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Richard Tepp (1947-2004)
Tribute Page
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Last Updated February 12th, 2005

Richard Tepp Tribute Video now available

Title

Time
File Size

Richard Tepp Tribute - Quicktime Format
Great quality, large file, need latest version of Quicktime

2:42
20 Meg

Richard Tepp Tribute - RealPlayer Format
Small file,probably no software upgrade, ok quality

2:42
1 Meg

Created by RYL Documentary maker James Hannon - originally slated to be played at
Little Steven's Underground Garage Festival on Aug 14th 2004

 


On Thursday, June 17th 2004, we lost Howard "Richard" Tepp - lead singer for Richard and the Young Lions, to leukemia

It is a huge loss for us here... We have lost a good friend, a bandmate, and one of the gentlest souls that you could know... We will miss him tremendously.

We would also like to extend our condolences to his family...

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a college trust fund for Richard's son Casey at Key Bank

If you would like to contribute to this fund, please send your check to::

Key Bank
PO Box 897
Tannersville, NY 12485
518-589-5900

Please attach a note that it is for the Casey Tepp Trust Fund


 




Goodbye my friend - We will miss you...


Remembrances by those who knew him


Feb 2nd, 2005 - Katie Tepp - Howie's (Richard's) niece sent in this very touching letter about her uncle.

There is a lot I could say about Howie Tepp, he was always cracking some kind of joke, always talking about his family or his band, always being a great guy...himself, but nothing I can say could even come close to describe how spectacular this man was and always will be.

My dad, Peter Tepp (Howie's brother), my sister, Jessica and I would go up to New York from Texas to visit him, Casey, and Lynn. My dad would always fit right in but me and my sister would be a little shy but my Uncle Howie would always be able to break that shyness by one of his hilarious remarks. I would always be so sad to leave that cute apartment over Lynn's laundry mat in Tannersville.

The last time we visited my uncle, aunt and cousin was in toward the end of June in the summer of '04. I knew this time was going to be different since my uncle was diagnosed with leukemia and was in a hospital in Kingston. I remember walking through the door of that apartment and it felt so weird to not have my uncle there to welcome me. I was so scared to go to the hospital to see him because I didn’t know if I could take seeing my uncle who was always so strong in a hospital bed so defenseless. I didn’t decide...I knew I had to go see him. As I entered his hospital room he welcomed me just the way he would have as if he was in his own home. Although he was heavily on medication and wasn’t acting himself just by looking in his eyes you could see the man that everyone knew and loved.

When we were in New York, me and my sister thought Father's Day was that upcoming Sunday. So we told Casey and we went shopping together for out dads. That Sunday Casey gave his presents to his dad at the hospital. When we got back to the apartment, Lynn looked at her calendar and realized that Father's Day was the next Sunday. We all had a good laugh about it thinking it was nothing. We spent out last couple of days visiting my uncle and getting to know his daughter and son, Dawn and Josh. That Tuesday Howie got to come home from the hospital. Wednesday came soon...too soon, me, my dad, and my sister had to start driving back to Texas. We said our goodbye's to the family, then came our goodbye's to Howie. He had just taken medicine and had fallen asleep, me and my sister gave him a kiss on his forehead and said with tears in our eyes, "Goodbye, Uncle Howie". Then my dad kissed him and said the same. As we drove away from Tannersville, we were in silence, none of us knew if we would ever see Howie Tepp again. About an hour after me and my sister got home on
Thursday, June 17th, we got a phone call from our dad saying that our beloved uncle had died earlier that morning. That weekend when we visited our dad, he told us that it was weird how we got the wrong day for Father's day because if we hadn't Casey and his dad wouldn’t have been able to share their own Father's Day.

Many people have to cope with Howard "Richard" Tepp's passing, everyone will miss him dearly but we all know that he will be there to open up our door to heaven.

Katie Tepp

 


July 9th, 2004 - Bob Freedman another long-time friend of Howie/Richard, and early member of RYL sent me this letter.

"Howard “Richard” Tepp

I will never forget the first time I met Howie. Marc, Norm, Ricky and I, then calling ourselves “The Emeralds”, were playing on stage at the “Y” auditorium in Newark, NJ. To the best of my estimation, the date was Nov. 25, 1965, and the event was (are you ready?) the “Soiree’ a-Go-Go.” Near the side of the stage, I noticed this lanky, leather-jacketed, kind of “hood-looking” guy, with a cigarette dangling from his lip, who got Marc’s and Norm’s attention. Next thing you know, they came to me and said that there’s a guy they know from the neighborhood who wants to sing a few tunes with us. I think I asked something like, “Well, can he sing?” They believed so, and then I said something like, “If it’s OK with you, it’s OK with me.” Little did we know how all of our lives would change forever on that fateful night.

