Ricky Phillips

Born on October 7 in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa

"Ricky Phillips is a true kindred spirit, and a natural born STYX man.  He has embraced the role of bassist in this band and overnight made it his own. He brings more to the table than he takes away, and is an enthusiastic team player" - Tommy Shaw

Photo by Brigitte Boulais

Ricky Phillips is a good example of a soul being born with the music within himself.  His family, already involved in many musical projects, introduced him to this great art at a very young age.  Born in Iowa but raised in Northern California, Ricky started taking piano lessons at the tender age of 6.  Although he loved music, he never liked having to learn it with teachers.  Later on, he began sneaking out his dad’s guitar and taught himself songs that he heard on the radio.  By the age of 12, he formed his first band named The Warlox.

One day, a friend of his left his bass guitar at Ricky's house.  After noticing Paul McCartney’s melodic lines and John Entwhistle’s aggressive style, Ricky fell in love with this instrument.  He was hooked.  His passion for the bass helped him become one of the greatest bass players in the rock industry.

Ricky decided to quit school to concentrate on his musical career.  He spent a few years playing in rock clubs around the US and in Canada.  Those years would bring the experience he needed to make it to the bigger bands.

In 1978, he moved to Los Angeles, auditioned for a high profile band and got the gig that would give him the exposure he needed to be noticed.  Marc Salter, who was working for the British band The Babys at the time, saw Ricky play and was quite impressed.  John Waite, lead singer of the band, wanted to replace himself as the bass player  so he could concentrate on being front man.  Salter and Waite went to see Ricky in Hollywood where he was working in a music store.  Ricky grabbed a bass which still had the price tag on it, crossed the street and auditioned for The Babys.  Within a few minutes, Ricky was asked to join the band.

In 1979, The Babys released their first album, "Head First" followed by "Union Jacks" and "On The Edge" in 1980.  After 3 years of success, the members of the band parted ways and Ricky began writing, doing sessions and extensive touring as a sideman.  In 1984, he wrote some music for the movie "The Terminator", which opened a new world of opportunities.   In 1986, he worked with Ted Nugent on his solo project "Little Miss Dangerous" and 1988 found him contributing to Eddie Money’s "Nothing To Lose" album.

Later on, he and Jonathan Cain of Journey decided to put another band together.  Bad English would represent the merging of The Babys and Journey.  In 1989, their self-titled album became a platinum selling album with several hits on the charts.   Bad English went on and released  "Backlash" in 1991.

Ricky kept busy with his music by working with Jimmy Page and David Coverdale for the "Coverdale/Page" album released in 1993.

As time went on, he decided to build his own studio in North Hollywood in order to pursue his musical projects.  In 1995, the first CD he produced and engineered  was the critically acclaimed "Frederiksen/Phillips" CD. A duo with ex-Toto singer Fergie Frederiksen which featured guests from YES, Chicago, Journey, Mr. Mister, Tower of Power, Mr. Big and CCR to name a few.  In 1999, he also produced the first solo CD of Fergie Frederiksen, "Equilibrium".

He is currently working on many projects and helping new artists get their first break.  Tomasina Abate, Stephanie Eitel and Juliet Quinten Archard are a few of new artists working with Ricky.   He also keeps busy by doing what he loves best :  touring and playing music.  This year, he took part of the CCR tour in New Zealand and Australia and toured with Ronnie Montrose last May.

Photo by Brigitte Boulais - Casino Rama, Nov. 1st 2003

And now he joins Styx as their new bass player.  His multiple talents can only be an asset to this band.  Again, Ricky will continue to explore his passion by touring and playing music with his new band mates.

What Ricky has to say about his co-worker Tommy:

I have always had and heard nothing but praise for Tommy Shaw.  Tommy is a true homegrown-American talent and is widely recognized as such.  His God given voice is a gift to us all.  His musicianship and artistry as a singer, guitarist,songwriter and arranger is a gift to all of us who work with him. In the past year I have been captivated, motivated and humbled by all of these attributes as well as his drive and enthusiasm for his craft.  He brings his best game to the table on a daily basis and therefore drives and inspires you to do the same.  He recognizes and respects the many unique forms of artistry within our brother/sisterhood of music. His appreciation of music is vast and he is constantly observing and exploring to keep his journey fresh and intersting.  He leads by example and when he speaks we all listen.   Now, in a new chapter of my own life, I am fortunate for the opprtunity to share in the musical expression which is so important to both of us.  And to which we have both dedicated a great portion of our lives. He has been a good brother to me in the Styx family, always lending an ear when needed.  He is a good man and a good friend.

-Ricky Phillips 

Visit Ricky's official official web site to learn more about him.

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