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The Band: Members: Rick Wills09.23.02

Rick Wills Rick Wills: Bass guitar, background vocals (1979-92)
Full name: Richard Wills
Birthday: December 5th, 1947
Birthplace: London, England, U.K.
Home: England, U.K.

His first noteable association came when he linked up with friend David Gilmour (pre-Pink Floyd) and Willie Wilson in Joker's Wild, who toured primarily in Europe. Back in the U.K., a series of bands included Little Women (with Humble Pie's Jerry Shirely) and Plastic Penny, who ultimately changed their name to Cochise and did three LP's over 2 1/2 years. Next up was Parrish And Guruitz produced by George Martin, who did one U.S. tour.

Meanwhile, Rick had done the sessions for Peter Frampton's first solo LP "Wind Of Change" and upon returning to England, he, ex-Spooky Tooth drummer Mike Kellie and ex-Cochise keyboardist Mike Gallagher (the Parrish And Gurvitz backing band) became Frampton's first post Humble Pie unit. Rick's stint with Peter lasted 2 1/2 years and included several LP's and no less than 13 U.S. tours from 1972-1975; during which he also co-wrote the hit tune "Do You Feel Like We Do?". Leaving Frampton so he could spend more time with his family, Rick worked briefly as a laborer before returning to music.

In 1975, Rick auditioned for the spot as Roxy Music's touring bass player, got the job and a week later started a series of U.S. and European tours. Then Roxy Music decided to call an indefinite hiatus and Rick once again was in search of a gig.

At 3 a.m. a call from Steve Marriott (ex-Humble Pie) enlisted Rick's talents to replace Ronnie Lane in the Small Faces reformation. Two albums and several successful U.K. / Euopean tours ensured before the group called it quits in late 1978.

Meanwhile, Rick's other projects included the recording of old mate Dave Gilmour's first solo album, which created a reunion of the band Bullitt, formed by Gilmour before he joined Pink Floyd, the other two members of the band were Willie Wilson on drums and Rick Wills on bass guitar.

Rick even got to play John Lennon's original rickenbacker guitar in a Ringo Starr / Harry Nilsson film project.

Rick describes his joining Foreigner as a complete "freak of coincidences". Rick originally met Mick Jones in France back in 1966. In the late winter of 1979, Rick just happened to be in New York City, attending to some business matters when a friend told him that Foreigner was looking for a bass player. So he decided to check it out, borrowing a bass from his friend Jerry Shirely's band, headed into the rehearsal hall and began to play. Three weeks later Rick was back in England, where he got the call from Mick Jones, Rick was told he had gotten the job as the new bass player, so he returned to New York City and joined Foreigner, who was at the time writing material for the next LP to be named "Head Games".

Rick recorded another four albums with the band: "4" (1981), "Agent Provocateur" (1984), "Inside Information" (1987) and "Unusual Heat" (1991). And after Dennis Elliott's departure, Rick, lead vocalist Johnny Edwards and Mick Jones started the ellaboration of a new Foreigner album, however Rick and Johnny were forced to leave the band when Jones and original lead vocalist Lou Gramm started the reformation of Foreigner in 1992.

In 1993 Rick joined Bad Company and took part in the recordings of three of its albums: "The Best Of Bad Company Live... What You Hear Is What You Get" (1993), "Company Of Strangers" (1995) where he co-wrote the song "Pretty Woman", and "Stories Told And Untold" (1996).

Rick left Bad Company in 1997, but he re-joined the band temporarily in 2001 to tour U.S.A. along with lead vocalist Paul Rodgers, drummer Simon Kirke (both original band members) and longtime Bad Company guitarist David "Bucket" Colwell. Rick left the band again after the tour.

Rick Wills contributions (artist, year, album, contribution)
Cochise 1970 "Cochise"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Cochise 1971 "Swallow Tales"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Cochise 1972 "So Far"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

David Elliott 1972 "David Elliott"
Bass guitar.

Peter Frampton 1972 "Wind Of Change"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Humble Pie 1972 "Smokin'"
Bass guitar.

Peter Frampton 1973 "Frampton's Camel"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Peter Frampton 1974 "Somethings Happening"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Kevin Ayers 1976 "Yes We Have No Mananas"
Bass guitar.

Nicky Hopkins 1976 "No More Changes"
Bass guitar.

Bryan Ferry 1976 "Let's Stick Together"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Roxy Music 1976 "Viva!"
Bass guitar.

Small Faces 1977 "Playmates"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Sutherland Brothers 1977 "Down To Earth"
Bass guitar.

Small Faces 1978 "78 In The Shade"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

David Gilmour 1978 "David Gilmour"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Foreigner 1979 "Head Games"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Ian Lloyd 1980 "3WC"
Bass guitar on "Trouble".

Foreigner 1981 "4"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Foreigner 1982 "Records"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 3-4 and 6-8.

Foreigner 1984 "Agent Provocateur"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Foreigner 1987 "Inside Information"
Bass guitar, background vocals, co-wrote "Out Of The Blue".

Mick Jones 1989 "Mick Jones"
Bass guitar on "Danielle".

Foreigner 1991 "Unusual Heat"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Foreigner 1992 "The Very Best Of"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 7-16.

Foreigner 1992 "The Very Best And Beyond"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 4, 7-9 and 11-16.

Peter Frampton 1992 "Shine On: A Collection"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Foreigner 1993 "Classic Hits Live" / "Best Of Live"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 1-5, 7-11 and 13-14.

Bad Company 1993 "The Best Of - Live ... What You Hear Is What You Get"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Roger Moon 1993 "Nobody Knows My Name"
Bass guitar.

Roxy Music 1993 "Live Roxy Music Album"
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Bad Company 1995 "Company Of Strangers"
Bass guitar, co-wrote "Pretty Woman".

Foreigner 1994/96 "Juke Box Hero: Best Of"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 7-16.

Bad Company 1996 "Stories Told And Untold"
Bass guitar.

Foreigner 1998 "I Want To Know What Love Is"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 1-5, 7 and 10-12.

Foreigner 1999 "The Platinum Collection"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 1-4, 8, 10-11, 13, 15 and 17.

Foreigner 2000 "Anthology: Jukebox Heroes"
On disc 1: Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 11-19.
On disc 2: Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 1-5, 8-11 and 15.

Foreigner 2001 "4" (DVD)
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 1-10.

Foreigner 2002 "4" Expanded
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 1-10.

Foreigner 2002 "Complete Greatest Hits"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 8-19.

Foreigner 2002 "The Definitive"
Bass guitar and background vocals on tracks 2-6, 9, 12, 15, and 17-20.

Foreigner 2002 "Head Games" Expanded
Bass guitar, background vocals.

Document credits and pictures sources
This document was written by Samantha Wheeler, additional information was provided by David E. Turrill, Laurent Biehly, Ron Knutson and Phoenix. Pictures 1 and 3 from the "Inside Information" CD booklet; picture 2 from Peter Frampton's "Somethings Happening" LP; picture 4 by Vicki Kirkpatrick, who also provided picture 2.

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The Band: Members: Rick Wills09.23.02
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