The ensuing two years were a roller coaster ride of excitement and emotions. And although “the business” always seemed a struggle, Howie’s great sense of humor surely helped make it easier. He truly loved to laugh, and loved a good joke. And performing with him on stage was always great, great fun….. as it should be (well, except for one particular night in Long Island, but we won’t go into that). The excitement and energy and joy, both external and internal, that “Richard” generated on stage could be viscerally felt by all, band and audience alike. Our greatest musical experience together had to be the ALSAC Show in Cobo Hall, Detroit, 1966, with 17,000 screaming “teeny boppers”. What a night!

We became fast friends. He was very open, seeming almost vulnerable at times, sharing and generous to a fault, and he surely did have that twinkle in his eye. He had a way of giving you “that Tepp look” that made you feel as if you shared some great secret with him.

For all his outward stage presence and bravado, he was, I thought, actually a very gentle, and laid back guy. Maybe it’s through the rosy glasses of time, but in the 38+ years I knew him, I cannot recall ever having exchanged really harsh words. He did not like confrontation and it was his gentleness of spirit and of soul that, in my opinion, clashed at times with his strong lifelong desire and passion to make music.

I was fortunate enough to see Howie twice in the days just before he passed away. I knew he hadn’t been well for a long while, but his untimely passing came as a shock. I never imagined we would lose him this young. Too young. Although conversation was very difficult on those last two visits, I hope his knowing that I was there, still a friend who will be forever grateful that we got to share a part of each other’s lives, gave him some comfort."

Bob Freedman
Bandmate: Richard and the Young Lions, The Original Kounts



July 5th, 2004 - Marc Lees, another long-time friend of Howie/Richard, and early member of RYL sent me this letter remembering Richard.

"The crossing of Howard (Richard) Tepp was sad for many reasons.

The first, that it was too soon. He had more to do. Yes, he finished the CD. But, he really wanted to do one more gig (and always would).

Although I visited him at home just days before he passed and was only lucid for some time, we didn't get to share one last slice of pizza as we had talked about in previous months. Even after not seeing each other for 20 years, when we did get together the decades vanished in minutes - as if we had just talked the "other day".

I won't remember him as I last saw him, but as his spirit presented him. Singing smiling, laughing, forever young

He left family and friends, most of whom reluctantly said goodbye and some who still needed some answers to yet unformed questions, or at least one more big grin with a twinkle in his eye.

More than just a band member, Tepp was one of the neighborhood guys. We grew up together. Though a couple of years older, we hung at the same corners, the Y and the Pizzeria. It was only natural, that when he decided to try singing on stage, he approached a band with shared neighborhood history and friendship first. It just fit him.

His love of Rock 'n' Roll, performing and his personality transformed us all in some way. Brought us closer together and help sustain a fresh approach to our music. It was more fun with him.

Even later, when he wasn't doing so well, in between groups, big adversities and small ("business") minds that beleaguered him he kept his unique sense of humor, wit and loyalty to friends. He earned and received the same loyalty form those friends throughout the years..

Thanks for what you've left. The memories, the music, the laughs, the friendship. Most of all, the determination to keep chasing the dream. "Rock n' Roll never forgets"

He is the first of the Originals to go to a better place. But too soon, too soon."

--- Marc Lees


June 29th, 2004 - Greg McCaig, a good friend of Howie/Richard sent me this letter of his last meeting with Richard.

"What a shocking turn of events... I lost a dear friend and we all lost a pal.

Howie was such a decent man ... I was able to get up to Kingston Hosp. about a week before he died. He was in pretty grim condition. --Lot of pain .....confused ....

However, he had his lucid moments... And during those fleeting bits of conversation, we talked about the Band.

He struggled with worry over song placement on the cd and wondered how the DVD premiere would be.

I tried to tell him over and over, to little avail, that the guys would handle the small stuff -- That he'd done his job laying down tracks, etc ....that James had the DVD in the can... That Twig and the guys would take care of the details on the cd...Just relax a little bit and stop worrying...

But he still struggled... Minutes later we would be laughing about the Honeymooners.

He slipped in and out of reality. He thought he was in Vegas - waiting to go down to play Blackjack. He needed his shirt... I told him I would handle his money ......then he shot me one of those Howie 'looks' and we laughed......"

--- Greg McCaig


June 28th, 2004 - We received an e-mail from L. Russell Brown who first discovered Richard at the Indian Pizzaria in Newark.. Read that story here

"I have been in contact with Lou and Twig since Richards passing.
I found out about {Richard's passing} just yesterday. From the moment I first heard his voice and shook his hand in that pizza parlor in Newark NJ on Lyons Avenue, I was instantly inspired to the point of telling him I thought he was amazing on the spot.

