original of these 13 original tracks, they range from the plunging tuba pound of the inebriated shanty “PBR” to the romantic bounce of “The Kiss,” from the gentle tickle of “Rear View Mirror” to the aggravated pulse of “Sean Penn,” and from the toy piano tinkle of “Drivin’ Grandpa Home” to the plaintive adult piano of “Real Slow” to the even more mature lament “I Wish I Could Talk With My Dad.” As always, Berlin wears his heart on his sleeve and is not afraid to cross political and emotional lines. As usuall, the honesty is appreciated and definitely worthy of a listen or two. Though the album may not capture the wild fun of Berlin’s live shows, his soul is all here, floating, diving, and soaring on the musical breeze like a….well. - Matt Robinson musicdish.com


"Berlin stays on radar with ‘Airplane’"

Always be respectful and kind to members of the food-service industry, and tip generously. Not only do these noble men and women provide the bedrock for a cornerstone of our society, many of them have lived far more interesting lives than most of us.??Take, for instance, musician Rick Berlin, a longtime waiter at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain.?Berlin’s not the type of artist inclined to wax nostalgic. During a recent interview, he probably would have preferred to discuss his stellar new CD, “Paper Airplane,” and its release party Saturday at the Lizard Lounge, instead of being asked to recount 30-year-old anecdotes he must be sick of telling by now.??But talk he did. And it was hard not to be impressed that back in the ’70s, when Berlin helmed the experimental Boston art-rock collective Orchestra Luna, he shared bills with the mythic likes of the Ramones and the Talking Heads at CBGBs.??When Lou Reed came to see us, after we got off the stage, he picked me up off the ground and hugged me, and said he wished he had half the balls I had,” Berlin said on a recent afternoon at the James’s Gate Restaurant & Pub in Jamaica Plain. “I looked at him like, ‘You’re crazy!’??“But they’re just names dropped,” Berlin continued. “It doesn’t add up to a career. Who do you hang out with now who will be gigantic or icons of history down the road? You don’t know what the deal is.”??Though he enjoyed the artistic free-for-all of Orchestra Luna, it was less fun when Berlin found himself writing would-be hits to entice record labels. Throughout the ’80s, he solidified his legacy as a staple of Boston music with the band Berlin Airlift and spent a hardy portion of the ’90s and ’00s performing weekly at Jacque’s Cabaret.??“Paper Airplane,” Berlin’s first album with a band in nine years, is something of a stylistic grab-bag. It hops from ornery blues on “Bermuda Triangle” to animated ska on “Hard 2 Be Liked” to a few tender ballads. Meanwhile, “PBR” sounds like Tom Waits covering a sea shanty. But Berlin’s storytelling, which depicts the urban bohemian experience with spot-on accuracy, keeps everything feeling nice and congruous.??Thanks to “Walkin’ in the Hood,” people everywhere can now almost know what it’s like to be a starving artist in Jamaica Plain. Or maybe they’ll just apply the song to their own experiences. Or maybe, deep down, there’s a starving artist in all of us.??“If you write about what’s close to you, it can infer what’s close to anyone, if it’s truthful,” Berlin said. “It’s like Suzanne Vega says, ‘Small is large to me.’ ”
- By Barry Thompson - the Boston Herald?


"Rick Berlin like tom waits, but irishy-er"

Berlin's been weird for longer
than you've been breathing.
With a voice like an asphalt
milkshake and a stare that could
shrug off homicide, Berlin's
been the frontman behind a
half-dozen-odd musical outfits,
waitstaff at old-Irish institution
Doyle's Cafe, and something of
an unofficial authority figure in
the notoriously authority-wary
Jamaica Plain. That, and he can
pull off a ponytail. For his latest,
Paper Airplane, Berlin assembled
an ensemble cast of the best of
the Boston music scene's old
guard...and they'll even play the
album live if you ask nicely. - The Weekly Dig


