The Good Rats are a rock band from Long Island, New York. Their music mixes elements of hard rock with jazz and pop. Although they have had some success both nationally and internationally, it's on their native Long Island that they have always been best known.
Formed in 1968 by the Brooklyn-born Baldwin, Long Island resident Peppi Marchello, the Rats were arguably the biggest fish in Long Island’s thriving club scene of the 1970s, a scene that included bands such as Twisted Sister and Zebra.
In 1969, lead singer/songwriter Marchello and his brother, guitarist Mickey Marchello, formed a band and released their first album, the self-titled The Good Rats. However, it was the lineup they put together in 1972, featuring the Marchello brothers with guitarist John “The Cat” Gatto, bass player Lenny Kotke and drummer Joe Franco that formed the band many fans referred to “the greatest unknown band in the world”.
In 1974, The Good Rats released their best-known and most popular album, Tasty. It featured a blend of hard and progressive rock with subtle jazz influences, highlighted by Marchello’s powerful and raspy vocals. Various songs from this record, including Marchello’s nod to Mark Twain “Injun Joe”, “Papa Poppa”, a rock ode about cults, the autobiographical numbers “Back to My Music” and “The Songwriter”, and the jazzy title track, received airplay around the country on FM radio.
During the following years, the Rats performed at venues such as Madison Square Garden, The Philadelphia Spectrum, The Nassau Coliseum, The Hammersmith Odeon in England, and New York’s Central Park, as well as showcase rooms such as The Bottom Line in Manhattan, My Father’s Place in Roslyn, NY, Whiskey in Los Angeles and The Paradise Room in Boston. They headlined or opened for bands such as Rush, Kiss, Aerosmith, Journey, Ozzy Osbourne, The Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen, Meat Loaf and Styx. Their live shows were famous for the band’s stage antics, as Peppi would play air guitar on his baseball bat, throw rubber rats into the crowd, and beat the daylights out of a battered garbage can as he sang.
On a nationally syndicated radio interview, a member of the band Journey called them "the greatest rock band in the world."
Between 1976 and 1979, The Good Rats released a series of albums, including Ratcity in Blue, From Rats to Riches, Birth Comes to Us All, and Live At Last, all of which were well received by the band’s fan base, and received some airplay on FM radio, without actually putting the band over the top. In 1981, Gatto and Kotke left the band, and were replaced by future KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick and bass player Schuyler Deale, (who later played with Billy Joel and Michael Bolton), for the album Great American Music. Shortly thereafter, the band broke up.
Throughout the 1980s, Peppi Marchello continued to write and produce recordings with his son Gene. They toured locally for awhile under the name "Popzarocca" until the song "Destiny" (later re-recorded as "Ashes to Ashes") became a minor hit for the band (now renamed "Marchello"), with the music video receiving minor airplay on MTV's "Headbanger's Ballroom". This band featured Gene on guitar and lead vocals and also included drummer John Miceli (Meatloaf, Rainbow, "We Will Rock You"). The band recorded two albums (only one which was released).
In the mid-1990s, Marchello and sons Gene Marchello and Stefan Marchello began playing out locally under “The Good Rats” name. They have released two new studio CDs to date with this lineup, Tasty Seconds (1996) and Play Dum (2002). Marchello also released a live recording of a 1979 appearance on a Rochester radio show, Rats, The Way You Like ’Em.
In the 2000s, the band continues to play in local venues throughout New York, Long Island, New Jersey and Connecticut, as well as playing annually in their own summer weekend outdoor festival aptly named "Ratstock". (From Wikipedia)
MICKY MARCHELLO gtr, vcls
PEPPI MARCHELLO vcls
1 We Are the Good Rats (1:54)
2 Joey Ferrari (2:38)
3 For the Sake of Anyone (5:00)
4 Anybody Got the Time (2:25)
5 My Back Is Achin' (And My Mind Is No Better) (2:38)
6 Hobo (2:35)
7 If You Stay by Me (3:20)
8 Gotta Get Back (3:55)
9 Truth Is Gone (4:15)
10 Family Portrait (2:57)
11 Stop, Look and Listen (2:27)
Album kindly supplied by Kitsos
Rip from CD 320@