The Official

Rich Rag$

On-Line Archive

Lee Steel
Billy McConnell
Jeff Levy
Mark Scott
Nancy Scott
Photos taken at The Den in Clearwater, Florida  January 1st 1981
Ticket stubs from our show at Mark Twain's in Tampa
"New Wave Night" featured Rich Rags playing live and included the Rocky Horror - Time Warp costume party hosted by Richie "New Wave" Sousa.
We actually played the song "Let's Do The Time Warp" from the Rocky Horror soundtrack.
Recording "Jeffrey, Where Are You Now?" and "Syncopated Love"
JMA Recording Studios,  Land'O'Lakes, Florida
Jim Martin at the controls, to his left is Billy McConnell,back row (l to r) Jeff Levy, Nancy Scott, Mark Scott, & Lee Steel.

Download MP3 Audio:

Jeffrey (where are you now?)
*This version of Jeffrey is the "speed corrected" version and not the same as the 45" which was improperly mastered.

From the Vault:
recorded 2/1/92 here are a few rough mix demos.


Unglued (with air to spare)

Brewer's Lounge
Tarpon Springs, FL
Billy is wearing an original DEVO suit given to him by members of the band after their show.
This is a gold top Les Paul that was stolen from my home, was missing for several years,
and was recovered only days before this show.
The Courtroom Lounge Clearwater, FL 
The night after Billy had a run in with some "real live Florida red necks" backstage at a Rush concert.
The bandages are real, Billy performed in his bath robe.
Mark seen in the background wearing his maroon spandex!
Those were the days...
** A Brief History To Set The Stage **
Rich Rag$ (as it is known by anyone who remembers the band) was formed in Clearwater, Florida USA around 1978 and went through a few changes in membership before settling on a line-up that included members Mark Scott, Nancy Scott, Jeff Levy, John Comerford, John Donniacuo, and Kacy Ross. This band was one of the few in the Tampa Bay area brave enough to play all original music at that time. Another band of that era was Zenith Nadir. We were good friends with members of The Outlaws (Green Grass and High Tides) and Danny Joe Brown of 38 Special who all frequented the same clubs we were playing in. Believe it or not, Terry (Hulk Hogan) was also in a band in Tampa (at that same time) called Ruckus with our good friend, Rick DeMartini who went on to play guitar for the funk band Trauma. On the metal side of the fence, Chris and Jon Oliva's band Avatar (soon to become Savatage) were setting the pace for original hard rock.Bands getting airplay at the time in Tampa were The Cars, Tom Petty, Cheap Trick, etc.. All these considered to be "punk" bands by southern US standards. Anyway, the Tampa underground spawned a group of "punk" worshipers that tried as best they could to mirror the fashion and attitudes that were chic in New York nightclubs like CBGB's, Max's Kansas City, and The Mud Club around that same time period. You know, leather, safety pins, raccoon eyes, spiked hair... Oh, and almost forgot, fake English accents were in! This should definitely set the stage.

** Evolution Of Rich Rags **
With the first line-up on the road, Mark Scott, Nancy Scott, Jeff Levy, John Comerford, John Donniacuo and Kacy Ross were playing gigs around the Tampa Bay area and gaining a cult following. They produced their first EP (7" at 33 speed) titled "Dentist Office Music" with four songs: Fast Foods, Strait Girl, Rejection, and On The Level. Shortly after the record was released, John D. left for Nuclear Engineering school in Georgia, and John C. moved to Virginia Beach to slip into anonymity as a desktop publisher. John C. was replaced on bass guitar by Billy "Monroe Bardot" McConnell, a local celebrity in the hard rock music scene with a group that called themselves "ALIEN". John D., as a third guitarist, was never replaced and probably never could have been. The new group went to work writing several new songs and actually won some very prestigious talent shows. In late '79 the original music scene was starting to evolve into a very fascinating arena for local talent. Bands included Zenith Nadir, The Strait Jackets, Stick Figures, The Jets, Third Wave, and some others that I can't think of.

