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Tower of Power vocalist Rick Stevens – music saved me in prison

Rick Stevens arrest 1976. Credit:sfgate.com

Rick Stevens arrest 1976. Credit:sfgate.com


Rick Stevens, original lead vocalist for Tower of Power, was recently released from prison after doing 36 years for a triple homicide over a drug deal gone bad. He credits music for saving him in prison because it gave him something to focus on and afforded some protection from others (a sentiment echoed by Wayne Kramer of the MC5.)

Because of the case’s publicity — the Seattle Times called it one of history’s Top 11 Most Notorious Rock ‘n’ Roll Crimes — “everyone knew I was coming” when Stevens arrived in prison.

Music served me well,” Stevens said. “It was a blessing. I could walk among the Crips, the Bloods, the Nortenos, the Skinheads, bikers.”

He is doing gigs again. His old bandmates welcomed him, and his family never gave up on him.

Rick Stevens first public live performance after prison.

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