In Appreciation of Richie Teeter

Rich Teeter performs at the Left Bank in 1980

Photo by Jim Bradt, from the Cincotta Archives

We’re reeling from the news of Rich Teeter’s passing after a struggle with esophageal cancer.

Rich was the rarest of musicians, a singing drummer who didn’t sing enough. He was blessed with a tremendous voice, and we were so lucky to be able to hear him sing lead on 3+1/2 songs on “Manifest Destiny.”

Richie was a member of the Dictators from 1975 through 1978, and played on their 2nd and 3rd albums. He had many credits after his initial stint with the Dictators. He did some time in Twisted Sister, was the studio drummer for Tom Verlaine’s 1981 “Dreamtime” lp, and played around the tri-state area in VHF. Rich was the drummer for all Dictator reunion shows up through the middle of 1991, and went on to play in cover bands on Long Island for years. In what was probably both his most high-profile and most anonymous vocal ever, he sang an uncredited version of “Shout” during the opening scene of 1982’s “Diner.”

Our condolences go out to Rich’s loved ones, his band mates, and to his many fans.

We’re all heavy of heart over this. We lost one of the good ones.

– Salvi C.

P.S. There’s also a fantastic tribute to Rich, written by our good friend Lindsay Hutton, at the Next Big Thing blog: http://nextbigthing.blogspot.com/

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11 Comments

Filed under RIP, Ritchie Teeter

11 responses to “In Appreciation of Richie Teeter

  1. Anonymous

    I’m horrified by this news. We were very close. He was my drummer from 1993-1997 in the band Ruzenka & the Big Dream. I was honored that he’d come into the city to play with my band when he was very picky about who he’d play drums for at all. We have many videos on youtube, and he played on my recording Green, a song that he said was way ahead of it’s time, and will one day be legendary with his great drums. RIP. Roxanne Fontana

  2. Anonymous

    Sal, this is a wonderful tribute. He was so impressed that you had the stuff that he had lost long ago. He had the most incredible voice and hearing him sing in the house, the car or in the basement, drumming on his old Ludwigs he gave Chris, while singing were moments we will cling to forever. Yes, he gave us a copy of Diner, he said when the Isley Brothers would not give ito use their version, he got the gig and I wish he had gotten his due for it.Thank you for mentioning it. He is certainly missed in our home.
    How can you measure a man’s worth…
    Always in our hearts…

  3. We miss all of the great musicians who have brought energy to our lives; Richie, Joey Ramone and so many more

  4. Pingback: The Dictators Drummer Richard "Ritchie" Teeter Dead At 61 (VIDEO) - Stupid Celebrities Gossip

  5. lou gabrielson

    VERY SAD NEWS . HE GREW UP HERE IN AMITYVILLE AND WE HAD A RIOT HANGING OUT WITH HIM AS TEENS. YOU WILL NEVER FORGET HIS LAUGH. AND ME AND OUR FRIEND KEVIN DID PLENTY TO MAKE RICHIE LAUGH. RICHIES FATHER TAUGHT DRIVERS ED IN OUR HIGH SCHOOL. SO ONE DAY RICH CAME OVER TO MY HOUSE AND WE GOT REAL STONED. SO HIS DAD PICKS HIM UP AND SAYS WELL NOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR LEARNERS PERMIT YOU SHOULD DRIVE HOME..HOLY SHIT.
    ONE TIME AFTER A NIGHT OF PARTYING RICH FEEL ASLEEP AT A RED LIGHT FOR THREE HOURS.
    HE WAS THE BEST DRUMMER WE EVER KNEW. AND REMEMBER WHEN HE STARTED THERE WERE NO MYLAR SKINS YET…LOU GABRIELSON AMITYVILLE NY

  6. Anonymous

    I remember him drumming on his desk all through eight grade.

  7. DD

    I am somsorrymto hear of Rich’s passing. I worked with Rich at Sam Ash drums and he was truly an amazing person!

  8. 2011Der Polizeichef einer kleinen Stadt südlich Texas wurde währenwe d einer Verkehrskontrolle am Sams5 erschossen, sagte ein County Sheriff!we

  9. Enrique Terrero

    Rich Teeter, what an amazing musician and what an amazing manager! He was my manager at Sam Ash, Forest Hills NY for 2 years, 2010-2012. He taught me everything about drums, from the types of woods to the manufacturing of the drums. He had stories for days from the old school days of him drumming with the Dictators and Twisted Sister. We fed off each other with stories, him being a rock drummer and me being a latin percussionist. I remember when he was managing the 48th Street Sam Ash Drum Dept in the late 90’s I would walk in just to browse and Rich would convince me to buy all the new gadgets, drumheads, etc that were out in the market….what a character! But what I will remember the most about my dear friend Rich is the patience and love he had to teach me the ropes at Sam Ash, once his position was handed down to me and I became drum dept manager I continued his legacy, I managed the department exactly how he did until my last day at Sam Ash, and I handed down the same Teeter style to my replacement who I trained for 2 years. I merchandised the dept just like he did. It’s as if he left me a HOW TO manual… the guy was amazing! And did ya ever see him put a drum set together? Did ya ever see him tune a drum by ear? Every lug, every single lug tuned by ear!!! I miss him dearly…and I was able to catch him a few times drumming, something he rarely did while on the clock… Teeter was a beast! A fellow coworker here at my new job mentioned something about Twisted Sister and I told him that I worked alongside the drummer who used to play with Twisted Sister, Rich Teeter, and I landed on this website. I’ve held Rich close all this time, I knew him since the late 90’s from Sam Ash, then to him being my dept. manager and training me and then he left to work at Sam Ash’s Central Office…then I got the bad news of his parting. Rich wherever you are in heaven I’m sure you’re teaching someone how to tune a drum correctly…I miss ya dude!!!! Thanks for everything TDT…that’s what I used to call him….

    Enrique Guira

    • Salvi C.

      Thank you for this. Every single person we’ve heard from concerning Rich
      had the exact same thing to say about him – he was a great guy.

  10. Lynn

    He had mentioned to me that he was working with you, Enrique. He didn’t like having to work in Forest Hills, hated the commute, and was happier working in LI, but, you were the light of the show there.
    He gave my son his old Ludwigs and we were so confused, looking at all the hardware, but he set up pretty quickly, and there was nothing better than hearing him play in our basement. He taught Chris some rudimentary stuff and even gave drum lessons here, as he had auctioned lessons for our school. He was a Dad to my kids and my best friend. We think of him and honor his memory every day. I am so happy to read something so nice. Thank you. :)

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