The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 05, 1986, Image 18

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Live and kicking
in the night
Fame ... fun ... money ...
glory ... groupies.
Start a local band and all
of this can be yours.
It probably won’t, of
course — especially fame,
money, glory and (sigh)
But most local band
members we talked to say
that it is, at least, fun.
Being in a band must
have something else going
for it too, because there are
a lot of other ways to have
fun. Here’s what some local
musicians had to say on the
Sneaky Pete and
the Neon Madmen
Sneaky Pete sounds like a
guy who should be in a
maximum-security prison with
guys named Mugsy, Fingers,
Icepick and Knuckles.
The Neon Madmen sounds
like a name for an eccentric
group of interior decorators.
But, put those two together
and you’ve got Sneaky Pete
and the Neon Madmen — local
musicians extraordinaire — a
good-time, kick-butt, dance-til-
you-drip purveyors of popular
tunes from the ’50s and ’60s.
Chances are that if you’ve
seen the band, it’s been at
Northgate’s Sunset Grill.
Sneaky Pete and the Neon
Madmen are well known
among fans of the current
nostalgia music movement.
Sneaky Pete is Dr. Pete Rizzo
— rhythm guitar and vocals for
the band.
Yes, he’s a highly educated
man who, when wearing his
performing outfit, might remind
you of an Artie Johnson
Rizzo, who’s better known as
“Dr. Sneak” (or just “Sneak”
for short) teaches in the biology
department at Texas A&M.
“I’m a cell biologist, ” Sneak
says. “I work on chromosomal
Dr. Sneak was drawn to
A&M from his native Indiana by
the research ooportunities. He’s
lived in College Station and
taught at A&M since 1975.
“I started performing solo in
January of 76 at Mr. Gatti’s
with folk songs and a little bit of
progressive country,” he says.
Sneak says he’s 34, but since
the rest of the band members
fell off their chairs when their
leader announced his age,
suffice it to say that he’s at least
very young at heart and is
probably not 34.
“Scftnetimes I feel 19 when I
get a few beers in me, ” Sneak
says with a laugh.
“I played in the ’60s,” he
says. “I did this music when it
was out. I was underage and
playing in bars around Chicago
and Calumet City. We played a
lot of blues but we also played
the current stuff. ”
How about that name?
Sneaky Pete?
“When I got out of high
school," Sneak explains, “a
chubby Lithuanian friend of
mine named Bucky Bekitis
pinned that on me in a bowling
“We used to hang out in the
bowling alleys. He called me
Sneaky Pete due to that sneak
look. It was a habit I had of
talking to people and looking at
them with shifty eyes. ”
Dr. Sneak first thought about
getting a band together about
3V2 years ago. His first bands
didn’t hang together for various
reasons, so he finally put an ad
in the newspaper and got things
started in earnest. That’s how
he ended up with the Neon
David Goff, drums and
vocals, is the newest member of
the band, a San Francisco
native and currently a political
science student at Texas A&M.
“I’ve got about ten years in
and out of bands out in
California,” Goff says.
“It’s a low pressure situation
(playing with Sneak and the
Madmen) and it’s a lot of fun to
play with these guys. ”
Even though music is
prominent right now, Goff
figures on heading back to
California after graduating. He
sees teaching in the future.
John Ward, lead guitar and
vocals, manages a Northgate
burger shop.
Of course, what everybody
wants to know about a band’s
lead guitar player is whether
he’s any good.
They’re a humble lot, lead
players are, and Ward is no
“No, I’m not any good,”
Ward says, “and I’ve been
playing for about 12 years. ”