b. Richard Roman Grech, 1 November 1946, Bordeaux, France, d. 16 March 1990, Leicester, England. Bass player Ric (sometimes Rick) Grech embraced professional music in 1965 when he joined Leicester-based outfit, the Farinas (also using the names X-Citers and Roaring Sixties), which later evolved into Family. Prior to that he had played with the Leicester City Youth Orchestra. By doubling on violin, Grech added considerable texture to an already inventive, exciting attraction but abandoned them in rancorous circumstances during an American tour. Grech then joined Blind Faith where an understanding forged with Steve Winwood continued with spells in Airforce (1970) and Traffic (1970-71) and on many other albums as a session player with Winwood. He found time during this hectic period to produce Rosetta Hightower and carry out sessions with the Faces and Fairport Convention. After leaving Traffic in December 1971 Grech was later a member of the Crickets, alongside guitarist Albert Lee, and he also appeared on a session basis for Jim Capaldi, Vivian Stanshall, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Gordon Jackson, Graham Bond and Streetwalkers, the latter featuring former Family colleagues Roger Chapman and John Whitney.
Grech then moved to America where an association with Gram Parsons resulted in his composing ‘Kiss The Children’ and ‘Las Vegas’ and co-producing G.P. with the singer. Grech then performed at Eric Clapton’s famous Rainbow Concert and briefly joined KGB with Mike Bloomfield and Ray Kennedy. On his return to the UK he formed a country rock band Square Dance Machine but drug problems increasingly undermined his career. Years of sustained substance abuse took their toll on his liver and he died in March 1990.
Grech was a musician who was able to embrace many styles and play them all with conviction. The combination of violin and bass was in itself interesting, but to be musically at home with country, jazz, blues, folk, soul and rock, was a remarkable achievement.