In 2015, our cousin Ron Menello found a series of boxes that contained some of the comic books that Ric had collected as a boy. The boxes were stored in old wooden file cabinets in our Grandmother’s garage. Ric had outgrown his comic-book phase a long time ago, and his collection was all but forgotten. In time, they would show that his enthusiasm for all forms of media – from toys to comic books to movies and literature – was developed and fine-tuned long before his adulthood.
On this third anniversary of his passing, we take a small glimpse back on these weathered comics that maintain his wild, inventive spirit within them.
We honor Ric on this second anniversary of his death with a special update to the website. Mel Neuhaus has shared some of the video he shot on his cellphone on Christmas at a get-together in Brooklyn. We have also added a rebuttal to Richard Brody, an updated biography, and a new piece in the Recollections of Ric stories.
On Christmas 2012, Ric, at a casual get-together with a group of friends in Brooklyn, was coaxed into singing a few songs. Mel pulled out his cellphone and recorded two of them. They remained on his phone until he was able to recently transfer them.
Ric chose to sing “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” a song sung by Gene Pitney that was based upon the eponymous movie’s plotline but not used in the film. The John Ford film was one of Ric’s favorite movies.
It was the last Christmases Ric would spend with his family and friends before his death in March of the following year.
One of Ric’s final screenwriting assignments before his untimely death was an adaptation of the book Making the Wiseguys Weep: The Jimmy Roselli Story by David Evanier. Producer Neil Jesuele is currently putting together financing for the project. It is an excellent screenplay and we look forward to the film coming to fruition. In the meantime follow the links for updates:
Making the Wiseguys Weep website.
IMDB Making the Wiseguys Weep
The life of Jimmy Roselli: Read about the Life of Jimmy Roselli
David Evanier’s book: View David Evanier’s Book
Rick Rubin returns to his NYU Dorm Room. A nice piece on the start of it all. In Memory of Weinstein Hall’s “Mr Ricc” Menello.
Dawn of Def Jam: Rick Rubin Returns to His NYU Dorm Room
A lost classic Def Jam commercial for the release of the Beastie Boys Licensed to Ill album. This cheap, quickly produced commercial did see airtime due to the massive success of the album.
The Menello Archives: Part Two
Mel Neuhaus contributes the first classic clip from his archives circa 1980. The hilarious Orson Welles Jeans sketch features a game Menello doing his best Orson Welles impersonation in a parody of the popular jeans commercials of the time. This sketch was one of several that formed the pilot of Mel’s proposed Cable TV extravaganza The Mel Show.
Watch the 1980 clip: The Menello Archives: Volume One.
We honor Ric with this special video tribute to him on the one-year anniversary of his passing.
Watch the tribute: Remembering Ric Menello: One Year On.