Welcome to the...
First off, Blue Movie was a band, not a dirty movie (for those of you with dirty minds). :) Blue Movie was based in Fall River, MA and played mainly out of the Providence, RI original music scene from 1985 until 1990. The band wrote and performed original rock music in a style that was often said to be a cross between early REM and The Smithereens. They achieved moderate regional success and notoriety while playing most of the popular clubs in and around Providence and also establishing a presence as far west as New London, CT and as far east as Boston, MA. See The Back Story for more about the band's history.
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Blue Movie was formed in late 1984 when Rick Couture recruited John O'Grady and Charlie Estrella and secured the venerable Music Mansion practice studio in Fall River, MA. In early 1985, they added Ray Lambert to the line-up, after a recommendation by O'Grady, who had played in two bands with Lambert prior to Blue Movie. Due to Couture's prolific songwriting, the band quickly assembled a set of original songs, recorded a home-made demo at The Music Mansion, and assimilated themselves into the burgeoning original music scene of Providence, RI. The band immediately attracted attention in the local music community and gained momentum.
During August of 1985, the band recorded a 4-song EP at Celebration Sounds in Pawtucket, RI. After overcoming some minor production problems with the record pressing, the band released the eponymous EP on 7" vinyl in January 1986. The lead-off track, Walking On Air, received regular airplay on local music shows for several months after its release.
The band continued to gig regularly in the Providence area. Everywhere A Window Breaks, a song decrying the horrors of nuclear war, became a live favorite due to its lengthy instrumental jam, which seemed to evolve nightly during the band's performances. Largely because of this song, the band established an informal association with a California-based, anti-nuclear proliferation protest group, Neighbors For Peace, in early 1986.
This association led the band to organize an outdoor music festival, with proceeds going to Neighbors For Peace. The festival was held at Dave's Beach in Fall River, MA, in the Spring of 1986. The band succeeded in attracting the participation of local radio personalities, the local news media, and secured a highly successful local band, MX, to headline. The band was riding high on its lengthy run of success, but, unfortunately, things were about to change.
The day of the festival dawned on seemingly perfect weather: sunny, warm, and dry. The band was relieved that the rain day they had planned for would not be needed. The stage and PA were set-up, committing the event financially, the bands were set-up and sound-checked, and everything appeared to be coming off perfectly. But, just before the gates opened, bad luck arrived in the form of very wet weather. The rain, heavy at times, continued throughout the afternoon, keeping the crowds away. With all of their money already spent on this wet party, the band could not afford to attempt it all again on the rain date and so the event ended in financial ruin.
In the wake of this failure, tensions within the group caused the first major rift between the band members, eventually leading to the departure of Estrella shortly after the ill-fated festival. The remaining three members began a search for a new bass player, which lasted several months, and eventually settled on Mike Walkden, who would stay with the band for the remainder of its existence.
Unfortunately, there was more bad luck to come. Shortly after recruiting Walkden, O'Grady was forced to leave the band for personal reasons. Much like the mythical Spinal Tap, difficulties with drummers would haunt the band until its final days. After another several months searching for a new drummer, the band recruited Larry Ferreira. Ferreira would play with the band for nearly two years.
Blue Movie resumed playing shows in late 1986 and early 1987 and continued to work on new songs. The band also began to expand its territory by doing its first live gigs in Boston, MA. In early 1987, a chance meeting with Whitney Houston manager, Dan Gittleman, brought the band in touch with world-renown Portuguese singer/producer, Jose Cid. As a favor for Gittleman, Cid agreed to produce a song for the band, which he promised to promote to his record company contacts in Portugal.
Summer 1987 found the band at Blackbeard Studios, in Lincoln, RI. They recorded two songs on their own before being joined by Cid to record a third — the first song penned by Lambert for the band. Cid turned out to be a very "hands-on" producer who virtually re-wrote the song, resulting in a recording that fell far afield of the band's characteristic musical style and sound. The band (and especially Lambert) was very displeased with this and the ensuing tensions between them and Cid caused him to renege on his deal to promote the recording, leaving the band with a well-produced song that was really not very useful to them. The fallout from this incident generated tensions within the band which led to none of the Blackbeard tracks ever being released and the eventual departure of Ferreira in late 1987.
Over the next two years, the band went through a series of drummers, even attempting a reunion with original drummer O'Grady, which unfortunately didn't pan out. When they weren't searching for drummers, the band continued to gig throughout Providence and Boston, and even managed to expand their territory into eastern Connecticut. The fairly frequent gigging helped the band to refine their performances and become more confident and professional, but, unfortunately, the frequent downtimes between drummers prevented the band from recreating the momentum that they had experienced in their early days.
This led Couture to propose a radical change in late 1989. Couture had originally been trained as a drummer but had switched to guitar and vocals to form Blue Movie. Since the band could not seem to find a drummer that would allow them to move forward in the manner they wished, Couture decided that perhaps he should assume the drum duties and the band should try recruiting a singer and rhythm guitarist instead.
The new Blue Movie debuted in 1990 with Couture on drums, Lambert and Walkden in their usual roles, and three new members: a lead singer, a rhythm guitarist, and a keyboardist. After several gigs with the new line-up, the members secretly agreed that the new lead singer wasn't quite working out and discussions about replacing him ensued. In the midst of this, the new rhythm guitarist and keyboardist decided to split and form their own band, playing the heavy metal music that they were more interested in.
Assuming that the singer wasn't going to work out anyway, this left Couture, Lambert, and Walkden back at square one. The disappointment of this, and the feeling that they just couldn't find the serious, dedicated people that they needed to succeed, was too much for Couture, and Blue Movie was finally disbanded after a moderately successful six-year run.
In 1992, Couture began a project to record some of his favorite Blue Movie songs, which had never been cleanly recorded before. He recruited Lambert to play lead guitar and friends to play bass, keyboards, and backing vocals. The project ended prematurely, yielding only one completed track: a song called Amber's Light, which Couture had written for his daughter during the final days of Blue Movie, but which had never been performed by the band.
In 1999 and 2000, Lambert produced a retrospective CD of the band's work. The disc featured all of the studio recordings, including Amber's Light, numerous self-produced demos, and some live tracks and rehearsal tapes. It even included the much-maligned Jose Cid-produced song, Memories Remain. The CD was entitled Blue Again! Volume 1: Back From The Closet (a reference to the lead-off track, Back To The Closet, from the 1987 Blackbeard sessions). A second volume was planned, to be called Blue Again! Volume 2: Out Of The Blue, which was to feature live tracks and some rare recordings whose sound quality wasn't up to the standards of the first CD, but the second volume was never completed.
During the years since then both Couture and Lambert worked on and off with other projects and even together for brief periods. Then, in 2012, Couture produced a retrospective CD of his own, called "Demolisten", that included some of the original Blue Movie tracks as well as some newer tracks (some unfinished) that he had worked on with friends. This inspired renewed interest in both Couture and Lambert and lead to plans for new recording sessions to resurrect and preserve for posterity Blue Movie's forgotten repertoire, including many favorites that were never properly recorded. The reunited bandmates hope to make these recordings available digitally on the Internet for all to hear.
The new retrospective CD from Rick Couture and Friends featuring 19 songs written by Rick Couture that were recorded and coproduced with friends over a ~25 year period.
The band that Ray currently performs with.