** Lee arrives in Clearwater **
Lee moved to Clearwater in the fall of 1976 after graduating High School. As soon as he arrived, he began forming a band to start playing cover music around Clearwater. Lee had always been a big fan of the New York music scene and regularly purchased Rock Scene Magazine which was published by Lenny Kaye (guitarist for Patty Smith band). He was listening to The Ramones, Sex Pistols, Wayne County, New York Dolls, Blondie, etc... back in 1975 before anyone had really even heard of them yet. Lee was on hand at Tampa Civic Center the night Patty Smith, opening for Bob Seger, fell off the stage and busted her head open on the concrete floor. Around 1979 he was working part time at a local area music store, selling and repairing guitars and amps. At that same time, Mark Scott walked into the store, introduced himself and told the tale of how "Rich Rags" brought down the house at The Buffalo Roadhouse (Tampa's version of the New York nightspot, CBGB's). Lee needed to see this for himself so he went the next night and witnessed a show that would change his life forever. Lee had discovered the audience he had been looking for and, was getting really tired of playing Lynard Skynard covers so he immediately changed gears.
Lee formed a band called The Fanatics which started out playing songs by 999, The Buzzcocks, Shrinking Dickies, etc... They had rented a garage to practice in and spent several nights a week bashing their brains out there. This rental garage was in a complex of several garages that were also being rented by other bands. On any given night there could be as many as 3 other bands all trying to out-volume the other guy. Who should turn up there one night but Mark Scott and the Rich Rags, practicing for an upcoming gig. Lee dropped by to listen in and was informed by Mark that they had no sound system. Lee had some PA gear that he had built up over the years so he offered to bring his system out and be their engineer for the show.

** Kacy quits The Rags **
While still playing and practicing with The Fanatics, Lee was doing regular shows with Rich Rags as their sound engineer at clubs like The Courtroom Lounge and The Hideaway. They were booked to play at the Empty Keg, USF (the University of Southern Florida) in Tampa. They got all the gear over there and set up, did a sound check, even had a remote studio out there to do a live recording of the show but Kacy didn't show up. Unknown to anyone, Kacy had been auditioning with another local band named Citizen that was touring the southeast (Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Florida). Kacy had joined Citizen and was playing in Sarasota the very evening that The Rags were waiting for him to show up in Tampa. Being very familiar with all the RR songs, Lee stepped in and played and sang Mr. Ross' parts that night and stayed on as their guitar player. The Rags made Lee an offer he couldn't refuse, "quit the Fanatics and join our band and we will go into the studio and record your song". The Rags went into JMA Recording Studios in Land'O'Lakes, Florida in early 1980 and recorded their 45, The Original, including Lee's song: Jeffrey, Where Are You Now? and Mark's song: Syncopated Love.

** Rich Rag$ With Lee **
The next show found The Rags sleeping on someone's floor in Gainsville, Florida to play for a packed house of college students at one of the college towns hopping night spots. That same night they also played an after-hours set at a place called Papa Charlie's Bottle Club as opening act for a band called The Irritations. It was also during this trip that Lee exposed the members of RR to The B52's for the first time. It was a real eye opener for Mark and Nancy. Billy was inspired by all the material Lee had been doing with the Fanatics. He loved it all and was immediately transformed from a Doors fan to a DEVO addict. At this show Billy and Lee met up with the manager of The Irritations, a male hairdresser who was also the manager of a hair salon in Gainsville. Everyone around Gainsville at this time were sporting colored hairdos and we're talkin' color that stands out like glowing plastic. Billy and Lee went back to Gainsville and had their hair dyed, Billy's strawberry red and Lee's plum purple. They were among the first in Clearwater to have neon hair except for the blue-haired ladies down at Publix. The 45 was released and Lee actually managed to get it into several jukeboxes around town. Thanks to Jeff, it was distributed by Peaches Records & Tapes and also got a very good review in the local trade publication "Steppin' Out". There were only 500 records pressed. Jeff is still in possession of the master tapes.

** Kacy's Surprise **
During practice at sound man, (Dave Fairman's) house, The Rags were graced with a surprise appearance by Mr. Kacy Ross. To Kacy's surprise, Lee was covering all his vocal and guitar parts and doing a darn good job of it. He seemed very impressed at the time and made a comment that "someday we will have to start a band together". This eventually came to be, years later, in the form of Deloris Telescope, another long story but also included RR soundman Dave Fairman (on bass) who also worked at the music store mentioned earlier (Breck Music Co.) as a band instrument repair man.

