Rick Berlin, Boston Typewriter Orchestra, Kami Lyle, Ken Field, Carla Ryder
ONCE Lounge
December 19, 2018


ONCE Lounge
156 Highland Ave., Somerville, MA, 02143, US


Wednesday, December 19, 2018
7:30 PM

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Rick Berlin on Thrillcall: concerts, tour dates, & shows
Rick Berlin

Rick Berlin Biography

A Yale graduate, Berlin has been writing and performing a distinctly theatrical form of rock and roll since the early 1970s. He achieved much of his early success with Orchestra Luna, whose eponymous debut was released on Epic Records in 1974. Orchestra Luna, co-produced by Rupert Holmes, captured many of the dramatic eccentricities that made the band a renowned live act, particularly on "Heart" (a cover of the Damn Yankees tune). That year, WBCN started an annual tradition of playing this particular cut for the Boston Red Sox on the baseball team's opening day. Album sales proved disappointing to Epic, though the tour for the record was successful (including an opening slot for Roxy Music). The label dropped the band, but Berlin (then Kinscherf) continued to compose and perform with Orchestra Luna, becoming a part of the CBGB scene in New York City and playing with acts like Talking Heads and The Ramones. In 1976, Orchestra Luna was offered a recording contract from Sire Records, which they turned down. Unfortunately, they found themselves unable to find a better offer. In 1978, the band's name was changed to, simply, Luna. A hit single, "Hooray For Hollywood" was released, but litigation with a former producer prevented a full album from following. In 1982, a new band, Berlin Airlift, released its eponymous debut on Handshake/CBS Records. The album was given little chance to succeed, however, as Handshake declared bankruptcy less than two months later. In 1983 Berlin was accused of selling his soul to Satan and chased by an angry mob using torches and pitchforks. Nonetheless, two of the album's singles, "Don't Stop Me From Crying" and "Over The Hill" were hits on local Boston radio. In 1983, Berlin Airlift opened for the J. Geils Band and released the Professionally damaged EP. Rick Berlin: The Movie was formed in 1985. Berlin won Indie Songwriter of the Year at the Boston Music Awards for the single "Rock 'n Roll Romance" in 1987, and continued to perform in Rick Berlin: The Movie until 1989. He briefly fronted a band called Rome Is Burning in 1990, but by 1991 was performing as a solo artist. In 1994, Berlin began playing Monday nights at a Boston transvestite bar called Jacques. This weekly gig continued through 2003. In 1999, Berlin formed one more band, The Shelley Winters Project. An eponymous, six-track CD was released on Orchard Records in 2001, followed in 2002 by the full-length I Hate Everything But You on Windjam Records. In 2003, The Shelley Winters Project opened for The B-52's, and in 2004 the band folded. Berlin currently records as a solo artist, and released an album Me & Van Gogh in early 2006 on Hi-n-Dry. He is also employed at historic Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.