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Monday, September 8, 2008

Rick Cicalo RIP

Sad news from eastern Iowa. If you read Bob Dorr's blue note a couple of days ago he told of news that Rick Cicalo the legendary bass player for Patrick Hazel, and many other eastern Iowa blues bands was gravely ill. Unfortunately he passed away this weekend. The following story is from the Cedar Rapids Gazette, it tells the story of Rick far better than I can. Not only was he an outstanding musician, but he was also a public servant that loved his city of Washington, Iowa. He was a class act, and I was lucky to have met him a few times over the last few years. Rick was in both the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame, and the Iowa Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. He will be sorely missed.


The Des Moines Register has memorial service information for Rick



Richard Cicalo died September 7. Celebration of life services will be 10:30 a.m. September 11, at United Presbyterian Church in Washington. Visitation is at 12 p.m. Wednesday at the Jones - Eden Funeral Home.

Washington mayor dies

Richard Cicalo

Eastern Iowa music fans stunned by the sudden death of bassist Rick Cicalo might be surprised to learn he was a mayor, too. "We're going to miss him dearly," Washington, Iowa, City Council member Merle Hagie said last night. "Music and (being) mayor was his life." Cicalo, 54, died Sunday at his home. Hagie said Cicalo had recently been diagnosed with cancer. "We found out about a week ago he was very sick," said Hagie. Cicalo, who played bass with such Iowa notables as Bo Ramsey, Greg Brown, and Big Wooden Radio, was elected to his first term in November 2005. "I thought he was doing an excellent job," said Hagie. "He was a young man, he was doing a very good job." During his shortened tenure, Cicalo was an advocate for downtown improvements and the city's library. Cicalo was also a supporter of PAWS & More, Washington County's non-profit animal shelter. After noticing it had fallen into disrepair, Cicalo launched an effort to refurbish the grave of Ola Babcock Miller, the Washington native who began what became the Iowa State Patrol while she was the state's secretary of state in 1933. The gravesite was renewed, and a dedication held in August 2006. "He was promoting Washington as much as humanly possible," said Hagie. City Council member Sandra Johnson, the mayor pro tempore, will take over take over the mayor's post for the balance of Cicalo's term or until a special election is held, Hagie said.


Anonymous said...

Rico never actually played with Big Wooden Radio. That's always been my job. But, I guess in a way, he did. I listened to Rico play countless times over 30 years and I can honestly say that no one had more influence on my playing.

Rest in peace Rico. You will be sorely missed.

Dan Brown

Anonymous said...

Let's also remember his wife, Robbie, and his two young daughters. It is true that he will be missed for his work with the city and as a musician, but more importantly as a husband and father.

bluesman2001 said...

HI Dan

Interesting enough they also left out that he played with Patrick. It is sad that Rico is gone. He was much too young to leave us.

To Anon

Thanks for bringing the family perspective to this. I think sometimes we forget about the families that these great musicians leave behind.