If the Good Rats were a movie, they'd have some great blurbs for their advertisements:
"The greatest rock band in the world" - one of the guys in Journey
"The world's most famous unknown band" - Rolling Stone magazine
On the Island, of course, the Good Rats, which formed in 1968, are hardly unknown. And Saturday night, the original (read: "classic") lineup of the rock band with jazzy undertones - singer-songwriter Peppi Marchello, guitarist-singer Mickey Marchello, drummer Joe Franco, guitarist John Gatto and bassist-singer Lenny Kotke - plays Mirelle's in Westbury for its third annual Long Island reunion show.
Good Rats mainstay and habitual joker Peppi Marchello, 65, took the time to chat this week from his Nissequogue home, where he's been recuperating after a 21-day hospital stay because of complications from a bleeding stomach polyp.
You needed 13 units of blood in the hospital, and sent out a note on your fan e-mail newsletter. . .
I was worried, because Dee Snider lives so close to the hospital that I might get his blood and start being compelled to wear the high heels and the makeup.
The Good Rats had a following with other musicians and still are fan favorites. That must feel nice all these years later.
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Steve Vai told us that all the guys at Berklee College of Music up in Boston would put on "Rat City in Blue" and "Klash-Ka-Bob" and that was the stuff that they would try to learn. It was some pretty intricate stuff. But our fan base . . . we were very lucky to get die-hard fans who would follow us for years. "Tasty" was known in Ireland; we did pretty well there. And when U2 came here, they were on WLIR, and one of the guys said, "Oh, isn't this where the Good Rats are from?"
What's on the horizon?
There's a new movie coming out called "Roadie" by Michael Cuesta, who's a Good Rats fan. He wrote this movie about a guy who's a roadie for Blue Öyster Cult, and the guy gets fired, so he moves back home to the room he grew up in, and there's Good Rats paraphernalia on his walls. Jill Hennessy is in it, and she actually picks up a guitar and sings along to our song "Advertisement in the Voice." It's a pretty cool thing.
WHO The (original) Good Rats
WHEN | WHERE 9 p.m. Saturday, Mirelle's Restaurant, 170 Post Ave., Westbury
INFO $50; 516-338-4933, goodrats.com