Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Metal Inquisition History Lesson: I Was In The Wild Rags Street Team

Here at Metal Inquisition, our primary goal is to entertain. Another, perhaps secondary goal, is to school today's metal youth in metal history. It's with that spirit in mind that this post was written. School is in suckas.

This seemingly unassuming corner in Montebello California was once upon a time the home of Wild Rags Records, the record label and store run by the infamous Richard C (full name Ricardo Campos). Richard C is without a doubt one of the more polarizing names you can bring up to those who were involved in the underground metal scene in the early 1990's. Widely known as "rip-off" (a now seldom used term common in the days before the internet when tape trading occurred strictly through the mail) Richard and his label continue to be the topic of conversation on the internet, even though the label has not existed in some time, and the man himself has long ago fallen off the face of the earth. A Myspace tribute page is out there, but very little else remains of the once infamous label. Makes you wonder who on earth would even take a minute out of their time to keep the memory of the label who put out records by Zombified Preachers Of Gore alive...but anyway. I keep using the word "infamous" when referring to the man and his label, because I don't know what else to call the label and the bands they put out. "Laughable" could also work I guess...but then again I have the entire Nuclear Death discography on my I can't make fun of the label all that much.

Though Wild Rags started out releasing questionable music (including glam bands like Cherry Street), the label would go on to put out influential releases by the likes of Nuclear Death, Impetigo, Brutality, Blood, Bloodcum, Sigh, as well as Emperor and Internal Bleeding. I also remember them distributing demos by bands like Excrutiating Terror before they became the darlings of the powerviolence scene. Back to Internal Bleeding I write this I have to laugh because I remember having Internal Bleeding's first demo, and thinking to myself "man, they signed to Wild Rags? They're gonna be huge!" Such a thing would only be funny to someone like me, who had the first Internal Bleeding demo back when it first came out. Old timer metal humor I guess.

My limited interaction with Richard C began after I went to a Morbid Angel show in 1991 or so, and received a flyer that talked about how much of a rip off Wild Rags was. Since I was planning on ordering the Impetigo "Faceless" EP that week, I included the flyer along with my order, and asked for his thoughts on the matter. The response I got from Richard was unexpected to say the least. Along with the EP, I got a large box with tons of records, CDs, stickers, tapes and about 50 copies of his publication The Wild Rag. The letter that came along with all this stuff explained how the guy that made the flyer was full of crap, and that he'd appreciate it if I would pass out his flyers, records and magazines at the same shows where the anti-Wild Rags flyers were being passed out. I quickly decided that the last thing I wanted was to get into a confrontation with some stranger at a show regarding a guy in California I had never met. So, I decided to sell the copies of the magazine to fellow metalheads in school (for a buck each) keep the records I liked, and sell the rest at a local record store. For a couple of years the boxes kept coming, and I had a steady supply of free gore and grind records, as well as a few bucks in my pocket. This all seems like ancient history now, but at the time I have to admit that I felt pretty cool being somehow connected to a somewhat legitimate record label. I remember telling kids in school that I was the local rep. for a label, or something like that. Even thinking of it now I cringe...but such is life.

I actually met Richard at the Milwakee Metal Fest one year without even knowing it. I approached him to buy a shirt in the parking lot to the venue, and noticing that he only had Wild Rags merchandise, I asked him if he was Richard. He quickly said "no, I don't know that guy". Later it became clear that it was him, but he didn't really want anyone to know who he was. I'm sure he wanted to avoid getting his face punched in by all the people he had supposedly ripped off...but the allure of thousands of metal fans eager to spend their money on his records and badly screened shirts had made him fly all the way to Milwaukee. Little did I know that angry guys in bands were the least of his problems. More on that in a minute.

After a few years, the packages of free stuff dried up. His zine The Wild Rag became even worse and more laughable than it had been before, and I lost interest. I had completely forgotten about the label and Richard, until fellow metal brother Sergeant D brought up the subject to me about six years ago. I began to tell him about my interaction with Richard C, and as I told him the story I thought to myself "Holy crap, I was in the Wild Rags street team before street teams existed!"

Out of all the stories and accounts of whatever happened to Richard, the only one I seem to think is truthful comes from Pat who played in Hellwitch. I used to trade metal videos with Pat around 1990-1992 and wrote with him a lot. He always struck me as being a nice and upfront guy (he also had unbelievable penmanship by the way, all in cursive...not very metal). In this interview from 2006 he said:

..Ricardo was charged by the U.S. government with crime of income tax evasion and was sent to prison!! Actually, I’m not sure if he was caught, but I know he was wanted for this crime. Some say he fled to his home country of Mexico. The members of Sadistic Intent went to the government auction of Wild Rags’ stock and purchased most of it. They now run a record store in L.A. called Dark Realm, which sells much of Ricardo’s confiscated inventory! Haha! I love telling this story! As we say in America, “What comes around, goes around!”. Ricardo got his!

Okay, now that I have this story out of my system...I promise I'll try to make my future posts funny.


  1. i love you guys with all my heart because of stories like these. seriously, i do.

    thank christ for the internet or nobody would remember richard c. i think pinche peach killed him over a contractual dispute.

