Monday, April 26, 2010

Rick Unger


Seems every post on here lately is about someone we all fondly remember now passing away — and this one is, unfortunately, no different!
Over the weekend, Liz Boyle received word from Lance Fuqua, courtesy of a call from Hans Olson, that Rick Unger (center in the above photo) had passed away. For those who don't recognize the name, Rick was the leader, singer/songwriter and guitarist of a band named Cosmo Topper, a very popular Phoenix band in the '80's. I had the chance to talk with him a few times for an article I did for the New Times (first page here), and found him to be one of the funniest guys on the music scene back then. I believe he was also a graphic artist, and designed the band's cool logo and album cover.
Anyway, here's the only Cosmo Topper song I could find online (from an excellent resource called AZ Local), although what I remember best were their eclectic range of cover tunes — everything from "Reach Out, I'll Be There" to "Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys." Cool band, and a very cool guy.




Cosmo Topper - "Lowrider Streetcleaner"
Photo by Lissa Wales.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Obit at the following URL

http://www.hidesertstar.com/articles/2010/04/07/obituaries/doc4bbc238735537457678305.txt

Julie said...

My name is Keith and i was the original drummer for cosmo and stayed with the band for two and a half years. Rick could play great 12 string and then do the wackyest stuff the next minute with his rubber carrot and assorted toys he keep on his podium in front of him. What a sharp dreser,He and Jim Lunceford. The gigs at chuy's in tempe where a blast. He will be missed.

Jimmy said...

Great obit at the above link, especially for us Phoenix folks who lost track of Unger after Cosmo Topper. Who knew he became an astronomer? Or a three-time Lebowski Fest winner! An Achiever to the end.

Rick as "The Dude" - winner at last July's L.A. Lebowski Fest:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/wbur/3705141424/