Thats a classic
one I often ask, but Im
always curious to know how you
discovered the music you play now
Well, in one way we were lucky
growing up in the 80's. There was
still a lot of Rock'n'Roll in TV
and radio even in East Germany.
One day I saw some Teds in my
hometown and thought that's the
coolest look I've ever seen. Next
thing was I started to comb my
hair like Elvis and bought me a
50's style suit. At least I
thought it would look 50's.
Anyway I got more and more
interested in the whole thing and
realised that I liked a whole
lotta stuff from that era without
knowing it. One day a friend of
mine teased me, that we're not a
real rockabilly gang without a
band. I thought about it, bought
me an Elvis songbook, and started
to play guitar. A czech Les Paul
model was my first instrument.
Some weeks later weformed our
first band "The Crazy Boys"
Tell us how you formed
the band. Did you play in other
As mentioned before "The
Crazy Boys" were my starting
point. We played mainly 50's
covers, some originals and even a
few songs by modern rockabilly
bands like Stray Cats or Dave
Philips. In 1995 we split up and
I formed the "Shakin Hoppers"
where I played the piano. The
drummer left us pretty soon and
we put the trio "Randy Rich
and The Poor Boys" together.
In 2000 I moved to England where
I joined the "Blue Star Boys".
But 3 years later I moved back to
Germany and put Randy Rich and
The Poor Boys back together in a
different line up though.
I believe you had some
changes in the line-up. You even
had a guest vocalist.
Yes we had many line up changes.
On the second CD Ike Stoye is
singing some harmonies on one
song, but apart from that it's
just the band members singing. I
always liked the idea of
different people singin in a
band, that gives much more
variety. That is important
especially if you are a trio
where you're stuck pretty much
with just one solo instrument.
What about the Poorboys?
IMichael Kielas is on drums who
played also in "The Crazy
Boys" and "The Shakin
Hoppers" with me. On the
upright bass is Juergen Lange. He
also plays with "Eddy and
Who are your favourite
artists, your influences?
have to say the "Million
Dollar Quartet" are my
heroes. Jerry Lee Lewis is
probably my all time favourite,
but Elvis and Carl Perkins right
behind. I love the SUN Sound from
Blues, Gospel to the Country side
of it. It's just amazing. I also
admire Sam Cooke, Johnny and
Dorsey Burnette, Charlene Arthur
and so many more....
For guitar playing, I'm of course
influenced by Carl Perkins,
Scotty Moore, Merle Travis, Chet
Atkins, Reggie Young, Al Hopson,
James Burton and a dozend other
You have played, and even
recorded, with rockabilly and
How is it to cross the line.
I mean from the fan position to
the backing band.
It's absolutely fantastic. I'm so
thankful that I was fortunate
enough to have made those
experiences. To play the songs
you love together with the
original artists onstage gives
you real goosebumps. How can you
not be thrilled to play with
Janis Martin, Glenn Honeycutt or
Eddie Bond. The stars I played
with were also just great people
and talking to them about the old
times is real fun for me.
For those who didnt
have the chance to experience
Randy Rich and The Poor Boys on
stage, how would you describe it?
Well, we try to make it as
diversified as possible. I like
to mix fast and slow songs,
instrumentals and harmonie songs,
country and rock'n'roll. We're
still using our vintage mics,
amps and instrument to give the
people the best possible sound
for our kind of music. I even
restored an old PA that we're
using for small club gigs. You'll
hear some classics, some old
songs you haven't heard before
and many of our own compositions.
We don't follow a trend we just
love the rock'n'roll the way it
was played in the 1950's and
that's what we're trying to do
A word about your
So far we've released two CD's on
Rhythm Bomb Records, 1 EP on Part
Records and last year we've put
out a single on our own Emerald
Records label. We are also the
backing band for Glenn Honeycutt
on his Rhythm Bomb CD. We're
trying to record a new album for
the Rockabilly Rave USA in
What are your projects?
I don't have real projects right
now, but I'm planning a Winter
Dance Party tribute tour in
Germany next Januar with Phil
Trigwell, Pep Torres and others,
that should be interesting
A last word
My biggest wish is, that
rock'n'roll gets one day the
presence on TV and radio back
that it deserves. It's the best
music in the world
Fred "Virgil" Turgis