The new TV season

Power to the people; enviropalooza; on the money; farewell to Dickie
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  February 23, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron was wrong: The revolution(s) will be televised.

Scott-Heron was the original rapper, and his iconic anthem from 1970, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," has now fallen to the advances of modern technology in the streets of Cairo, Tripoli, Sana, and Manama.

Yes, the pure human energy, courage, and hope bursting out of the protesters of North Africa and the Middle East has been tangible, even through the lens of the idiot box.

After so many years of soulless cruelty and amoral denigration of people in these now-rebellious quarters, one cannot help but have faith that maybe — in the long run — righteousness really can prevail.

Stay tuned.


THE MIGHTY DICKIE

Dickie Richardson, a friend of P&J's for 35 and 40 years, respectively, passed away on February 11. We cannot tell you how deeply saddened we are. Dickie was not only a kind, gentle, and generous person, he was also one of the most versatile and brilliant people we have ever known. People were drawn to him because he had a unique and joyful life force all his own.

A native of Providence's East Side, Dickie went off to the University of Pennsylvania as a young man, studying architecture under the legendary Louis Kahn. There, he hooked up with future Providence legends, Dewey Dufresne (founder of Joe's — later known as Geoff's — sandwich shop and the Big Daddy of the nascent Providence restaurant scene of the 1970s) and John Lovell (who, with John Rector, was a co-founder of Leo's and the legendary day-bartender at the first incarnation of Lupo's).

Then it was off to Hollywood, where Dickie worked at the Troubador with Doug Weston, hung out with tons of movie and music people (Mama Cass was besotted with Dickie), roomed with Don (Miami Vice) Johnson in his pre-fame days, etc.

Back to the East Coast where Dickie hung with Andy Warhol and spent lots of time between Providence and New York, helping take care of business for the Fabulous Motels, the hotbed of talent that produced the Young Adults and the late great Charles Rocket — and inspired the creators of Talking Heads.

At his memorial service last weekend, there was a reception at the Central Congregational Church hall and Dickie's brother Andrew mentioned to Jorge, "Hey, your picture's over there." On the stage in the church hall there was a large collection of photos of Dickie with family and friends. There were two band pictures. One was of the Fabulous Motels (with your superior correspondent, Jorge, supine, looking like a beached whale); the other was a promo shot for a band Dickie had for a few years that featured the great Sport (Dave Hansen) Fisher, the guitarist and record producer Phil Greene, and Vern Miller (bass player with Barry & the Remains), among others.

Jorge remembered that Dickie's band once caught a gig that involved writing and playing the soundtrack for the sexploitation film (a Doris Wishman spectacular) Deadly Weapons, a vehicle for burlesque star Chesty Morgan. Loyal friend that Jorge was, he trooped over to the old Paris Cinema in downtown Providence with David Byrne, another guy who never passed up an opportunity to see a completely off-the-wall film. We may have sat through it twice, it was so demented.

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