The Bathtub (Suicide, Ricki C. and The Rolling Stones)

The Bathtub

I was 13 years old in October 1965. Eighth grade just was not working out. I had been a shy, book-reading child, now hormones were kicking in. I loved rock & roll but I just knew I was NEVER going to know how to talk to girls. (This was years before I got a hold of a guitar.) One really bad Saturday night I decided to kill myself. I had it all worked out. I had seen a movie just that week about a guy getting electrocuted when a radio fell into the bathtub he was in. (I was a very impressionable child.)

After everybody had left for the evening (my mom and dad were working their second jobs, my sister was on a date, my brother was at the bar) I went around the house and found a radio with a cord long enough to reach the bathtub. I ran the bath, plugged in the radio, settled into the warm water, said a little prayer for forgiveness, and let the radio drop. What I hadn't factored in was that although the cord was long enough to reach the tub, I hadn't filled it full enough. Right when the radio hit the water the plug pulled out. I got a nasty shock, I was seeing big purple and black blobs in my field of vision, but it didn't kill me.

I lifted the radio out and laid there in the water a few minutes to let my head clear. I got out and ran some more water in the tub until I was certain I had the right water level for the job at hand. I plugged the radio back in and what was playing? "Get Off My Cloud" by The Rolling Stones. I stood there naked, dripping and chilly, eighth-grade skinny, and listened to the whole song. Right at that moment I quite literally loved that song more than I loved life itself. And then a thought came very clearly into my head – "What if the next Rolling Stones single is even BETTER than this one, and I never get to hear it?"

I set the radio down on the sink, got back in the tub, took a bath and went to bed. If "Danke Shoen" by Wayne Newton or "Roses Are Red" by Bobby Vinton had been playing at the moment I plugged that radio back in I'd be dead now. Long live the Rolling Stones. So began a life of rock & roll.

© 2012 Ricki C.

for more of what happened in Ricki C's rock & roll existence after this incident, visit