Richie Kotzen
* February 03, 1970
United States
Solo Artist
Born in Reading Pennsylvania and now residing in Los Angeles, Richard Dale Kotzen, Jr. first began playing piano at the age of five. Later, at the age of seven inspired by a Kiss poster, Richie picked up the electric guitar. Amazingly by the time Richie reached the age of seventeen, he had traveled back and forth across the United States playing in excess of 500 shows. It was during that year that Richie released his first self titled record on Shrapnel Records and graced the cover of several publications including Guitar World Magazine.

Richie Kotzen’s success and virtuoso playing caught the ear of Bret Michaels, lead singer of the multi-platinum act Poison. Richie was asked to join the band at the age of twenty. The album Native Tongue was released in 1993 and achieved platinum worldwide sales, and produced two top twenty singles which Richie wrote, “Stand” and “Until You Suffer Some”. Appearances on numerous national TV shows such as Jay Leno and the Arsenio Hall show followed on the heals of intense MTV coverage.
The video for “Stand” which included backing vocals by the entire AME Church Choir,
was a top 10 video on MTV’s Most Wanted. Once again Richie graced the covers of numerous magazines. A world tour followed with sold out dates from London to Los Angeles.

Following a controversial split with Poison, Richie Kotzen continued his solo career releasing albums in various musical genres ranging from Rock to Soul and ultimately Fusion. Richie’s cult status was also beginning to grow, especially in Japan where Fender guitars approached Richie to design his own signature model telecaster which is now being sold throughout Japan, Southeast Asia, and most recently the UK.

1999 proved to be a crucial year. Legendary fusion bassist stanley Clarke had been approached by Sony Music to put together a new band that could bring Fusion into the Millennium. Stanley called on the talents of his old cohort Lenny White and set about finding other virtuoso musicians. After exhaustive auditions the band “Vertu” (pronounced Virtue) was ready.

Stanley and Lenny were joined by Rachel Z (keyboards), Karen Briggs (Violin) and of course, Richie on guitar. A massive tour of Europe commenced on the back of the album, providing many of Richie’s fans a chance to see him play in the flesh for the first time since his Poison years.

1999 was also the year that saw Paul Gilbert leave the band Mr. Big.  With a massive following in Japan and South East Asia Mr. Big’s remaining band members, Eric Martin, Billy Sheehan, and Pat Torpey, were under great pressure to find a suitable replacement in time to start work on a new album. Having worked together on previous recordings, Sheehan turned to Richie to fill the gap. The aptly titled “Get Over It” sold more than 175,000 copies in its first two weeks in Japan and eventually reached platinum status. A sold out tour including a 2000 New Years Eve performance to a 40,000 plus audience in Osaka Japan followed the cd release. The follow up to the Mr. Big release was titled “Actual Size” and it featured Richie’s song “Shine” which debuted at number one on Japanese radio charts.

Following the Mr. Big Farewell Tour of Japan Richie released another solo effort titled “Change”. The title track “Change” as well as the song “Get A Life were featured in TV commercials throughout Japan. A sold out Kotzen solo tour of Japan followed the release of “Change”.
In mid 2002 Richie purchased a commercial building in Los Angeles California and opened up a brand new recording Studio/Production company called Headroom-inc. (Headroom-inc.com) in a very short time the client list has grown to include such names as Gene Simmons (Kiss), Dave Navaro, Keanu Reeves, Me’shell Ndege’Ocello, John Wait,
Toto, Doyle Bramhall II and more...

The latest musical effort from Richie Kotzen is a cd called “Get Up”. This cd has already been compared to Richie’s 1994 cult classic “Mother Heads Family Reunion” (Geffen)..
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