When American musician and songwriter Richard Morris formed the new wave band Café Society in Los Angeles in the summer of 1982, the 19-year-old from Chicago probably could have never imagined it would take 38 long years before he would release his band’s first single and music video.
But they say that all good things come to those who wait…
Over the next five years, Café Society would become one of L.A.’s most beloved unsigned local bands, playing alongside up and coming artists such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Meat Puppets, TSOL, Cock Robin, Bang Bang, Steve Vai, Los Lobos and The Minutemen. In 1985, the band was introduced by Anthony Kiedis of Red Hot Chili Peppers as "The greatest opening band in L.A."
The original Café Society performing at The Troubador (Hollywood, California) in 1984.
In 1987, after five years, dozens of gigs and a handful of studio sessions, Morris decided to return to Chicago to attend law school at DePaul University. But while attending his 10-year grammar school reunion that September, he re-connected with an old childhood friend and decided to put his college plans on hold and join a childhhod friend on a trip to Spain.
Living in Granada, in Spain’s southern Andalucía region for more than a year, Morris spent much of his creative energy on writing songs, poetry, short stories and one-act plays and decided to return home to pursue his academic studies…but not in law as he had once desired to do.
In the spring of 1988, Morris enrolled at The Theatre School of DePaul University in their new playwriting program, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in June of 1992. He stayed on at DePaul where he earned a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (English, History & Education) in June of 1994. He completed his teacher training at Stephen T. Mather High School on Chicago’s north side…the same high school where he graduated nine years earlier!
Putting his creative aspirations aside, Morris became a teacher and remained an educator for 26-years. He moved back to Spain in June of 1996 where he would remain until 2008. After living in Liverpool, England for two years, Morris relocated to the Netherlands with his Dutch partner and their five children in August of 2010.
In 2019, Morris joined forces with Russian bass guitarist Andrey Zakharov and Paraguayan drummer Christian Palmieri to re-form Café Society…32 years after disbanding the original L.A.-based group.
Café Society (Amsterdam, 2020). Left to right): Morris, Palmieri and Zakharov.
In March of 2020, Morris, Zakharov and Palmieri recorded the first Café Society single, “Daylight Storm,” at SAE in Amsterdam. The track features L.A.-based Irish-Cypriot composer, musician and producer Jason Soudah, who contributed both the keyboard parts and mixing, and original Café Society saxophone player Jeff Dellisanti, who reunited with Morris after 35 years to play on the recording.
“Daylight Storm” was released on Café Society’s indie label Retro Records on 15 August 2020. A music video, directed by Barbadian-St. Maartener director Kristen Sorton and features Morris and his three youngest daughters premiered on 23 August 2020.
In January 2021, Richard, Andrey and Christian will return to the studio, this time in The Hague, collaborating with producer and sound engineer Barry Olthof, to record two new tracks. Joining in and making her musical debut, Richard's daughter, B.J. Morris, will play keyboards on the new tracks. Also featured on the recordings will be the original Café Society horn section—Dan Levine (trombone), Anne King (trumpet) and Jeff Dellisanti (saxophone)—reuniting for the first time since 1985!