Band Celebrates 10 years at Lydia’s – Ron Ruedi battles brain tumor, continues stint at Gresham club
"Rockin' Ron” Ruedi & The Hurricanes share their wonderful musical talents at Lydia's (lounge/restaurant & ballroom), 18330 E. Burnside, Gresham, Ore. Lydia’s has featured Ruedi & the Hurricanes Fridays and Saturdays for 10 years as of February, 2011.
Ruedi, guitarist/drummer, is a surviving cancer victim; he has a brain tumor and is pressin' on, with his relationship with God. The band performs doo wop, surf, R&B, ‘60s – ‘80s, Motown, country western and disco including James Brown, Buddy Guy, Temptations, Stylistics, Booker T & The MGs and others in that era including Tommy Dorsey. Ruedi plays such tunes as: Knock on Wood; also, Wonderful Tonight by Bob Seger and Celebrate. The show is fantastic and seriously live.
In talking with the audience, it was discovered that they really enjoy the music and the dance floor stays packed. Someone noticed and said, “The way he uses his thumb on the frets when he plays notes is a style of his own.” (Note: This technique is performed successfully by only the best and most experienced guitarists.) Ruedi sang Happy Birthday to someone in the audience. For bookings and detailed information contact: Ruedi at 503-663-5879. Ruedi does fundraisers and benefits for people with cancer.
Ruedi’s history in becoming “Rockin' Ron” for the last 34 years: First of all, he has a relationship and a motivating drive with God as his partner and his progress resource pressin' on through turmoil, enabling consistent growth in his music career. His parents were not career musicians or music lovers. They never supported his love for music as he went through negative turmoils with his parents who did plenty of negative actions to deter Ruedi to pursue his love for music. One incident was terrible. A family car was purchased purposely without a radio in order that Ruedi would never hear music while riding in the car.
Nothing discouraged Ruedi from pursuing a music career with no formal music education, as he learned on his own. He'd watch country western television stations analyzing how guitarists made their chords. His ear-training was natural and, with his interest and desire for music, he learned as he watched the television shows. Spade Cooley, country western guitarist (‘40s and ‘50s era), was he enjoyed and learned from while watching his show in Los Angeles, Calif. At the age of 10, in grade school, Ruedi was in a music program playing the autoharp and singing. He played Erie Canal on the autoharp wrong, was banned from the class, but pressed on towards a music career.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif., Ruedi’s professional career initiated at 14 Surf Music in Los Angeles, Calif. He ventured teaching economics at a university in Baltimore, Wash., then came to Portland, Ore. in 1977. He has taught at various colleges on the East Coast. His favorite artists were Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Influences include James Brown, Temptations, Stylistics, Tommy Dorsey. Always teaching in the university system, playing music on the side was both blesséd and difficult. He went full-time as a musician as the university system had underlying rules that an instructor should not be a musician. Performances have included: from December, 1977, to March, 1991, at The Satellite in Portland, six days/week; street-corner performances singing Temptations and Stylistic tunes; Blue Diamond singing James Brown tunes and high falsettos Duke of Earl and ‘50s tunes; was named in the Guinness Book of Records, 1977-1981 as a one-man band playing drums and guitar in Baltimore, Wash., non-stop for 29 hours; played with Larry Graham, bassist for Sly Stone (Graham Central Station) six weeks; opened at the Capital Center in Landover, Maryland; and opened for Sly Stone; traveled in 1977-'78 with the National Street Rod Association on tour after the Guinness Book of Records doing car shows as a one-man band in Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, Texas and the east and west coast for six months, one week per show.
Band members include: Ruedi, drummer/guitarist; Pat Mulvey, blind saxophonist; Danny Primmer, blind drummer; Gary Valvona, bassist; in January there will be two bassists, Sam Whitney and John Pomar. Mulvey has played with him since 1991 and Pomar since 2005. Whitney got on board seven months ago.
This writer was honored to be invited to share the stage with Ruedi & the Hurricanes singing Buddy Guy's The First Time I Met The Blues. After the tune, a discussion ensued with DJ Pat Pattee, founder of KISN Radio Station in 1959, leaving in June, 1973. He said that all know him in Chicago as he booked James Brown, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles and MC'd the opening for James Brown at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland. He was a world renowned disc jockey booking for James Brown and other musicians. He is a longtime friend and follower of Ron Ruedi and has been friends for “years and years” supporting him on Saturdays at Lydia's. In his words; “He's top-notch and a hell of a guitarist and used to be a one-man band at The Satellite (kitty corner to Lydia's) before they closed.” Pattee continues, to say that Ruedi will be playng guitar & drums in January, 2011, replacing the current drummer. Ruedi plays with his right foot on the bass pedal and his left foot on the high hat; a trigger on the high hat makes it sound like an upbeat sound like using a stick on the snare. Pat Pattee used to watch and enjoy Buddy Guy and other professional artists entertain in the last 40 years.
Ruedi, this excellent musician, who has pressed on delivering a God-given gift that he has pursued and accomplished through obstacles of cancer, brain tumor and other health issues, would like to thank all who've supported him and the band and all wonderful customers who've enjoyed the music. He would like to thank: Jimmy Thompson, Bruce Svela, Randy Burt, Sammy Weisner, Jim Mesi, Lou Solomon, Bill Heston, Dave Carney, Pat Pattee, J. R. Elliott, Ed Neumann, Smokey Wymer.
He also wanted to share the following: “Being a member of Easthill Church Music Worship Ministry as a percussionist has been a God-send for the last two years, Saturdays & Sundays. I'm grateful to be able to share the message as a percussionist. It's has been a great blessing in my life being a member of the worship team. The services are Saturdays and Sundays at 6 p.m., 9:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. on Sundays; Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Whatever your problems are, God gives you a dream of insight. Stay with the dream. Attitude and perseverance will get you through whatever’s out there in the world. Hold on to your dream and keep working at it. In time, the dream will come true. Don't give up. Once you have the positive attitude, then you can persevere.” It would be to your advantage to have an enjoyable evening at Lydia's enjoying “Rockin' Ron” Ruedi & The Hurricanes. It is a classy and comfortable environment with pool tables, video lottery machines, comfortable seating, TV screens, bingo every other Saturday at 1 p.m. There are mid-week specials: Tuesday taco night and burgers; drink and food specials, juke box. Their specialties are Reuben sandwich and rib-eye steak dinner. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. There is spacious on-site parking. Have a wonderful time at Lydia's with “Rockin' Ron” Ruedi & The Hurricanes, Friday and Saturday.