written at the behest of the family:
LONG ISLAND ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAMER PEPPI MARCHELLO PASSES
Peppi Marchello, founder and front man of the Long Island-based rock band The Good Rats, died last night at approximately 9:00 pm of an apparent cardiac arrest. Marchello was 68.
Marchello formed the Good Rats with brother Mickey in 1964. The band released its debut LP five years later on Warner Bros. In 1974, they released their best-known and most popular album Tasty.
The Good Rats reached their zenith in the late 1970’s, building a cult-like following that stretched from Long Island’s thriving club scene to hotspots across the Tri-State area, performing at such venues such as Madison Square Garden, The
Nassau Coliseum and England’s Hammersmith Odeon. Rock critics regarded the Rats as one of the top live shows, where Peppi played air guitar on a
Louisville slugger, threw rubber rats at the audience and doused fans with beer.
By the mid-1990s, Marchello’s sons Gene and Stefan had replaced original band members and three new studio CDs were released with this lineup: Tasty Seconds (1996), Let's Have Another Beer (2000) and Play Dum (2002). Fans considered the new music some of Peppi’s best writing.
The Good Rats were inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2008 and were referred to by Rolling Stone Magazine
as “the world’s greatest unknown rock band.”
“Peppi’s life was about his family and his music,” said Clifford Meth, Marchello publicist and family friend. “His love for songwriting and performing never diminished and he continued playing as many as 100 times each year until the very end. He was adored by his legion of fans who regarded Peppi himself as an event they wanted to be part of. He will be dearly missed.”
“The phone doesn’t stop ringing—fans and musicians from all over the world calling to say that my dad was their biggest influence and inspiration,” said daughter Kristin.
“My father was a blue collar rocker,” said son Stefan. “His funeral will be open to his fans—that’s exactly what he would have wanted.”
Peppi was survived by his mother Yolanda (88), his wife Cathy, his children Gene, Stefan, Kristin and Spencer, and eight grandchildren, as well as his sister Vivian and brother Mickey.
Information regarding services will be announced soon.
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