** And... In The End **
During 1980 Lee was the only one interested in booking the band and was on a mission to be heard as often as possible. The Rags played shows at Brewer's Lounge, The Courtroom Lounge, Ms. Lucky's Club, Mark Twain's, and The Den. Their final show was New Years Day at The Den in Clearwater but they also played the night before on New Years Eve and it was on that night that a man with a warrant out for his arrest in Texas, abducted Billy's girlfriend, drug her down an embankment adjacent to the bar, and molested her. Lee was the first one to hear her cries for help while he was loading equipment into his car. Lee ran in the direction of the cries and saw a man fleeing the scene. Lee's girlfriend, who had come out at that point, went to the woman's aid and Lee went to get Billy. In their stage clothes, they tracked the suspect through the neighborhood, found him and physically drug him back to the main road by his hair and coat. The entire way back to the road, Billy is bashing this guy's head with a large river rock saying "I know you're the guy". Billy recognized him from the bar. The police came and arrested the man. The article below was clipped from the Clearwater Sun newspaper. Billy and Lee were hero's for a day.

Here is the actual news paper clipping from later that same week.
Pictures of the New Years Day 1981 show at The Den in Clearwater
Lee, shown dressed in secret agent garb complete with narrow tie, white streaked hair, and sharp-shooter pin in memory of the events of the previous evening.
** Who I Am **

Although The Rags rehearsed and wrote some new material, they never played another show in those days. Some material that might be lost forever was a song that was predominantly written by Mark called "Energy Future". We had a reunion show in 1994 to commemorate 15 years that included Kacy Ross, John Donniacuo and John Comerford but unfortunately Billy couldn't make it.
This show is now available on DVD.
Mark and Nancy 

The Scott's have kids and still live in Clearwater.
Mark is still recording and performing with his band,
The Inmates. Check out Mark's Rich Rags site by clicking on the link below.

Jeff Levy

Jeff is currently working as a music producer and desktop publisher
in Ottawa, Canada.

Listen to Jeff's solo work.
Eyes Of M
Billy "Monroe Bardot" McConnell 

Lives in Baltimore now and is producing music and movies. He is currently performing around the Baltimore area with his band Dorsal Fink.
John Comerford

Original "Rag" found alive on deserted island.
John lives in Virginia Beach. Check out his new band HooGnu by clicking on the link below.

Kacy Ross (aka Skelbo White)
After leaving Rich Rags, Kacy went on to perform with "The Theatre Band".
He then joined Deloris Telescope and managed to keep that group going for several years, going on to make "Deloris Telescope" a common household name in the Tampa Bay area.
A Prophecy Shared By Many...
"One day we will hear Kacy's music on the Billboard Charts or witness his insane humor on national television."

John Donniacuo

Went on to play guitar for Second Helping, a Lynard Skynard tribute band.
John passed away around October 20th 2004 of heart failure.
Break Away John!

Lee Steel
Lee is living in Connecticut and is recording and performing with his band MidLifeCrisis.
Rick Boucher

Rick recorded and filled in on drums for Rich Rags and The Grown Ups (The Rags alter ego). He also played with Lee in Fair Warning and The Neon Tetras. Rick now plays with Tampa power pop band The Edisons. Check them out by clicking the link below.

Rich Cress
Rich Cress hooked up with Rich Rags just after Lee left the band.
He is living in New Port Richey, Florida and is recording and performing with his band:
Andrea's Fault.
** Discography **

"Dentist Office Music" 7"/33rpm:
Fast Food, Strait Girl, On The Level, Rejected.

"The Original" 7"/45rpm:
Jeffrey Where Are You Now, Syncopated Love

"Avant' Garbage Allstars" Various Artists Cassette:
Includes RR tracks:  "Pinebox Hero", "New York B.C.", "Unglued With Air To Spare", "80's Syndrome"

Other songs lost in time:
Troubled Suburbs, Johnny's Gonna Break Away, I Need Anita, Complications, Via Satalite, Sil Vous' Plait, E.R.A., On The Run, Manifesto, On My Own, Thick And Thin, Dead Air, and Energy Future. All of these are available in one form or another on Cassette.