2021-03-01 - 11:30 a.m.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't change my last name every couple of years to avoid multiple slanderous lawsuits from the people who are hunting me. The real reason is far more tragic, but since I've been reborn as the sure hand of god and a sentinel of justice It's time to come clean about my Stalinesque nomenclature.
I was born Richard Lee Meshach Jr. and kindergarten was tough on five-year-old that has a name reminiscent of a Confederate Civil War general. Plus, my father was a child molesting lump of human garbage that abandoned my mother before I turned two, so why in god's name would I want to advertise being a sequel to that. Honestly, what kind of literal bastard would I be with a "junior" attached to my name.
So I skirted the issue by using my mother's last name (Gigliotti) as much as I could, even though it wasn't my legal one. The problem with that though is that HER father, the origin of her last name, was also dead-beat dad that she never even got to meet. If I were to have used a hyphenated combination like Gigliotti-Meshach I would have achieved "Double Bastard" status.
In truth I never like the name Richard. A good portion of that had to do with the hatred of my father, but even more so because one of the nicknames for Richard is "Dick." How it became acceptable to walk around introducing yourself as a vulgar slang for penis is a mystery for the ages.
As result I allowed my mother's friends to call me Richie. When I was around six years old one of them carved me a cane with a lion head on it and my name running down the front, and spelled it "Ritchie." So that is where the additional "T" entered my name. Many people have assumed I did that to honor the great Mr. T, but it's actually because a biker couldn't spell.
By the time I entered 8th grade I decide to stop being a little wiener and join a punk band, if only to finally be able to call myself any ridiculous shit I chose to. That was a huge selling point for punk rock, not only did no one ever use their real names, but they went out of their way to make it offensive. One of the hardest things you'll ever do is look up your old punk friends on Facebook. You have no idea what any of these people’s real names are. Try searching for Dogfucker Bob, you're not going to find him.
One night during an 8th grade booze party at my friend’s house I decided to come up with a new identity. Embracing my love of the 80’s Minneapolis sound I decide to break the name “Ritchie” down to “Rich E.” Until I suggested it to my friend, and they pointed out everyone would realize I was just ripping off Sheila E., so I had to find some bad assed last name to add to it. It was at that point my friend Karla threw up on my shoe and a legend was born.
With nothing but attitude and lack of better judgement I ran on to the floor of the Junior High gymnasium to wow every student at the talent show as the newly christened “Rich E. Vomit.” I kicked the microphone cord out of the PA system and dazzled the masses with my rendition of the Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen.” Luckily, I was a theater nerd and understood projection, so the audience still got a chance to hear my glorious pipe. We won first place but Joe Delardo ran off with the money, thus beginning my long career of telling girls that their boyfriend was a homosexual in order to get them dumped.
After that debacle, the name was tainted and being that I was really getting interested in Film Noir I decided to go by “Dick Dent.” Sadly, that only lasted for a month and the only evidence that it even existed are some purple chalk drawings I did on black construction paper signed as such. So, I went back to “Rich E. Vomit, but I spiced it up a bit by announcing that Vomit was the shortened versioned of my family’s old-world name “Vomitallia,” and the “E.” was the initial of my middle name “Evol.” Sure, that was the name of a Sonic Youth record I was really into at the time, but I figured no one would ever match that up.
By the time I hit the 11th grade my friend Doug got me an audition with the hardcore band “State of Survival” based on ideology that it would be great to have a mentally ill high school artist who called himself Vomit as a front man. Once I got in, I made a bunch of stickers reading “I Love Rich E. Vomit” and plastered them all over “ABC No Rio,” a club in alphabet city. That period was great and in retrospect I should have ran with it, but I was getting spookier and spookier every day and it was impossible to hit on goth chicks with a name akin to puke.
Also, it was around this time that I began being ravaged by specters and demons and feared if they were to know my true identity, they would be able to find me in the book of life. I had no choice but to look through a tomb of the eldritch Theban alphabet blessed with protective powers, and through a series of numerology and chaos magic decide to go by “Dracicar.” Needless to say, that one was fairly short lived because the ladies laughed more at that one than they did the name that brought to mind the regurgitation of the contents of one’s stomach. So, no dice.
It was 1992 when I took my obsession with the band “Pussy Galore” to the basement and formed a noise band called “Murder.” We picked it because we thought our music was an assault that should be considered a crime. Our guitarist being enamored with the Ramones thought we should all take on the word “Murder” as our last names. The group didn’t last long but the name stuck and a year later when I met Paul Manos, he was already wanting to start a band called “The Murdered.” The fact that Murder was my last name had nothing to do with it at all, I simply was going by that name before the band started. A lot of people don’t know that.
I went by “Ritchie Murder” for a very long time. Since so many promoters already knew me as that I chose to keep it through The Guilloteens, Nation In Black, Bloody Ungodly, and the Transfusions. I used it when I was DJing and wrote for zines. Most people who know me met me under that name. It became so commonplace I even had it on a credit card and in the phone book for my apartment in Clifton. I wrongfully assumed that I was going to achieve some sort of fame under this moniker and hung on to it until I had a nervous breakdown, got insanely fat, and hit my mid-thirties. Once I started resembling something dredged from a lake it seemed silly to keep that name.
I wallowed in misery for a while but when I eventually got the urge to play music again returned to the drawing board to create a new persona. I thought if I swapped my original first and last name and went by “Meshach Richards” I sounded like some chain smoking Southern Gothic writer. I played some acoustic shows under that banner until one night at a friend’s house he introduced me to his guest which happened to be a girl who truly hated me, and she replied, “Oh, I know RITCHIE MURDER!” As if I were trying to trick people to erase my past and that if she said my true name out loud, I would vanish back into the spirit realm.
I guess it worked because I locked myself in my house and hid from the public for about seven years.
That unnecessary diatribe brings us to the present day where I just said fuck it, time to start a new Facebook page and I have to call myself something. How long will I keep this stupid name? I have no idea. Maybe I’ll go back to being “Dick Dent.” I really feel like that one should have been a keeper. Most people call me Dick anyway, and those are the ones that don’t even know me.
My ultimate fantasy would be for other musicians to agree to start a Garage/Soul band with me called “The Black Draculas” that dress like the Malchi Brothers in ski masks and claim to be a Detroit street gang from the 50’s who were bitten by vampires. It’s doubtful that will EVER happen but when it does, I’ll be going by “Tyrone Lestat.”
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