One in a series of occasional portraits of people COVID-19 has taken from us.

Richard “Rick” Lewis, a self-taught drummer who played in bands throughout southern Maine including the popular 1980s hair metal band Twyce Shy and No Guts No Glory, died April 14 from complications of COVID-19.

He was 57.

Rick Lewis. Family photos

Lewis, known by many as Rycky Styx, was remembered this week as a gifted drummer and musician.

He learned how to play the drums as a teenager, began playing in clubs by age 18, and continued playing gigs nearly every weekend for the next four decades.

He played for various bands including Impact, First Strike and Foxfire. At the time of his death, Lewis was playing drums for the 1980s hair metal tribute band Twyce Shy. He also played drums for the rock cover band No Guts No Glory, which Lewis started with Mark Couturier, lead vocalist for both bands.

Couturier said Monday that Lewis was a great drummer and backing vocalist who played a key role booking gigs and selling tickets.

“Rick was a schmoozer. He was a people person,” Couturier said. “He would walk into a room and everyone knew he was there. He was a presence. Everyone loved him. He was a great person to be around and a great entertainer.”

Rick Lewis

Lewis played for the last time at a small, private event on Feb. 20 with No Guts No Glory. Bass player John Longinetti said Monday that Lewis was the nicest guy one could meet. He said Lewis loved talking to people in the crowd.

“He was an amazing drummer. He was a solid drummer … in the pocket, always carrying the band along,” Longinetti said. “He was taken way too soon. There was certainly a lot of drive and a lot of life left in him to continue playing and entertaining people. I’ll miss sharing the stage with him, and seeing his smile from behind the drum kit, knowing him and I are connecting, playing and just enjoying the moment.”

A Facebook page, In Memory of Rick Lewis, was created Sunday. In less than 12 hours, more than 400 people had joined. The page features photos, videos and memories from family, friends and his fans.

“Rick brought people together, with his music, and friendships,” wrote Terri Mason. “Great memories were made because of him.”

“Rick inspired so many young children including mine,” wrote Jessica Caron, who shared pictures of her daughter dancing to Twyce Shy preforming at the Topsham Fair in 2011. “Little rock stars in the making. Rest easy. You will truly be missed by so many, my friend.”

 

Rick Lewis

Lewis was a 1982 graduate of Brunswick High School. At age 15, he went to work at Bates and Cunningham, now Goodwin’s Volvo in Topsham. Lewis stayed with the dealership for over 30 years, eventually becoming the parts manager. At the time of his death, he was an estimator at Moody’s Collision Centers in Portland.

His daughter Melissa Lewis of Ohio said Monday that her father had a great memory for long numbers for auto parts. She said her father was well-known for reconditioning and restoring cars. He also briefly worked as a car salesman.

“He was a terrible car salesman,” she said, chuckling. “He refused to upsell people or guide people to things outside their budget. He really had a big heart for families that came in. He was always trying to get them a deal into a used car, instead of a new car.”

His daughter recalled the year her father restored a 1984 Volvo for her 16th birthday.

“When I came out of the house, it was parked in the driveway,” she said. “It was bright cherry red. It was so shiny. It was a two-door. I wasn’t really a car person, but it was such a beautiful car. A perfect car for me. I learned how to drive a stick, parallel park and navigate a city. He had an excellent sense of direction, which I have because of him.”

Lewis was a member of the Knights of Columbus Sekenger Council No. 1947 for over 30 years. He was a fourth-degree member, Grand Knight and a Deputy Grand Night. He was also an active member of the Patriot Riders Motorcycle Club and an avid New England Patriots fan.

Lewis tested positive for COVID-19 in late March. On April 5, he posted an update on Facebook about his prognosis. Lewis wrote that he hoped to be out of the hospital in a week.

“I want to thank all the staff and angels here at Mid Coast that have not been giving up on me,” Lewis wrote. “If I see one more rerun of Pawn Stars I will impale myself with a plastic fork. I was within a week of getting my vaccine, didn’t make it. Please take this seriously for a little while longer. We’re almost there. I’m glad this happened to me and not someone else. God bless and hope to see you soon all soon! Happy belated Easter and Merry Christmas ya filthy animals!”

His daughter said a couple of days before he died, she and her mother got a radio to play classic rock music for him. The song playing when he died was, “Don’t You Forget About Me,” by Simple Minds.

“When it was obvious he wasn’t coming out of it, I told him I was OK and he was OK,” his daughter recalled. “I told him he was a great dad and we would talk about him forever.”

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