R.I.P. Rick Kulwicki

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Jill "Razer" Mustoffa
Apologies in advance for starting your day off on a downer, but we just woke up to some positively awful and heartbreaking news that pains us to pass on. In case you haven't heard: Sadly, we've lost another cherished member of our local music community, as Rick Kulwicki of The Fluid passed away yesterday at the tragically young age of 49. A stalwart of the scene, the Denver native was also a member of the Frantix, Madhouse and, most recently, the Buckingham Squares. We'll have more details as they become available. In the meantime, sincere, heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends, bandmates and fans -- of which a great many of us around here are most certainly counted.

Update, 4 p.m.: An impromptu gathering is slated to take place tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Skylark (140 S. Broadway) to allow friends to grieve together and commiserate Rick's passing.


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9 comments
Lisamarieatthetable
Lisamarieatthetable

Wow again. You kept finding time to do (visual) art. (Would someone post if possible)? So did I. Off and on between my priorities (my, now grown, children). Just not so much in the scene though except for the Art on Colfax shows, a few other small ones, and just doing it for myself (and people close to me). Sorry for a second comment but I was crying and trying to stay positive at the same time on the first one. The name of the benefit was exactly how I thought of you those many years ago. Some people get bitter as they go along. I am so sad you left so early and that I never ran into you (would have recognized you in a second) but really happy you kept on being how I remembered you. Pure Sunshine.

Lisamarieatthetable
Lisamarieatthetable

I was friends with Rick at Colorado Institute of Art too, while I was there. We used to joke around endlessly. I always figured he'd keep on being a visual artist. I wasn't looking for him on the music scene (wasn't especially following it here at all, except that my former partner had the band Onda later (more popular in Boulder) (although I see now he was certainly an artist at what he did). Wow. I cannot believe I missed seeing him, and seeing him doing what was obviously his passion. As soon as I heard the comments about him being so real and just making you feel good without even trying, I knew for sure it was him even before I saw his picture, because that was just his natural essence, his energy, the good energy he gave off. Besides, who else could be Rick Kulwicky. We used to call him Ricky Kulwicky and I'm sure he got sick of that quick (probably already was, but would still laugh good naturedly). I think it's really cool he had two kids and that they are musicians too. I wish I knew more about the time between. The first time I saw his name again was the Rick Kulwicki benefit sign on the Bluebird Theater. It is really sad sometimes the best and sweetest people go on far too early. Wish I would have run into him somewhere or known he was a single dad, I would have been a support to him if he would have wanted. I was doing the same thing. It's not easy being a single parent, and doing it well. I ended up moving away from the visual art scene too and going to massage school. I should have guessed what he'd go on to do. Hey up there, Rick, keep doing what you like to do! You sound good! I never forgot about you. I'm sure no one could. You are not a forgettable guy. You will live on for anyone who's life you touched at all.

Dtroy3
Dtroy3

My rock and roll idol! I first met Ricki rolling out of a white van across the park from Park Lane Elementary with Dario Tuccerelli (sorry if I fuck up the names a bit) and other early members of A-town that would become many different bands over the years. I was probably around the age of 8 or so. Many years later I met Ricki. That's all I knew him as. We began this conversation and he told me he was an A-town beginner too which later I found out that his father was my 5th grade teacher there at Park Lane. Fuckin' cracked me up at the time and we both had a good laugh. I ended up playing music in a band called The Dimes which was coat tailing the legs and trails of a band Choosey Mothers, The Fluid. Our first gig was at Seven South which is now the High Dive and the Fluid asked us to play with them. I remember being so nervous that I was opening up for my idols that I threw up a couple of times before playing and then once we started I gave it all I was worth in punk rock fashion. We sucked, but it was fun as fuck!!! A couple more times over the next couple years we opened for The Fluid and I always felt very honored that they would ask us to be there. I am most honored to know a man who really altered the course of my life in ways that he never knew. Ricki was not only a mentor and a rock god in this town but also a great man who put out some phenomenal art. Whether it was rock and roll or printing or love. That man knew what life was all about. Taking care of the people you love and treating them like equals. No matter what, and as fucked up as I was, he always saw me as an equal. I got strung out and disappeared for a long time and when I ran into him he said, "holy shit, Troy! I always hoped that I would run into you again!" I will always believe in what he shared amongst us. It was rock out, love like a brother, and take care of people you care about.

