As a hobby, in my spare time I like to jam out on the drums. For a couple of years somewhere in the ballpark between 2013 and 2015, John Drake would invite me to come jam with other musicians in his basement in Stockbridge. It was an exciting time as it felt like an open mic night and anyone and everyone who liked to play music was invited to attend. We were the "White House Staff"

Each week I went, I would see the regular friends along with new faces. It was exciting as the group would change up so you would always be playing fresh, new material. One person who was a constant, key player was vocalist and keyboard player Rick Merrill.

Rick, who lived in the building, was magic on the keys, a true musician and a delight to be around. Prior to attending, I was always into playing rock, hard rock, classic rock etc but Rick opened my world up to playing some of the fun 50s and 60s surf tunes, some swing type material even tunes from Poco, Albert Hammond, Ace and the Temptations to name a few.

Rick was the nucleus for the rotating group of musicians as he would get us organized and ready to go. At times, we needed the organization and discipline. Rick was right there to assist us.

Those were fun times. Whether it was playing private parties or "Relay For Life," it was always a blast and Rick was responsible for the joy I had playing with the gang. He will be sorely missed.

What are some of your fond memories of Rick Merrill?

(In the featured image, you'll find Rick to the far right on the keys)