|Birth name||Ricky Helton Wilson|
|Born||March 19, 1953|
Athens, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||October 12, 1985 32) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Genres||New wave, post-punk|
|Occupation(s)||Instrumentalist, musician, singer-songwriter|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, vocals|
|Labels||Warner Bros., Reprise, Island|
|Associated acts||The B-52's, Black Narcissus, Loon, Tom Verlaine, The Zambo Flirts|
Ricky Helton Wilson (March 19, 1953 – October 12, 1985)was an American musician best known as the original guitarist and founding member of rock band the B-52's. Born in Athens, Georgia, Wilson was the brother of fellow member Cindy Wilson. The B-52's were founded in 1976, when Ricky, his sister Cindy, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland and Fred Schneider shared a tropical flaming volcano drink at a Chinese restaurant and, after an impromptu music session at the home of their friend Owen Scott III, played for the first time at a Valentine's Day party for friends. Wilson's unusual guitar tunings were a large contribution to the band's quirky sound.
On October 12, 1985, at the age of 32, Wilson died from complications related to AIDS following the recording of the band's fourth studio album Bouncing Off the Satellites . According to Strickland, the album had been completed and mixed before Wilson's death, with only the cover art not yet designed (an illustration by Kenny Scharf was ultimately decided upon). Devastated, the band went into seclusion and did not tour to promote the album, though they did several photo shoots and TV appearances and filmed a video for "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland".
In addition to his work with the B-52's, Wilson played the guitar on the song "Breakin' in My Heart" on Tom Verlaine's self-titled debut album in 1979. This was his only non-B-52's appearance on record. He also appeared in various films, notably One Trick Pony . Posthumously, he also appeared in Athens, GA: Inside/Out , The B-52's 1979–1989, and The B-52's Time Capsule: Videos for a Future Generation 1979–1998 through archival footage.
Wilson was born on March 19, 1953 to Bobby Jack Wilson, a fireman and a veteran of the United States Army, and Linda J. Wilson (née Mairholtz),in Athens, Georgia. At an early age, Wilson developed an interest in music and learned how to play folk guitar from the PBS series Learning Folk Guitar. Upon entering Clarke Central High School, Wilson had upgraded to a Silvertone guitar and, to tape his music, purchased a two-track tape recorder with money earned from a summer job at the local landfill.
In mid-1969, Wilson met former Comer resident Keith Strickland at the local head shop The Looking Glass.The two shared common interests in music and Eastern mysticist culture and quickly became friends.
Wilson quietly came out as gay to Strickland while the two were in their teens, becoming the first member of the band to do so.
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During mid-1969, both Wilson and Strickland collaborated in writing and performing music, loosely calling themselves Loon, and aspired to perform live.
From 1969 to 1971, Wilson and Strickland collaborated with high school friends Pete Love of Louisville and Athens native Owen Scott, III in performing together as the four-member band Black Narcissus.
Upon graduation from the University of Georgia in 1976, Wilson kept in touch with Strickland and they toured Europe, eventually returning and taking jobs at the Southeastern Stages bus station in Athens, Georgia where Strickland's father was manager.
In late 1976, Strickland and Wilson returned to Athens in search of further employment.The two joined the B-52's when they, Wilson's sister Cindy, Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider of local protest band the Sun-Donuts, formed the group in an impromptu musical practice session after sharing a tropical flaming volcano drink at a Chinese restaurant. They played their first concert in 1977 at a Valentine's Day party for friends. The band's quirky take on the new wave sound of their era was a combination of dance and surf music set apart by the unusual guitar tunings used by Wilson.
Wilson cited various children's records, the Mamas & the Papas, and Esquerita and the Voola as sources of inspiration in his musical career.Wilson also played the guitar on the song "Breakin' In My Heart" on Tom Verlaine's self-titled debut album.
In 1983, during recording sessions for the band's third studio album Whammy! ,Wilson discovered he had contracted HIV. He confided his illness to Keith Strickland, as stated in several interviews including one with The Age . In 1985, during recording for their album Bouncing Off the Satellites , Wilson's illness became more severe; both Strickland and Pierson have stated that despite this, he kept his illness secret from the other members of the band. In an interview, Pierson stated that Wilson did so because he "did not want anyone to worry about him or fuss about him".
On October 12, 1985,in the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, Wilson died of AIDS, at the age of 32. He was later buried in Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. Devastated, the band did little promotional work and did not tour to promote the album. Upon reforming in 1988, the band continued as a four-piece, with Strickland replicating Wilson's riffs from their earlier material in live performances.
The B-52s is an American new wave band formed in Athens, Georgia, in 1976. The original line-up consisted of Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson, Ricky Wilson (guitar), and Keith Strickland. Ricky Wilson died from AIDS-related illness in 1985, and Strickland switched from drums to lead guitar. The band also added various members for albums and live performances.
The B-52's is the debut album by the Athens, Georgia-based new wave band the B-52's. The kitschy lyrics and mood, and the hook-laden harmonies helped establish a fanbase for the band, who went on to release several chart-topping singles. The album cover was designed by Tony Wright.