"RICK BERLIN PAPER AIRPLANE Hi-N-Dry"

In another world, far, far away, Rick Berlin will get million-dollar production from Lee Townsend, Larry Klein, or T Bone Burnett. Stephin Merritt will reject him as an opener on his tour because he feels threatened; all the same, Berlin will take his place among the pantheon of American singer-songwriters, along with Merritt, Randy Newman, and Tom Waits. In the meantime, this former glam-rocker and current unofficial mayor of Jamaica Plain gets to fashion his indelible story songs and character portraits with a coterie of estimable sympathetic locals who here include guitarists Kevin Barry and Duke Levine and Dennis Brennan on harp and back-up vocals. The songs are the usual mix of barflies, fame-starved wanna-bes, and motley lonelyhearts club in a variety of styles: oom-pah barroom rant ("PBR"), Stonesy shuffle with slide guitar ("Bermuda Triangle"), fast ska ("Hard 2 Be Liked"), and any number of signature Berlin piano ballads. What's refreshing about the songwriting, aside from the musical variety, is the way Berlin inhabits his characters based on snatches of conversation he's picked up on Centre Street or at Doyle's. "If I Wasn't Such a Bum" is a disgruntled cousin of the guy watching "Sean Penn on Charlie Rose" — but who's the girl (narrating first person) who tears her dress in "Bermuda Triangle"? Whatever. For Berlin, these literate, funny, touching songs are autobiography by other means. - Jon Garelick - the Boston Phoenix


"Rick Berlin is so far off the wall that he's back on it again…"

Rick Berlin is so far off the wall that he's back on it again…and back again period. His last, Old Stag (here), defied categorization even though not some Beefheart-cum-Penderecki-cum-Juncosa case of terminal schizophrenia, and Paper Airplane jumps right back into the deep end of the pool once more. Commencing with the hilarious If I Wasn't Such a Bum and its way-past-cool whistled secondary hook, he's in Root Boy Slim / Zoogz Rift territory, though maybe more in the vein of a wino folkie than those demented bastards (God bless 'em!). The middle eight isn't an instrumental break but a cracked rant that'll have you snorting milk out your nose, spluttering and guffawing. Berlin ought be doing cartoon voiceovers; move aside, John Leguizamo.??With a sloppy/precise backing band of various hands—a gaggle evidently of perverts, rummies, and malingerers—Berlin seems to have found a match made in heaven...or maybe the dump. These guys sound funny just playing but are also impressively perspicacious. Andy Plaisted's drop-dead telepathic drums are so on it that you almost don't notice the guy. He blends right into the intramural conversation—if, that is, you can hear him above your own laughter as Berlin relates Bukowsky tales of guttersnipes, misfits, lunatics, terminal cases, and even a halfway sane individual or two (probably a semi-lucid error, that). Then there's the Long John Silver / Tom Waits merman shanty PBR.??But there's also a deep deep iconoclasm present in every bar and measure, not to mention riveting insights amid the satire and realistically absurd. Berlin possesses a rare gift for an incredible range of expression. One day, I think the Old Stag needs to meet Old Red (Paul Kirwan—here). If they both don't explode, get into a fisticuffs scuffle, or race each other to the bottom of a barrel of Scotch, the meeting would be fairly epic. Regardless, Rick Berlin's one of only a very small handful of people who would dare to even attempt this kind of music and then have the mystifying chops to pull it off all-around. If you doubt this for a moment, fly over to the guy's website at MySpace and sample the many songs there, including alternate versions (especially catch Psycho, the original of which is on *Old Stag*). You'll either be consumed with gratitude for this advice or running down to the local courthouse to swear out a summons.
- A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange?by Mark S. Tucker


"RICK BERLIN PAPER AIRPLANE Hi-N-Dry"

