Welcome to day 25 of a 30-day tribute to the history of Duluth's favorite
Since his earliest days in Duluth, when Double Barrel would would walk down the dormitory hall to find him playing "Every Rose Has It's Thorn" for swooning college girls, to the salad-days of the band, when large crowds would all turn their heads in unison to watch him rip out a solo, Richie Gunns has always been the finest embodiment of the Bone Appetit paradox.
On any given night, he could be the drunkest regular in the bar, but put a guitar in his hands and he would become a demigod, converting all in attendance into believers. He could elevate a show to amazing heights, or say something so awkward into the mic that the rest of the band and audience would drop their gaze and wait for the moment to pass.
Make no mistake about it though, first and foremost Richie is a gifted musician. Equally capable of coaxing his guitar into resonating a tender ballad or the raunchiest of cock-rock riffs.
Richie always knew his role in the band, and worked hard to fulfill it. His manner of dress, stage theatrics and musical style showcases his passion for Bone Appetit. It was often calculated, but also spontaneous. He would willingly tackle the stupidest of covers at a moment's notice, or plan for days which solos he would play behind his head and which on his knees.
Richie also had his dark times as well though, arguably living harder than any other member of the band. Through summers without any electricity, to broke nights at the Norshor where the only drinks to be had were vile concoctions assembled for the twisted amusement of the other drunks, the music is what kept Richie afloat. His passion for the guitar and playing on stage became his existence, his pride never faltering because the next show was just a week or so away.
Richie brought to Bone Appetit much more than an adept guitar hand. He has an infectious enthusiasm that attracts friends and fans alike. He's always willing to party, regale a funny story, or laugh the loudest over warm beers late at night in a god-forsaken Hillside basement. His memory for the best moments of a shared past endears him to all that know him. He has a thick skin, but still manages to wear his heart on his sleeve.
In his free time he has made several home recordings of his own acoustic songs, and will play solo at Homegrown on Wednesday May 3rd at 8pm at the Red Mug in Superior.
Richie also continues his rock career fronting The Supertacks, a 4-piece rock group in the Twin Ports (that also includes Jizzy Young). Although they don't walk the same path as Bone Appetit in terms of substance, Richie's musical gift and passion clearly shine through with the 'Tacks and they are not to be missed. You can (and should) see them at the Homegrown Festival on Wednesday night, May 3rd at 10pm at the Twin Port Brewery.
Love, Lust, and Rock n' Roll
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BONE APPETIT will play
on Friday Night, May 5th
at 12:30AM at RT Quinlan's.
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