Catherine Elizabeth Pierson is an American singer, lyricist, and one of the singers and founding members of the B-52's. A multi-instrumentalist, she plays guitar, bass and various keyboard instruments. In the B-52s, she has performed alongside Cindy Wilson, Fred Schneider, Ricky Wilson, and Keith Strickland. In the early years, as well as being a vocalist, Pierson was the main keyboard player and was notable for performing on a keyboard bass during many live shows and on many of the band's recordings, taking on a role usually filled by a bass guitar player, which differentiated the band from their contemporaries. This, along with Pierson's distinctive wide-ranging singing voice, remains a trademark of the B-52s’ unique sound. Pierson has also collaborated with many other artists including The Ramones, Iggy Pop and R.E.M.
Frederick William Schneider III is an American singer, songwriter, arranger, and musician, best known as the frontman of the rock band The B-52's, of which he is a founding member.
Wild Planet is the second studio album by the B-52's, released in 1980.
Good Stuff is the sixth studio album by new wave band the B-52's, released in 1992. This is the only B-52's album in which vocalist Cindy Wilson does not appear.
Cosmic Thing is the fifth studio album by American new wave band the B-52's, released in 1989. It contains the singles "Love Shack" and "Roam". The success of the album served as a comeback after the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson in 1985.
Whammy! is the third studio album by American new wave band the B-52's. It was recorded at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas, in December 1982 and was produced by Steven Stanley. The record was refined and mastered at Sterling Sound, New York City. It was released on April 27, 1983 in the United States, with Warner Bros. Records as the primary label. Sales for Whammy! were generally weaker than their previous album, but overall successful, spawning the popular singles "Legal Tender", "Whammy Kiss", and "Song for a Future Generation". The album entered the Billboard 200 twice in 1983, reaching both number 29 and 171 throughout the year, while "Legal Tender" reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Singles chart alongside its two respective singles.
Bouncing off the Satellites is the fourth studio album by American new wave band the B-52's, released on September 8, 1986. It was recorded in July 1985 and was produced by Tony Mansfield. Founding member and guitarist Ricky Wilson died of AIDS after most of the work on the album was completed, but a year prior to its release. The B-52's had gone on hiatus by the time Bouncing Off the Satellites was released, and it took three years for the band to recover from Wilson's death and release their next album, Cosmic Thing.
Cynthia Leigh Wilson is an American singer, and is one of the vocalists, songwriters and founding members of new wave rock band the B-52s. She is noted for her distinctive contralto voice and also plays percussion during live shows. She is the younger sister of the late guitarist Ricky Wilson (1953–1985), who was also a founding member of the band.
Party Mix! is a 1981 remix album by The B-52's, released in between their second album Wild Planet and the Mesopotamia EP. On the original vinyl, this six-song collection contained songs from their first two albums remixed and sequenced to form two long tracks, one on each side. On the CD version, however, all the songs feature their own tracks.
Mesopotamia is an EP by American new wave band the B-52's. It was produced by David Byrne of Talking Heads and was originally planned to be the band's third studio album. Due to conflicts with Byrne and record label pressure, recording sessions were aborted prematurely and only six of ten songs to be completed were released. The record was distributed as a 12" EP by Warner Bros. in the U.S. and by Island Records on vinyl and cassette in the UK and other non-US markets.
Tom Verlaine is the eponymous solo debut studio album by American musician and Television guitarist/vocalist Tom Verlaine. It was released in 1979 through Elektra Records.
Nude on the Moon: The B-52's Anthology is a two-CD compilation album containing 35 songs recorded by American new wave band the B-52's between the years 1979 and 1998. This compilation includes live recordings of "Quiche Lorraine" and "Whammy Kiss", and a previously unreleased outtake version of "Queen of Las Vegas".
Julian Keith Strickland is an American singer-songwriter, composer, musician, multi-instrumentalist, and one of the founding members of The B-52s. He was born in Athens, Georgia.
Funplex is the seventh studio album by the B-52's, recorded during 2006 and 2007. The album was released on March 25, 2008, by Astralwerks Records It was the first album of new material that the group had released since Good Stuff in 1992, although the band did record two new songs for their 1998 compilation album Time Capsule: Songs for a Future Generation.
"Planet Claire" is the second single released by The B-52's from their self-titled debut album. The single was their second to chart anywhere, at no. 43 in Australia and no. 24 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart, along with album tracks "Rock Lobster" and "Dance This Mess Around".
"Dance This Mess Around" is a song by American new wave band The B-52's. It was released in 1979, as the third and final single from their self-titled debut album. The song features Cindy Wilson on lead vocals, as well as Fred Schneider and Kate Pierson, and has become a live favorite, even 40 years after its release. It was heard once in Alex Strangelove.
With the Wild Crowd! Live in Athens, GA is the first official live album and DVD release by American new wave band The B-52s. The concert was recorded on February 18, 2011 at The Classic Center in the band's hometown of Athens, Georgia, commemorating the 34th anniversary of their first performance as a group on February 14, 1977.
Live! 8-24-1979 is the second official live album by American new wave band The B-52s. The concert was recorded on August 24, 1979 at The Berklee Center in Boston, Massachusetts, before the release of their second album.