Richard B. Macioce—Brooklyn Bridge Biography

I’ve had a very fortunate life, and most of that good fortune was triggered by Santa putting a guitar under my Christmas tree in 1956, when I was nine. 

In the fall of 1965, I met Jimmy Rosica at St. John’s University. We decided to put a band together a couple of years into our friendship. Most of the gathering of musicians was Jimmy’s doing. By February 1968, the contingent had grown to seven people, six friends of Jim’s from Hicksville High School and me. Many in my social circle in those days were involved in music - there were some terrific musicians and bands back then! 

We had rehearsed enough by early March 1968 to play a full set of songs - all covers. On March 10th, we were booked at the Cloud Nine in Farmingdale - a Battle of the Bands - but we had never ‘played out’. So Jimmy’s account of the band’s beginning is correct in that we weren’t ‘a real band’ - as we hadn’t yet worked. When it came time to perform that evening, we didn’t have a name, so I suggested “Rhythm Method” as a joke. The details of the evening are a bit of a blur - this was 55 years ago. I believe, however, that Johnny Maestro, the recently anointed lead singer of the Del-Satins, was in the audience. With him was either Betty Sperber, the founder of Action Talents, or her assistant. Maestro and Action Talents were “shopping” that night for a band to back up the Del-Satins. 

The Rhythm Method’s performance (our one and only) at Cloud Nine was good enough that a meeting was quickly put together - within a day or two of the show, at Action Talents in Manhattan. A new musical group was quickly assembled, which included the seven Rhythm Method musicians and the four Del-Satins. As Maestro explains in a 1994 New York Times article: “We were sitting around the office [Sperber’s], and someone said: ‘This is going to be difficult. We have 11 people. That’s hard to sell. It’s easier to sell the Brooklyn Bridge.’ We said, ‘That’s the name!’“ 

Rehearsing the new, larger entity began immediately; we started working within two weeks of that chance encounter in Farmingdale. Since Rosica and I both played guitar and bass guitar, we shared those duties in the Bridge’s early live sets. Jimmy, however, was the better bass guitar player - eventually, he took over on that instrument.

In November 1968, at the original recording session of “Worst That Could Happen,” I played acoustic six and 12 string guitars. On December 15th of that year, we performed it live on the Ed Sullivan Show. Stevie Wonder also sang that night. 

Although I left Valley Stream in 1968, I am still in touch with a few of the kids I met from South - Eric Hilton, Scott Donaldson and Linda (Andrews) Franz. Until fall 1979, I was in and out of the band. I met my beautiful wife Mary while on the road with the Bridge - a chance meeting in a San Francisco elevator. After leaving the band, I worked for three years as an educator and 30 more in finance, before retiring. 

I still have my guitar from that long ago Christmas. I take it out of its case every December and put it next to the tree as a reminder of all the good things and people that have come my way. My childhood guitar reminds me I have three great kids and four awesome grandchildren - all because of some talented singers and musicians at a nightclub in Farmingdale; a popular song, “Worst That Could Happen;” and a chance meeting in a San Francisco elevator. Mary and I live in Las Vegas and I play the guitar just about every day.

Rich Macioce - Brookllyn Bridge Biography

February 2023 Class of '70 Newsletter (South High School)

1965 - Rich Macioce, Central High School class picture (The Cadet)


1975 - Rich Macioce, Port Washington


 Rich Macioce (undated)