  2. Christ, I was at that store...I remember walking in and seeing Richard C folding rows and rows of black t-shirts...great post, btw.

  3. When I was a retarded teenager, I used to make my mom drive me down to fucking Montebello just to go to Wild Rags. Richard C. would get demos from bands for review and sell them - he had crates and crates of shit, I'd buy tapes, t-shirts and early earache vinyl (this would've been late 80s or very early 90s). I never would've heard illustrious heroes like Toxodeth, Blood, Deathcore, Berserker and Impetigo if it weren't for those demo crates. And Rotting Corpse, can't forget them.

    Place was always half-full of fucking plug-ugly pink zebra print spandex bullshit ("wild rags" referring, I'm pretty sure, to the fucking horrible clothes he sold to Glam Rockerz who couldn't afford British Leather's prices but could afford a bus ticket to Montebello).

  4. I was among Ricardo's numerous victims in the fall of 1991 when I eagerly sent him $70 for the Grave and Immolation demos, as well as the then only available on import Disharmonic Orchestra and Pungent Stench full lengths. While the package never arrived, I do remember several long phone conversations with Richard C in which he had absolute faith I would get the package as he remembered me and my order and "packed that shit" himself. Eventually, sometime in the Spring, he told me I was out of luck because I didn't purchase insurance. Oh well.

  5. In 1991, when I started playing with my death metal band, my dream was to be signed with Wild Rags!
    I still own tons of WR flyers and 'zines. It's a pleasure reading such underground stories...
    The Wild Rags Myspace tribute page is in my top friends!!!!

  6. Fucking Richard man I worked there for about two months before my Junior year at MHS and then he closed the store actually the sign on the store said BANK AUCTION. He's fucking Infamous

  7. It was the summer of 99. And I just turned 16. I used to go all the time and just buy stickers or the ocassional tee. I remember going there that July to buy a CD when I noticed that he didn't have any body working there, he always did and it was always some tweaked out idiot. There were a couple of people and I waited for them to leave, and when they did I nervously asked him If he needed any help, He laughed and told me to come by on wedneday I beleive. I waited in the small parking lot in the back and he acutally bought me lunch (first and only time) it was some shitty burruto. All I did for the next two days was fold fliers that advertised 25% off everything. And for the next month and a half hardly any one came except for my friends but he'd yell a t them for not buying anything and then yell at me for having them come by. I remember he said he was going to pay me minimum but after working the whole day he'd open the cash register and give me ten bucks, but I really didnt care I was happy to work there. One time this ckick that worked at the record store about 200 hundred yards up the street came by and he began yelling at me for no cleaning the toilet. By the begining of my Jr year at MHS I worked for a couple more weeks and then he just never opened again. Thats when I saw the sign on the window that the bank had forclosed the store and they were having an auction and that was that. anyone that wants to share some stories e-mail me

  8. My old band Subsanity was one of the last bands "signed" to this label,richard C. told us that we had to print our own CD covers,J-card etc...we sent him abunch of xeroxed hand cut covers,much like a d.i.y. 7 inch sleeve.God,it was low budget as fuck by then.Look for that shit if ya want some ultra obscure Wild Rags shit.We were just happy to be on the same label as Nuclear Death and Impetigo. Oh! and that group Lullaby was fucking awful but hilarious to listen to.

  9. I found this post when searching Wild Rags on the Internet. I miss that store! I felt nostalgic when reading this, because I dealt with Richard quite a bit, but I don't understand why everyone is talking so much crap about the guy and the label in your post & comments.

    You perpetuate the story that he was a "rip-off" and that his label was crap, his catalog "laughable", but the reality that you experienced is that he generously sent you tons of free stuff that you were supposed to pass out, but you stole and sold the free stuff he sent you that you were supposed to hand out for free at shows. How does that make him a rip-off? Why were they laughable? More than anything else, your post is a reminder to small labels why sending out promos is not a great idea, ha ha.

    Anyway, as "crappy" as his label was, you forgot to add Blasphemy, Behemoth and Dying Fetus to the list of bands he exposed to the world. Richard was responsible for exposing underground bands that are now considered legends, not just to a local L.A. audience, or even a U.S. audience, but a worldwide audience. Every time I came by to pick up stuff for my distro (I bought tons of records, CD's and tapes wholesale from him back then) he had stuff no one else had and was packing boxes to send out stuff to all corners of the world. There was a reason why bands from everywhere sent him stuff even though his reputation was that he was a "rip-off" - he could get them a worldwide exposure that was almost impossible otherwise in the pre-Internet world.

    Sergeant D, people would remember Richard C because he was the one responsible for the promotion of huge bands to a worldwide audience, something not easy before the Internet. Emperor and Behemoth are two bands that benefited greatly from his huge customer base. I'm not saying these bands would not have been big anyway, but every worthwhile band that released something on Wild Rags is now among the biggest band of their genre. There were some bands that weren't so great on the label and even then some of them are still remembered as legends just because they were on Wild Rags.