Rick Berlin is a journeyman musician. He’s been doing it a long time. He’s experienced the highs and the lows of the music business, particularly the latter. He has plumbed the depths. He’s been hyped, glad-handed, ripped-off, dropped, lied to, sued and abused. He has had moments in the limelight with his early band Orchestra Luna, major-label notoriety, tours with well-known bands and radio airplay. But he has also been forced to regroup, change names, and perform surreptitiously. He’s fronted a variety of bands including Luna, Berlin Airlift, Rick Berlin: The Movie, and the Shelly Winters Project. He now performs solo under his own name.??Rick Berlin is an artist. In spite of all of his trials and tribulations, he continues to create. It would be easy to become disillusioned, but an artist cannot give-up. In the music business, many are called and so few are chosen. But the true musicians persevere. In Rick’s case he must perform and write songs. His day job keeps him afloat, but his soul is alive in his music.??Rick Berlin is a treasure as are all artists who give us new worldviews and experiences. No doubt he would do it differently if he could do it all over again, but he would never trade it in for a world outside of music. Artists like Rick give meaning to our lives and we are blessed that they give so much of themselves.??His new album is entitled Paper Airplane. The characters in his songs can only come from someone who has lived a life and has seen it all, or at least most of it. In this free download from the album, he humourously makes fun of himself and the music industry without a hint of bitterness. Yes, a true artist.
- The Oedipus Project


"Rick Berlin - Paper Airplane New Music this Week!? Someone You Should Know"

the wily Rick Berlin wins big on Paper Airplane
October 2010??Artist of the Month - Rick Berlin’s Paper Airplane (October 16 on HI-N-DRY) is somehow both sandpaper gritty and soothing as rain - and if I said nothing more about it, that might be enough. Textured and rolling, the self-effacing songwriter urges us to rumble along with him on his witty telling through significant memories and clever stories. Where Berlin ends and the song begins isn't always clear (just listen) and much of that is how artfully he uses voice and character to populate the lyrics of his songs. In each example, Berlin half-speaks and then half-sings above percussion, piano, guitar and brass. The piano keys sound like stairs and we can almost hear the wooden stools the musicians sat on as they are dragged along dusty floors. Berlin's telling is more lucid, more punctuated, more dark, more fun, than anything you could have been expecting. It's unpredictable and just brilliant.??Especially recommended for fans of: Tom Waits, T Bone Burnett, Warren Zevon and Roger Waters...
a BEST OF 2010 ALBUM PICK:
Paper Airplane’s 13 chapters are just sneaky good - and they grow on you. It wasn’t until my third time through the record (on day one) that I realized I had burned a good part of weekend away. And it didn’t upset me one bit, for I had discovered one of my favorite US albums for 2010… A year that has been noticeably void of tangible, textural – real music. And there is no doubt that this work is the best to date from the unique Berlin. Do yourself a favor and pick up Paper Airplanes - an unexpected treasure and unquestionably (I will call it right now) one of the very best records released regionally to date this year in New England…
- Ryan's Smashing Life


"RICK BERLIN? PAPER AIRPLANE Hi-N-Dry"

Boston singer-songwriter Rick Berlin may have traded in the glammy art-rock poses of Orchestra Luna and Berlin Airlift for a more modest contraption ages ago. But the lower altitudes of his homemade paper airplane have allowed him to better zero in with the kind of close-up, vivid storytelling that has made him one of the city’s most distinctive voices and cherished musical figures.??Berlin’s third solo album in four years continues a stunning mid-life creative streak for this poetic chronicler of the inhabitants of both his beloved Jamaica Plain neighborhood and the dive-bar home of his head (“Walkin’ in the Hood’’; “I Wish I Could Talk With My Dad’’). Ace guitarists Kevin Barry and Duke Levine, plus an intrepid rhythm section in bassist Andrew Mazzone and drummer Andy Plaisted, give Berlin ample room to roam those streets and corners of his soul, and he does. His breathlessly astringent voice — sarcastic one moment, sincere the next — alternately stabs and caresses image-rich couplets: guys with “shoulders like Picassos’’; bitter bums who rhyme dreams of a “swimming pool physique’’ with their “picture on the cover of Newsweek.’’ “Madness in the suburbs is like a cherry bomb,’’ Berlin blithely observes on the title track. “Looks kind of silly, but it blows up everything.’’ Ultimately, though, he loves his town and its menagerie of losers, lovers, and hustlers. It’s a place where, after all, “a smile’s more important than what your T-shirt says, and a wave can get you hammered before last call.’’ Add Berlin to the equation, and who wouldn’t? - The Boston Globe - Jonathan Perry


