The 50thirdand3rd Interview with – Rick Barton (Continental)


Can you give us a little of your background for those not familiar with your history..
I’ve been around the block, some might call me a dusty old codger! I started playing music back in the 70’s with my brother as a way to get laid & have an identity! I was never really into playing music but I kind of liked the organizational aspect of it. Setting up rehearsal, making up set lists, loading the van etc. But alas, getting laid & developing an identity started working out so we formed our first serious band towards the end of ’79 called The Outlets. That lasted until about ’92 at which point my identity had morphed into an alcohol & drug addicted lonely son of a bitch. Then came the typical cleaning up phase around ’93. Started a band with my friend Kenny called Dropkick Murphys toward the end of ’95. That became a brutal experience. I probably should have started drinking and taking drugs again! Hahaha! Quit that band midway through recording our 3rd album Sing Loud Sing Proud! (Never really liked that title) I took 7 yrs off from playing out or touring and became a full on crazed songwriter and wrote about a thousand songs and recorded over 100 of them with a bunch of my friends. Then I formed a band called Everybody out in 2007. That lasted a couple yrs and several releases. Then came Continental in 2009. I also did some work with the Street Dogs & FM 359. But through it all I’ve been painting houses for 35 yrs. In fact I just finished working a 14 hr day! 🙂

What was it like to be a part of the early punk scene in Boston and then as a member of The Dropkick Murphys..
The early punk scene in Boston was just a bunch of talented fucked up people that mostly had their heads up their arses! We worshiped The Rat and loved to slide around in the swill! Just an awful way to live but I suppose it’s one way to do it.

Now the Murphys was the exact opposite of that! We were a talentless calculating machine! Left all the other bands in the dust!

Can you tell us a little of the background of the members of Continental ..
Continental is really just me & Stephen and a revolving door of friends. People come and people go. We’ve completely reduced the stress factor. I make money painting houses and sink it all into the band and touring. I try to keep the guys happy and it’s kind of like taking your kids camping! Our campgrounds just happen to be seedy bars

What’s it like to be able to work with your son Stephen..
Stephen keeps me in check. It use to be a nightmare because at first we were trying to “make it”! But now we just have some laughs and strum a few songs.

What’s behind the idea of naming the Band.. Continental
Our original drummer named us. Sounded good to me! 🙂

The Album “Millionaires” has a Stones vibe , what would be the quintessential Stones Album in your opinion.
Between the Buttons

Your ability to tell a story through music is top notch. Do you write the lyrics first and then the music, how does that all come about for you and the Band.

I’m one of those lucky pricks that has the whole song flow right through me, music & lyrics at the same time. Some good, some bad but it’s really what keeps me going in life. I’m always doing it. The flow never stops.

My youngest is 13 and in a Band, what advice would you give him….
Well I would tell him to jam out with friends in the basement, although you don’t have those in FL, so the garage or back yard. Make up your own shit and just have fun. As soon as you come up with a name, a logo and your first TShirt design that’s when you should start a bonfire in the backyard and burn all your musical gear!

Some albums that are on high rotation for you…..
Unfortunately I can’t listen to music anymore. I have very severe tinnitus and listening to music really softly just doesn’t cut it. It’s my only health issue so I guess I’m kind of fortunate. I consider it a small price to pay for that false identity and all the empty sexual encounters!!!

Your thoughts on “the state of Rock ‘n’ Roll”…
I’m sorry but I don’t get involved in any of that. I’m aware of what’s popular and I’m very well aware that it’s not my band! Hahaha!

What’s the biggest difference in the music industry compared to when you first started out…
I’ve never understood the music business other than a few really talented people make tons of money and a ton of other talented people don’t make anything.

Goals for… Continental
We don’t have goals! We just jump in the van, play some shows and record an album every couple of years. I just hope a handful of people come out to see us so we can keep jumping in the van and recording albums.

Any plans on coming down to Florida….
We have toured in FL a couple times and I hope we get back there soon. I actually lived in Coral Springs for 4 yrs through H.S.

Are you working on the next album yet? and are there any plans for when that will hit the streets….

We have dozens & dozens of songs to choose from. I think maybe we’ll record toward the end of the summer before we head over to Europe for a couple months. 🙂
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“Punk Rock Girl” from Millionaires by Continental


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Co-founder of 50thirdand3rd, stepped away to spend time with family and write. From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife, 4 great kids, and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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