All that inspires at a roadside garage sale.
Written by Ralph Renna on June 1, 2019
“All that inspires at a roadside garage sale” with Bob Riley of Murderer’s Row
By Ralph Renna
Being born in the seventies was a special time so a minor recap is how we will start. For most of us it was the art and music that was being created. It left us some history to learn as we aged. A war, with corruption at the White House,so many people protesting, others embracing love and peace. Elvis died and the Beatles broke up. The 70’s where Rock was dead, disco was hot, and punk was born. The key players in Music, sports, movies, and television we’re all becoming the idols of tomorrow. Fire breathing demons spitting blood on their instruments filled the arenas and an unpredicted future of a transgender hero was plastered on our cereal box!
Into the 80’s history repeated itself and was a glimpse how foul our society would get in the 90’s. One Troy teenager he was taking notes, writing songs, and planning his own revolution. He also at a very young age started collecting everything and …..everything! Little did he know that someday, somewhere, someone would look up to him. They would hang his bands poster on their wall and look forward to that moment to meet him! Just like he did when wrestling came to his hometown, Waiting out back to get an autograph and picture.
Over the past 35 years Troy New York native and lifer Bob Riley has performed and sold records all over the world. Influenced thousands of us and led three or more generations of Troy hardcore music, with his bands Stigmata and Murderer’s Row. But he would never tell you that, he’ll ask how much money do you want for that hulk figure or AC/DC record?
RRX: Well we know that you’ve been around for a long time in the music scene, you’ve done many interviews. but this one is about Bob Riley ,we will get to the band stuff! Tell us about your early years as a child -music influences you life before joining your first band?
RILEY: I’ve always had a love of music as far back as I can remember. My mom had one of those 1 speaker cassette players like we usta have at school.The only tape she had was the Supremes.I used to have her play it over and over.Then I had one of those kid record players.I had those Peter Pan book and record sets.You’d listen to the record and follow along with the book.I remember my favorite was “There was an old woman who swallowed a fly perhaps she’ll die?!” then at the end the lyrics go “She swallowed a horse she died…of course!” LOL.After that my parents bought my brother Nicky and I a real stereo.It had an 8 track player in it also.My mom then gave me her Beatles records out of my grams attic.The original first 4 where its just rock and roll before all the trippy stuff.I actually still have an AC/DC powerage 8 track from back then and the headset that came with that stereo.There huge but sound mint!
RRX: On top of being a multi-genre music fan you are a collector,some would say an organized hoarder? Lets talk music preferences? And Hoarding or collecting?
RILEY:Man,I love all music.I love walking into a record shop or flea market and looking for vinyl.Being into all kinds of music is a curse and a blessing.The curse being there is always something Ill be interested in buying lol.I once found a Jackie Gleason 7 I’ve slowed down.Everything is available online today.Kinda takes the fun out of searching and discovering things on your own.It’s still way cooler finding stuff at garage sales.
RRX: Over thirty year making music for our new readers take us to through your band history first band to current?
RILEY:My first real band was Displace Aggression 1985.We played 2 shows in Albany.When that ended I was in a band called Final Terror.I only sang 1 show with them until going back to the guys from DA and forming Cranial Abuse 1987.That morphed into Stigmata because the music was becoming more heavy and less hardcore.Stigmata rears its ugly head now and again.I don’t think it will ever be over as long as theres interest in the band.I then started a band called Murderers Row in 2000.Its a mix of AC/DC meets Ramones meets Motorhead.We played our first show at the famous/infamous CBGB in NYC.We’ve put out 7 cds and we are still playing. I did a side project years ago with my buddy Darian guitarist from Merauder. It was called the Blackhand Syndicate. 4 songs exist and may see the light of day sooner or later.
RRX: You’ve sold many records and toured around the world ? Made a lot of friends stories memories? Still going still working and living in TROY?
RILEY: I’ve been extremely blessed with all I have been able to do and all that I have done.From touring Europe several times to playing with bands I’ve grown up admiring and actually befriending people from other bands I grew up listening to. I’ll play music as long as I have people who want to make music with me.It’s more than a hobby.It’s been my life now for most of my life.
I am still working and living in Troy. I was born here,I was raised here and they will bury me here.LOL
RRX: Murderer’s row back with a new lineup? Introduce them to us ?
RILEY Sik Nick lead guitar,Kris Nowhere bass,Joe Flaw guitar,Chris Lynch drums and of course I yell.
RRX: What are the plans for the band for 2019
RILEY: We are always working on new music but we would love to play some bigger shows out of town and we are definitely looking at trying to get over seas.
RRX: What are your top 5 records movies, beers,and toys of all time? 5 each?
RILEY Top 5 records is impossible but well,Ill try.AC/DC highway to hell,Rose Tattoo rock and roll outlaw,Motorhead any and all,Temptations any with David Ruffin,Cro-Mags the age of quarrel,Bad Brains roir album,Agnostic Front victim in pain. Movies- A Clockwork Orange,the Warriors,Mad Max the Road Warrior,Lords of Dogtown,Anything with Lon Chaney,Charlie Chaplin and pre 60’s Three Stooges.
Toys-1979 Alien,Shogun Godzilla,Shogun Rodan,Original Clash of the Titans Kraken,Misfits medicom Japanese figures of the band.
See Bob Riley and his band Murderer’s Row live June 22 at Chrome in Waterford for The Erotics CD release show