Love you Ricki Kulwicki to no ends!!!

Tony Sinicropi
Tony Sinicropi

He was my best friend while we attended the Colorado Inst of Art in Denver. I remember when he started the Frantix one month after he learned how to play guitar. He turned me onto the pnk scene and we attended many shows at the Mercury Cafe and scoured the record bins at Wax Trax together when we weren't doing art. I miss him terrible.

Miss Kitty
Miss Kitty

What tragic news - my heartfelt condolescences to all of Rick's Family and Friends. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.God Bless You, Ricky Kulwicki!! Ricky, I will always remember you and you will always be beautiful to me! I know you are watching over your Loved Ones now... and you have finally been able to "Get Out of Denver" Baby, Go!In my Heart for Always -

Love,Cat Burns aka Miss KittyStraight Out of HellLover of the Blues

Mark Christensen
Mark Christensen

One of the kindest friend i know, Rick actually lived his true self on his sleeve and never changed. Love you man.

Chromesean
Chromesean

Ill always love ya Rick, damn Im going to miss you !!!!!!!! to hard to express words.

Lisamarieatthetable
Lisamarieatthetable

I don't remember exactly when I left Colo.Institute of Art because, like Rick said in one of his interviews, I don't really keep calendar records. I wish I could hear more about that time if you know about it (and a little bit after school was over with). I liked hearing even the little bit that you told. I was so glad you mentioned the school to confirm my suspicions, but knew, really, there couldn't be another Ricki Kulwicki. I don't remember much about that time, but I do remember Ricki (and cracking up with him). How could you forget, right? He was about my sole good memory of that school except taking photo's with those big blow dryers. Ricks hair would have looked really cool if it was as long then as it was later. Did you know Betty Kepley, or Beth Card? I wish I could remember more names. Your name sounds familiar but you probably wouldn't remember me if we weren't there at exactly the same time. I had long blond hair (was probably pretty goofy around that time though I was probably trying to be serious) and was laughing with Ricky a lot. I'm sure a lot of people were. You couldn't be in a room with Ricki and not feel good. I remember some time or years later, at congress park pool, someone coming up to me and telling me about a record deal or something. That may have been something a little different I could try to figure out later. You were really lucky to be his best friend there and to keep knowing him. We were more just laughing buddies. I lost track of pretty much everybody exept for my best girlfriends there, and after a time one of them too. As short a time as I knew him, and really just as a classmate and pal, I have been crying for days since I heard. I can't even imagine how his family feels. (I did lose my big brother like that, very young and unexpectedly). I have a history of losing track of good people. I wish to god I would have run into him. I live just blocks away from the Bluebird, and never saw his (actual) name up until it was for a reason, well, you know. I'm so glad though, everyone got together to help his boys. I'd known about the Fluid, heard about them, but didn't know it was Ricky in there because wasn't really following music at all at that time. Sure wish I would have been. I feel so stupid. Avoided a lot of paper reading because of all the extraneous information and bad news or I'm sure I would have seen him. (Found out about 9-11 after a long camping trip one time). Did look at Westword sometimes and surprised I didn't see him in there. Could be he was in SeattIe when I was looking at those Bluebird signs. He probably wouldn't have put his name up there either unless all the other guys were listed too. Would like him just as well, and think just as much of him, even if he hadn't become a rock icon, and idol for some but am really glad he lived his passion. I always knew he'd do something cool, but as you must know first hand, I'm sure he was never pretentious about it (it couldn't have made him different). He wouldn't have let it. I bet he was such a good dad. When I saw the pictures of his beautiful boys I just burst out crying more but, in part, for better reasons. I can see him in them.

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