History proves that I told the truth that day.

His talents along with the Lions will continue to delight and inspire music lovers - young and old, for as long as there is Rock n Roll.

Richard and the Young Lions may not have received their due during {Richard's} lifetime, but from his spiritual eternal listening post, he will see the love of his fans for many years to come, and as I pray for his soul, I also pray that his last collaboration with the band is given the lofty place in musical history that all of you so truly deserve.

Your original writer,producer and everlasting fan.
--- L. Russell Brown, June 27 2004 "



June 19th, 2004 - Fred Randall - bass player of RYL sent this:

Rock and roll is fueled by the dream and in a way the dream is what makes it rock and roll.

Tepp (as I called him) was our lead singer. He was our front man "The Richard" from 1966 until the day he died. He was the heart and soul of RYL. We spent many hours playing, practicing and performing. Tepp always lived the dream. It wasn't about the money or fame (for both of which he had none). It was about the dream. To get the CD finished, to put down the new tracks, to get to play the next great gig! The one that would launch the group.

Tepp was the official custodian of the RYL dream; you could see it burning in his eyes whenever he performed. And nowhere was Tepp more real than when he was on stage. He lived for those all too rare and fleeting moments. He was honest, naturally funny, sincere and loving. We were proud of him as "The Richard" of the Young Lions.

Tepp was a good man. He truly believed in peace, love and harmony. He would stand up (in a "kind and loving way") if he was being handled unfairly and would not give in to being bullied when he knew he was right. He had good qualities; he was a good human being.

Tepp was not dealt the best hand in life. He had a host of physical ailments that seemed to plague him from day one. In spite of his condition he would make a two and one half hour trek each way from his home to Montclair for every practice. Week in and week out he was the first to arrive. He sacrificed more than anyone for RYL and was the inspiration and reason I continued and why the studio was built. I wanted him to have that CD. He deserved it, he worked for it and yet he will not see it … it seems so unfair.

We will do our best to finish the CD and release it. I know that's what he would want. I hope it will gain him some recognition and peace for he deserves it.

The last time I saw Tepp was in the hospital just a few days before he died. He was so weak and frail and in pain. As I shook his hand to say goodbye he grabbed my hand and looked me in the eyes. He smiled at me and held onto my hand for what seemed like a long time. He did not want to let go. He just smiled and looked right at me. His grip was strong and in his eyes he was a young lion.

Rock and roll is fueled by the dream and in a way the dream is what makes it rock and roll. Howie "Richard" Tepp lived the dream. He was a true rock and roller, a classic, one-of-a-kind. He will be missed and remembered with love and affection by all that were privileged to know him.

The dream lives on in Howie "Richard" Tepp.

---Fred Randall, RYL bandmember

June 19th, 2004 - Rick Robinson - keyboardist of RYL sent this:

He was a gentle soul, possessed of a charismatic
spark that no disease or disfigurement could dim;
in fact, they only made it amazingly clear.
There's your immortality.

I realize that I can't imagine anyone having
disliked him - even those he himself plainly
disliked.

His spirit has come into uncannily strong
focus for me now - I'm sure I'm not alone in
feeling this, especially as I read the fine
sentiments the other guys have expressed
tonight.

No one knows what goes on. But the thoughts
and feelings this swell guy has left behind
can only speak very, very well of him clear
across any universe or reality with a bright center of
truth and goodness. We can only hope that such is
the case. For then all will surely be well
with our friend at last.

- Rick Robinson, RYL band member

 


On Sun, June 27th, Steven Van Zandt dedicated the 117th episode of Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show to Richard.

Click here to hear the mp3


On Tues June 22nd, WFMU-FM played a tribute to Richard.

Part 1
Click here to download the mp3

Left-click here to stream the mp3

Consists of four RYL songs and some nice words by Joe Belock of Three Chord Monte radio program.

The 4 songs are: RYL's "Open Up Your Door"; RYL's "You Can Make It"; RYL"s "Once Upon Your Smile"; and the Romantics version of "Open Up Your Door"

Part 2
Click here to download the mp3

Left-click here to stream the mp3

About an hour into the show, RYL drummer Twig called in and gave a live interview.


Links to Richard Tepp Tribute Messages

I can't promise the articles will in the same place for long, but while they are there, check em out...

Keener13.com's tribute
look under the June 24th entry

Little Steven Online
Good friend of the band: Steven Van Zandt's official news page.

BobShannon.com
CBS-FM DJ - lower right corner of page

Dawn Eden's Blog
Dawn wrote some very nice words about Richard. Dawn also wrote the review of RYL's Cavestomp appearance back in the Jan 2001 issue of Mojo Magazine

DavetheRave.com
Another good friend of the band... Look for the June 17th news article

 


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