"Top 10 CDs of '06"

Rick Berlin, "Me & Van Gogh." It may have taken 30-plus years for veteran Boston singer-songwriter Rick Berlin to make his masterpiece, but it was worth the wait. "Me & Van Gogh" is an intimate, idiosyncratic collection of verite snapshots and cocktail-napkin sketches that together make up a tender, grandly tormented portrait of people wounded by dreams and bruised by experience. Berlin's spare, bold brush strokes of piano and conversational cabaret croon vividly illuminate this singular work.

Jonathan Perry - THE BOSTON GLOBE


"Me & Van Gogh"

An absolutely brilliant collection of heartfelt tunes. It would be "Criminal" if this record doesn't get the attention it deserves.

Peter Bochan (WBAI, New York City)
- AMG - ALL MUSIC


"Drawn From Life"

Me & Van Gogh is full of characters who have walked into Berlin’s life and right into his songs. “Don’t Talk About Joan,” dating from the early ’90s and now recorded for the third time, is about friend and ex-Dambuilder Joan (aspolicewoman) Wasser.
Berlin has a gift for the kind of emotive, subtle chord voicings that seem to draw from the heart of the American songbook. The pattering vocal lines sometimes leaps and zags with Sondheim-like agility.

Jon Garelik - THE BOSTON PHOENIX


"Rock Around Boston"

Comparatively few artists lay as much on the line as Berlin does on this release. Ranging across a spectrum of moods, from intensely serious songs like “Criminal” to the lowbrow comic relief of “Beerbelly,” this album should be regarded, alongside of Willie Alexander’s “Tap Dancing on My Piano,” as a genre classic.

Francis DiMenno - THE NOISE


"Rick Berlin"

From his documentary-in-progress about the people of JP, to his unfinished musical about a boy with a magic harmonica, to his pal-packed collaborative cabaret throwdowns, to his most recent masterpiece of heavily populated pop, Me and Van Gogh, the work of stalwart star Rick Berlin has always been a celebration of characters. But for seasoned and newbie local musicians alike, from the Dresden Dolls to Sand Machine, the character worth celebrating is Berlin himself.

Michael Brodeur - BOSTON'S WEEKLY DIG


"Listening With Lee Zimmerman"

A bold solo album filled with vivid drama and aching confession, recalling along the way such indomitable piano men as Randy Newman and Tom Waits, as well as formidable storytellers like Bruce Springsteen and Leonard Cohen. A rambunctious tour de force.

One can imagine seeing him in concert in an intimate setting, becoming transfixed as he plays out theses epochs with bracing abandon. However, like the painter heralded in the album title, the best performers dare to break beyond the safe confines of the conventional. After experiencing Me & Van Gogh , there's no doubt that Berlin too is an artist of that ilk.

Lee Zimmerman - ENTERTAINMENT NEWS


"There Is A Light That Never Goes Out"

For 30 years, Rick Berlin has explored countless musical styles. A new CD shows he's not done yet.
By Jonathan Perry, Globe Correspondent A tender, funny, moving, raw nerve of a record, set dramatically alight by nothing more than Berlin's starkly expressive voice and the Sandman piano. Indeed, the disc's dozen vignettes defy convention: Think John Waters and Jim Jarmusch crossed with Raymond Carver and Randy Newman.

