Billy Stark Stone was born in CT. although he was traveling back and forth and staying whenever he could @ his Father’s Studio in NYC ( who was a commercial /high fashion photographer who lived in his studio)Billy made his debut singing when he was 15. He made the decision be a Rock and Roll singer when he was @ the age of 10 or 11 and was something he felt he had to wait until he was a ‘Grown Up’ to pursue or @ least when he was in his late teens or 20’s. There simply wasn’t any kids his age doing Rock and Roll that he could see @ the time and the ones that were doing music were all Teen Idol Bop Pop Schmaltz. And the group's Billy lliked were indeed in their late teen’s ,twenties and even thirties( and this realization was one that propelled one of the initial concepts of his first band ‘The Blessed’) He left Ct. and ‘Officially’ moved to NYC.But before Billy Started his first band there was a brief foray into ‘acting’ that he ‘Fell’ into but didn’t pursue( and never discussed…’My band mates knew but I kept it all hush-hush’) because ‘I didn’t want to be known as an actor and thought that if I was successful @ that I wouldn’t have the ‘Cred’ to be taken seriously as a Rock and Roll singer. And was part of the reason why Billy Purposely ‘Put in a bad audition for a Shakespeare play due to open on Broadway in NYC when he was 13 or 14 years old ‘I didn’t want to be stuck doing a Broadway play when I had other plans. And I just didn’t have the drive or passion for that’ although Billy did do a handful of commercials, some movies and an appearance on a Soap Opera’ and with his Father being a commercial/High Fashion Photographer worked on some print work and did a lot of test ads for his Father all through the years that Billy was growing up ( Billy did his first Model/print job when he was 3 Years old) but actually Billy says ‘I’m still waiting to grow-up well, I did do the grown-up thing for a bit but it literally drove me crazy so I opted out of that) so ,being in front of a camera was a natural and comfortable place for Billy to be. As the lead singer/founding member of NYC’s original and first teenage punk band ‘The Blessed’ they immediately became one of the scenes biggest attractions and from their first show -Dec 25th 1977 @ Max’s Kansas City garnered quite of bit of press and media attention from national rock publications to TV etc. The band dissolved by what the English Music Weekly ‘Sounds’ described a classic case of ‘Too much too soon’ after sev. hit and miss projects Billy worked w/ Rico Blythe ( details of this can be found on Rico’s Bio section) The Blessed were also -This bit of trivia unknown too many- instrumental ( No pun intended) in getting ‘so called ‘Punk Rock’ banned in the U.S.( That’s a little tidbit I guess will have to wait for ‘The Book”to really get into) Billy also had sev. other bands that he was involved w/ as well as numerous incarnations of ‘‘The Blessed’ Now we are here and Billy has said that’’ Everything I have done before was a dress rehearsal.Now It’s SHOWTIME!!
Rico Blythe was born in Panama. @ the age of 13 he was drawn to the guitar. He played w/ several groups mainly playing Soul music and made numerous singles and albums that charted in his native country and a number of T.V appearances playing a w/ a Soul/Spanish /Pop angle. But Rico wanted to Rock ‘n’ Roll so he packed up his guitar and moved to NYC.( The city that would always be embedded in his bloodstream and sensibility) @ first Rico immersed himself in the Reggae scene and providently @ the same time the stirrings of both the NY and London Punk scenes were burgeoning and taking a foothold.As well as the nascent Rap/Hip Hop scene.Suffice to say Rico was @ the right place @ the right time. Rico happily dove into all this energy and excitement coinciding w/ his big move to which @ that time was the nerve center of all that was happening in music that was new and exciting.Like a hungry wolf w/ all the sounds emerging from Manhattan,London and the streets of the South Bronx and Brooklyn and Queens ( espec .the DJ’s in Brooklyn playing street parties and hooking up to a streetlamp for power) Rico unpacked his guitar and was ready.Rico was hanging out @ all the places that was exploding w/ new creativity and energy… Max’s Kansas City,CBGB’s, Hurrah’s ,Mudd Club, Club 57 (Which became Irving Plaza etc,) and obviously had attended many shows by Billy Stark Stone’s infamous first band ‘The Blessed’ The two become aware of each and began a casual acquaintance friendship. Skip a little forward and when the Blessed were in need of a new guitarist ( which @ that time was a never ending revolving door) Friends of each other’s suggested Rico.Eventually Rico and Billy met up and sat down for a meeting/audition ( each checking each other out) they hit it off off right away and Rico was the new guitarist.This latest incarnation debuted @ NYU’S Loeb Center. Attended by members of and @ the bequest of both The Beastie Boys ( who would be doing their their last show as a hardcore Punk group) and Reagan Youth were asked to join a bill of both the above bands ( and a few others) @ Great Gildersleeves which was starting a new direction of bands w/ a more Punkish slant...Due to irreconcilable differences w/ other band members Rico did not play this show but Billy did perform and it turned into one of several Blessed re-unions that would occur periodically .The Blessed dissolved after this show..Afterwards Rico and Billy re-teamed and began writing in earnest and enlisted the help of Drummer Charlie Sox ( RIP) who had originally replaced original Blessed Drummer Brad Barnett ( RIP) and fellow childhood Panamanian friend Reggie Rhoden on bass.retaining the Blessed name.They played the scenes circuit and released and e.p. Titled ‘Taboo’ which sold out it’s initial run. After a few years the two drifted apart and went onto other projects and w/ the beauty of social media reconnected and decided to write, record etc, etc. This band Billy Stark Stone and Rico Blythe is the result of pooling their experiences and friendship and forming what they believe is to be the ideal vehicle for both of them and the perfect vehicle for everyone else to enjoy. BILLY STARK STONE AND RICO BLYTHE…………………...IT’S SHOWTIME!