The Rip Chords
“The Rip Chords” are a 60’s surf/hot rod rock group, originally from California. The original band members were Ernie Bringas, Phil Stewart, Rich Rotkin, Arnie Marcus, Terry Melcher, and Bruce Johnston, who also produced their recordings.. Founding members Bringas and Stewart first met each other in 1957 and started out as a vocal duo called the Opposites. They eventually landed a contract with Columbia Records in 1962, added Rotkin and Marcus to the line-up, and subsequently changed their name to the Rip Chords. The band’s debut single “Here I Stand” only went to #51 on the Billboard pop charts in 1963. “The Rip Chords” scored their biggest and best known hit with the rousing hot rod song “Hey Little Cobra,” which peaked at #4 on the Billboard pop charts in 1964 and sold a million copies. The equally stirring follow-up number “Three Window Coupe” cracked the Top 30 in the summer of 1964. The single “One Piece Topless Bathing Suit” was the group’s last chart success. “The Rip Chords” appear as themselves and perform the song “Red Hot Roadster” in the enjoyably inane “Beach Party” style musical teen comedy romp “A Swingin’ Summer.” Moreover, the band was featured on two of “Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars” tours in 1963 and 1964. The group split up in late 1965.
Today, The Rip Chords include Original member Richie Rotkin (along with Arnie Marcus on the West Coast only) and newer members, Mitch Schecter, Amy Lynne, Mike Kelly, Tony Tuttle and Randy Dance. The band travels the U.S.A. thrilling audiences wherever they perform, and have shared stages with Beach Boy Al Jardine, Peter Noone, Ron Dante,The Cowsills,Gary Lewis, The Tokens, Dennis Tufano, Mark Lindsay, The 1910 Fruitgum Co., The Orlons, and many others. This current incarnation of the band has not only recorded and released several albums, but continue to tour and perform in concert on a regular basis. It’s a Hot Rod/Surfin’ Summer Beach Party whenever The Rip Chords hit the stage!