Ray Condo, RIP

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If no else does it beforehand, I'll find a good article on this tomorrow morning, but I can't believe no one else has posted that the great Rockabilly Revivalist/Western Swinger Ray Condo of the Hard Rock Goners and Ray Condo & His Ricochets was found dead in his Vancouver apt. at age 53 last Thursday.
Very sad.

Huck, Monday, 19 April 2004 04:29 (nineteen years ago) link

no! That's terrible news. I spent Saturday listening to some old Hard Rock Goners material, but I hadn't heard this. Many great memories of his shows. Hell of a performer.

pauls00, Monday, 19 April 2004 11:25 (nineteen years ago) link

From Rockabillyhall.com:

Ray was performer 'on a mission' - A fixture on montreal's live music scene. Founder of the Hardrock Goners
known internationally in rockabilly circles.
Rockabilly musician Ray Condo moved to the West Coast in 1991 after spending years on Montreal's club circuit. His body was found in a
Vancouver apartment on Thursday.
Ray Condo, a fixture on Montreal's live-music scene in the late 1980s, has died at age 54. The singer's body was found Thursday in his
Vancouver apartment, said Peter Sandmark, drummer for the Hardrock Goners, Condo's former backing band. The cause of death is being
determined, Sandmark said.
Born Ray Tremblay in Hull, Condo released his first record when he was 16, as part of the Peasants, a British Invasion-style group. After
performing in a Vancouver punk band, the Secret Vs, he relocated to Montreal in 1984, where he formed the Hardrock Goners. The
rockabilly-revivalist combo incorporated blues, country and western swing in its sound, specializing in forgotten classics with a backbeat.
Chris Hand, who owns Zeke's Gallery, saw the group live many times. He recalled Condo as a man who "put heart and soul into everything,"
and described his stage presence as "manic, all over the place - everything a rockabilly band should be."
After tiring of the Montreal club circuit, Condo returned to Vancouver in 1991. Even so, the Montreal-based Goners toured with him for
another three years before the band stopped performing. Condo then formed the Ricochets, with whom he recorded Swing, Brother, Swing, and
Door to Door Maniac. High and Wild, their last album, was released in 2000. He was to have performed last night in Vancouver.
"He'll be remembered as a Canadian rock 'n' roll legend," Sandmark said, noting Condo was known internationally in rockabilly circles,
though his records were not easily available. When the two were last together in Vancouver in February, they joked about it. "He was the
best-known Canadian rocker nobody's ever heard," Sandmark said.
But it was Condo's passion that Sandmark remembered yesterday. "He was no sellout," he said. "Ray was really dedicated to the music - to
preserving the classics, like Hank Williams and roots rock 'n' roll. He thought America had forgotten its roots, that this music was America's
contribution to the world. "He always used to say, 'We're on a mission to keep it alive.'"
Ray Condo was part of a scene that brought together some of Montreal's most spirited musicians.

bperusse@thegazette.canwest.com - BERNARD PERUSSE - CREDIT: GORDON BECK, The Gazette

Further News:
(April 19, 2004) - The wake at the Railway Club raised over C$3500 for Ray's funeral and related expenses. The funeral is tentatively
set for the afternoon of Sunday, April 25, to be followed by a night of music in Ray's memory at a local (Vancouver, B.C.) night club.
Longtime Condo guitarist Steven Nikleva has issued the following press release:
It is with great regret that his close friends must report the sudden death of Rock and Roll legend Ray Condo. Ray was found dead in his
apartment in Vancouver, April 15 from an apparent heart attack.
Ray did not have any immediate family but did have a family of friends that cared for him dearly; this family stretched around the world.
Ray had recently returned to an active music career after a three year break during which he worked for the Canadian National Railways.
Ray was Canada's representative at the many international festivals he played and was preparing to tour the US, Europe and Australia this coming
summer. His recent shows (including a sold out show in Los Angeles at the Derby) had shown Ray to be in fine form.
Ray became a country and rockabilly singer through the back door of punk, playing in Vancouver's The Secret V's. Exposure to the Cramps
led him to revisit his Elvis roots and in 1984 he formed Ray Condo & The Hardrock Goners in Montreal. The group quickly became Canada's
premier rockabilly act. Ray moved back to Vancouver in 1994, forming Ray Condo & The Ricochets, whose mix of western swing, rockabilly and
jazz delighted fans around the world. At the time of his death, Ray Condo was in the process of building a new group and sound with longtime guitar
player Stephen Nikleva and fellow music veteran Ian Tiles. Ray was optimistic, and looking forward to the future. He will be sorely missed.
An informational web site (www.raycondo.ca/) is in the process of being set up with a message board so everyone can express themselves.
For more information email: information@raycondo.ca

The Huckle-Buck (Horace Mann), Monday, 19 April 2004 13:33 (nineteen years ago) link

I just don't want this to fall off the bottom of the page.

Huck (Horace Mann), Monday, 19 April 2004 18:35 (nineteen years ago) link

man, i saw him slay an entire room of hipsters once. ..Seems like he played this small town venue(in Ohio) all the time. It was a great show...i shoulda saw him again. RIP

thomas de'aguirre (biteylove), Monday, 19 April 2004 18:39 (nineteen years ago) link

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