Jonathan Perry - THE BOSTON GLOBE


"Me & Van Gogh - 4 Stars"

This is Berlin the solo artist, accompanying himself on the late Morphine singer Mark Sandman's acoustic piano, singing songs of passion and depth, irreverence, long-lost innocence, love, mystery, beauty and always, always honesty.

Kevin O'Hare - NEWHOUSE NEWS SERVICE


"Berlin At Jacques"

Rick Berlin, former New Wave star (his bands Orchestra Luna and Berlin Airlift were signed to Epic in the 80's) accompanies himself on the synth piano. his songs are cabaret stompers and pathos-soaked confessions on such topics as 'crying in the shower where no one can hear' and the fate of a boyhood friend's mother, the first woman he ever saw naked: 'she burned down the house/just to redecorate the interior/inhaled carbon monoxide/because she thought she was inferior.' The performance is equal parts Morrissey ('I hate everything/I think I might kill someone') + Tommy Tune ('I like straight guys'), both of whom the lean, angular Berlin physically resembles.

Robyn Vaughan - THE BOSTON HERALD


"Berlin Is Like The City Itself"

“Er heißt nicht nur Berlin, er ist wie Berlin: Wild, ungezügelt, hart, ein Chansonnier, der rauhe Wärme
ausstrahlt, immer unfertig, immer auf der Suche, voller Gegensätze. Es ist unmöglich, ihn zu hören, ohne wirklich zuzuhören.”

“His name is not only Berlin, he is like Berlin: Wild, harsh, unleashed, a singer-songwriter of raw energy, always searching, never finished,
full of contradictions. It is impossible to hear him without truly listening.”

Robert von Rimscha
- DER TAGESSPIEGEL


Discography

BERLIN DISCOGRAPHY:

Orchestra Luna (Epic) 1974
Berlin Airlift (Handshake/Epic) 1982
Professionally Damaged (EP - Self-released) 1983
Rick Berlin: The Movie (LP unreleased) 1989
Half In The Bag (LP unreleased) 199 2
The Kingdom (LP of musical of the same name - unreleased)
Rick Berlin LIVE @ Jacques 1996 (Garagedog Records)
The Shelley Winters Project (EP – Self-released) 2002
I Hate Everything But You (Windjam) 2003
Forced2Swallow (Self-released) 2005
Me & Van Gogh (Hi-N-Dry) 2006
Orchestra Luna Re-Release on SonyUK 2007
Old Stag (Hi-N-Dry) 2008
Paper Airplane (Hi-N-Dry) 2010

Many of these records can be heard on his website:
http://www.rickberlin.bandcamp.com

Photos

Bio

bio follows
but i want t say first that my shows come in 3 acts:
1. solo (keys/vox) is punk cabaret - heart on sleeve - in your face entertainment (see Me & Van Gogh, Old Stag)
2. trio (keys/vox, guitar, trombone) more fully realized but intimate
3. band (the Nickel & Dime Band) alternative rock. super danceable, 3 guitars, bass, drums, trombone, 4 singers. hits hard n happy.

bio
THE AWFUL TRUTH ABOUT RICK BERLIN (continues)

1945 Born Richard Gustave Kinscherf III, Sioux City, Iowa

1957 Shook hands with Richard Nixon at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. (Weak grip.)
1967 Graduated from Yale University. (BA Pre-Architecture, American Studies, Whiffenpoofs). Turned down full scholarship to Yale Grad School of Architecture. Designed toilets for Vincent Kling & Associates. Rejected by Peace Corps.

1968 Taught special class in Moosup, Connecticut public school system. Quit.

1969 Taught English and photography at Whitman School_in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Got fired. Dropped acid before_physical exam for the draft. Rejected, 4F.

1970 Accepted to Yale School of Drama, full scholarship. Dropped out. Auditioned for Jim Steinman's Neverland. Wrestled with Richard Gere.

