We were standing around, talking with some friends at Penn Treaty Park last night, and like it always does, the topic of Arthur Kade came up. (We didn’t bring it up; dude is dead to us. No, really.) Anyway, the conversation turned to an interesting question: Who was Philly’s Primordial Kade — the self-promoting ooze from which the likes of Kade would one day spring? Because we’re old heads, talk naturally drifted towards the 80s and 90s, when, say, a young Todd Carmichael first taught us about this thing called La Colombe or The Interpreters invented a hype machine still unmatched by any current local band. But there was a problem in comparing the self-promoters of Philly Past to Kade: Everyone we could come up with actually did things. They defined a cultural moment (sorry, Kade doesn’t) or made a lasting contribution (again, apologies, Mr. Kaydeshes, it’s not gonna happen). So that line of comparison was out, since no one in Philly’s past or present has represented the physical iteration of a brain fart as well as Kade.
Who, then, is Kade’s spiritual daddy? It hit us like a ton of bricks: Richie Rosati. Now, sure: Richie’s made records (at right is the sleeve image from his single “Inside Your Love,” although we prefer “Fast And Nasty Girl” for its raw pathos and street-level moral compass), he’s got the kind of actor’s resume Kade would kill for, has appeared on TV tons and has, as best we can tell, actual fans. But all that didn’t come easy: Back in the pre-digital 1990s, Rosati dogged members of the media (we remember then-Philadelphia Weekly staffer Karen Abbott in particular) with faxes, head shots and phone calls each time he did anything. In the midst of all that hard work and media harping, Rosati, like Kade, struggled with the difficulties of being a white boy from Philly deeply embedded in the douche class and culture (which, back then, was simply known as “Guido”). But it all paid off to some degree: Rosati’s records are still well-known to fans of the “Freestyle” genre (think “Diamond Girl”), and to this day, he’s still working. He’s still on The Journey. He didn’t Kade Out. And for this, Richie Rosati, we salute you. Give us a ring sometime, wouldja?