Way back in 1971 Rick was in one of his early Groups called COMPASS.
There were earlier Groups from th 1960s when he was still at school, but sadly any pictures have long since been mislaid.
On the left is the full band
On the right is a close up, showing that once upon a time he actually had lots of hair (also long since mislaid!!)
COMPASS were successfully locally throughout South London, performing classic Pop and Rock hits from the mid 60s and early 70s.
1975, Rick was Keyboardist doubling Guitar with the extremely successful band TIMEPIECE, who in the following year went on to appear on TV's New Faces (a Talent Show far superior to the current talent shows on Television these days!)
Here's a link to a video of the performance:-
Rick is third from right in this picture, on stage at London's Lyceum Theatre, after the band won the Truman's Pub Talent Trail finals.
Far right is one of the Judges, the late Jack Parnell (Sunday Night at the London Palladium Band leader).
Far Left: Early publicity
shot in Greenwich Park.
Left: In the Cranbrook,
Ilford (a regular venue).
Below: a later incarnation
In the early to mid 80s, Rick was Keyboard Player with one of the best bunch of musicians he's ever worked with. The Band, called HOLLYWOOD, worked extensively throughout the southern UK and also abroad in Germany, performing in many types of venues including Military bases.
They covered chart hits as well as some pretty intricate and complicated Prog Rock.
Rick is seen far left in the first picture, second left in the second.
After Hollywood disbanded, Rick and Chris (Bass player) teamed up with Tony and Alan (Guitar and drums respectively), to reform a previous band that Tony had originally created, called NAKED CITY. In this band, Rick started playing a lot more on rhythm guitar as well as keys.
The repertoire was entirely dedicated to the 1960s, and featured many songs from the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Small Faces, The Who, and so on.
One of the regular venues where they appeared was the CARTOON in Croydon, which gave rise to the NEXT Venture:-
Naked City were a much loved band at the Cartoon, and in the mid to late 80s, were requested for a particular date, which coincided with two of them being on holiday. So another band (Answers on a Postcard) were asked. but they too had absentees, likewise owing to holidays.
Step in Tony from Naked City and Stan from "Answers"
( all mates!) , and they came up with the concept of fusing the available members of both bands together. Just by happy chance, the available members were exactly the musicians needed for a full band!!
So PROJECT X was born, supposedly just for one gig, but they weren't allowed to get away with that.... Oh no, P.X. made such an impression on the Croydon public on that Sunny Sunday lunchtime at the Cartoon (after ONE quick rehearsal!), that Project X blossomed into a unique band featuring a strange combination of Flower Power, Glam Rock and Comedy (but also superb musicianship), and lasted for a good ten years before inevitably they decided to go their separate ways
Each band member had a stage name, and Rick's was "Gloria, the God of Hell Fire". (see picture left!)
Sadly, Tony and Stan have since passed away, but late in 2018, Stan's widow contacted a mutual friend of the band, who got in touch with everyone to organise a reunion benefit gig.
This materialised in March 2019, and the three surviving members, Rick, and the two Phils, augmented by an old guitar playing buddy and another singer appeared on stage with no rehearsal whatsoever and, just like riding a bike, Project X had not forgotten the songs or arrangements of some 20 years previously!
Rick fronted the Band wearing the same head-rug that he'd kept all those years! (see picture, left).
Inevitably, there have been numerous requests to reform Project X, but it's unlikely that this will happen owing to heavy committments.
In the later years of Project X, Rick launched his solo career, which brings us up to date; but there was also another band that Rick became involved with from the mid 90s, whilst also playing solo, and that was a Tribute band called THE PAPERBACK BEATLES, which had a 5 year run of success. Rick did not represent any of the fab four themselves, but was Keyboard Player on all the later Beatles material from the Revolver Album onwards. They performed all over the UK, and also in the Republic of Ireland and Norway. Although long since disbanded, two of the former members have since appeared in the LET IT BE production in London, and also with various Major tributes, notably the BOOTLEG BEATLES.
No photos are currently available, but maybe some will come to light in the fullness of time?
And finally, in 2007, Rick briefly joined THE HONEYCOMBS, who had had the number one hit "Have I The Right" way back in the 1960s. There was only one original member, but the named lived on. He soon decided that it wasn't right for his musical tastes and so departed.
This, then is the remarkable musical history of RICK STILLS, who intends to continue pursuing his musical activities for many years to come!