1971 Spent three months making a movie in Grenada, West Indies. All 35 members of cast and crew arrested and jailed for nudity.

1972 New Haven, Connecticut. Worked in porno bookstore, started writing songs.

1973 Formed band called Orchestra Luna in Boston. Met Danny Fields, shopped demos in NY City. Performed at Frank Zappa's 10th Anniversary party with LaBelle and Patti Smith. Rubbed elbows with Andy Warhol, Lance Loud, Jane Friedman, Susan Blond, Peter Berlin. Opened for Weather Report, Roxy Music, Split Endz. Began dropping names.

1974 Orchestra Luna is signed by Epic Records. Released eponymous debut album. (WBCN begins tradition of playing 'You Gotta Have Heart' for the Red Sox on opening day.) Springsteen, the Eagles, Linda Rondstadt join CBS. Orchestra_Luna is dropped.

1976 Orchestra Luna II is formed, including Karla DeVito. Band becomes regulars on the NY City/CBGB's scene with Talking Heads, Ramones, Blondie, Television, etc. Seymour Stein (Sire Records) offers O.L. a contract. Band rejects offer, feeling they could do better. They couldn't.

1977 Orchestra Luna performs at Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. with Ellen Foley in Jim Steinman's production of Neverland. Orchestra Luna showcases for labels at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NY City. All labels pass. Rick breaks his foot. Karla DeVito joins Meatloaf. Orchestra Luna disintegrates.

1978 New band called Luna is formed, has hit single 'Hooray for Hollywood'. Rick changes last name to Berlin. No one can spell Kinscherf.

1979 Luna is offered deal by Steve Popovitch at Cleveland International/Epic. Band's former producer gets greedy, refuses to release the recording rights for less than $100.000. Deal fizzles, as does Luna.

1981 New band, Berlin Airlift has major success on Boston radio with 'Over The Hill' and 'Don't Stop Me From Crying'.

1982 Ron Alexenberg signs Berlin Airlift to Handshake/CBS Records. Band releases eponymous debut album. Six weeks later Handshake declares bankruptcy, album dies in infancy. Rick writes quasi-autobiography titled Kami Kazi.

1983 Berlin Airlift opens for J. Geils Band holiday tour. Releases six-song EP called Professionally Damaged, featuring 'Hunger Strikes,' which becomes number one local song of the year on Boston's WBCN.

1984 Berlin Airlift crashes to earth. Rick writes The Kingdom, a stage/movie musical about a whacko cult in Vermont and a boy with magic powers. Disney passes, saying 'It's not family'.

1985 Yet another new band, Rick Berlin-The Movie.

1986 Taught drama and songwriting at Boston Technical High School. Co-created 'Boston For The World', an ill-fated attempt to raise funds for the homeless through concert and event promotions.

1987 Rick Berlin-The Movie has a hit with 'Rock n Roll Romance' which wins Rick Indie Songwriter of the Year at the Boston Music Awards.

1989 The Movie ends it's run. Rick begins working as a waiter at Doyle's (an Irish bar in Jamaica Plain). Writes a screenplay/murder mystery called I Never Loved A Man.

1990 New band, Rome Is Burning. By now a lot of managers and musicians have been chewed up.

1991 Rome burns to the ground. Rick begins solo career. Starts recording new material with former band mate Chet Cahill producing. Appears 47 times as informed bohemian citizen on local PBS affiliate WGBH talk show called The Group.

1992 Shot no-budget video of new song, 'Two Drunks Dancing'. Wins 2nd Prize in Boston Phoenix Video poll. Worked for Clinton/Gore Campaign Headquarters, Boston.

1993 New eleven-song recording of solo effort distributed to everyone in Rick's phone book.

1994-5 Performs monthly at Don’t Tell Mama’s in NYC. Plays NY Gay Pride ‘94 & ‘95. On the pier. Follows cast of Angels In America. Ve