The Good Rats

Rock | 2008

Peppi Marchello was born in Brooklyn and moved to Long Island with his family when he was young. He joined a band doing Beatle covers in 1965 and soon became front man. Within a year, he dropped out of school and brought his younger brother into the fold to share the stage on guitar. Originally called the U-Men, the band later changed its name to The Good Rats. After a few personnel changes, the band signed to Warner Bros. in 1974 and released the now-classic album Tasty. The Good Rats gigged constantly. Over the years, they opened for artists such as The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Cyndi Lauper, and The Cars. The jams were always playful and lively and featured a blue-collar, down-home nature that was enhanced by Marchello’s signature stage schtick—he would yell at and abuse the audience viciously, to their undying delight. Despite the band’s popularity as a live act, Warner Bros. didn’t see the sales figures it wanted for Tasty. Subsequently, the group started its own label, Rat City Records, and released six albums on the label between 1975 and 1981, as well as a reissue of a remixed Tasty. Though the group never charted on Billboard’s Top 40, they never failed to draw huge crowds to their live shows.

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