    I don't know why he was considered a rip-off because he always seemed legit to me. Maybe bands were expecting more than they got (bands never have weird or unrealistic expectations of grandeur, right?) or maybe he was not helpful when shit got lost as pointed out in another post (he was sending stuff to every country and some post offices are a bit unreliable). And maybe he did rip people off, but I was never one of them.

    And cloodbum - he would sell demos sent for him to review? How would you know that? His "zine" was a catalog, not a review zine. If anyone sent him demos it was to sell. Why would anyone send 10 copies of one release to "review". And his store was filled with the clothes because "Wild Rags" was originally the name for his wifes glam clothes/lingerie store.

    I wasn't friends with him or anything, but he was always a good guy with me. And it seems like he was with you too - sending you free boxes of stuff that you then kept. So why the negative tone? And yes, he was closed by the IRS, a sad reality for a lot of small businesses. I just wanted to give are more even-handed side of the story.

    R.I.P. Wild Rags!

  10. Interesting to find this in the net after so many years. It actually comes as a surprise to me that Richard C's name was Ricardo Campos. Is this information confirmed? I never met him in person, since I am european and never even went to the States, but in fact my own name is Ricardo Campos. I was in touch with Richard C back in the day because I ran a Metal fanzine, and I once wrote on a letter to him something like "Hey, I'm also nearly "Richard C" because my actual name is Ricardo Campos" and he replied something like it was a cool coincidence and sometimes people asked him what the C stood for but it was just C.

    I do remember all the negative publicity he was getting. I'm sure I still have flyers and stuff around here. There was a lot of people crying "rip-off". I myself have absolutely no reason for complaining about the guy; he sent me tapes to review and several issues of his mag. But I don't think I actually ever ordered anything from him, since I didn't have a lot of money to spend in my teenage years (come to think of it, I still don't, eheh).

    Oh well. It was a label with great releases.

  11. I myself have had a great amount
    of dealing with Richard C/DICKCEE
    (as known on his email
    dickcee@/////./// very funny to me knowing Richard)

    I have many, many things to say and not one bad. Having known this guy since the mid to late 80s. He started in the late 70's, his wife did the clothes part while he was able to get into the music scene with a dream of having a record label. Many "glam" bands and "glam" fans bought and wore clothes there as the infamous LA "glam" scene took off.

    In the early eighties. after a divorce (and his changing music taste) the store evolved into what most of us "metalheads" know.

    Claims of "ripoffs" come mostly do to "mis-communications" about who will cover what cost and who is owed what, when etc.. (I'll leave those for one on one cases as each one is different and in many cases there were language barriers among other things, back then everything was done via the US postal system, remember back then long distance calls cost money and there was no Internet, not til later anyway.. there was lots of opportunity for issues to arise for both parties)

    I can tell you first hand at many shows Richard giving away shirts, tapes and 7" not to mention
    like was stated earlier sending boxes of all kinds of freebies.
    (I'm from COLORADO, which those in the know will know who I am, from all the freebies I gave away... because they were given to me (and then some) to promote the "RAG")

    He "signed" bands he thought were cool, thus the changing of the catalog as a whole (you all may think those bands were "laughable"
    but they also were "cutting edge" and extreme for the time.)

    It may have ended bad for WILD RAGS but if anyone cares to go back and look at the the whole catalog it is equal to the some the European labels.

    So many bands sent stuff to Richard in hopes to get his attention or to get a mention
    somewhere, I remember being in there one mid week afternoon
    and he got a couple of postal boxes
    full of tapes and "promo packs"
    from all over the world.

    Not to mention postage due on many
    that he paid with out even batting an eye (even if it was just going to sit somewhere for who knows how long maybe to be heard may not)

    Real rip off style huh??

    This guy "Rick" in the post above me make some many more points as well

    Try writing any label now days
    and see what happens

    At the time this guy made the underground better and I promise that way more people have to be thankful for him turning them on to new bands
    selling their "zines", tapes, 7", shirts, records, CDs and passing out/posting their fliers then this guy did harm to anybody....

    Dark Realm Records (Downing CA) may have have bought his "stuff" at auction
    but they were in business well before and were not a label (at time anyway) but more of just a store, (with shity service at that)

    wow I could on and on instead though I Think I'll put on an old meatshits demo and have a "smoke"
    and reflect with fond memories my old friend Richard C Wild Rags

  12. Great topic here, and very ironic that I just stumbled upon it by accident searching for Richard C to see what his current status is...I dealt with Richard for several years and met him at a few shows. Was always a cool guy and loved to send me promo stuff for review in my mag, Blood-Shed Zine. I can't even tell you how many tons of items he sent over the years, demos, ep's, etc. Never had any bum dealings with the guy. Seemed like he certainly had good intentions until the end. A definite blast from the past. Rock on Richard wherever you are hiding!

  13. I got free stuff to review from them around 1992. Always heard they were a rip off (i remember flyers from that time) but never quite undertood why...

  14. there is still some wild rags dead stock around. i bought some of it early '08. his daughter was selling old releases and distro items. he came and visited his daughter and i totally wanted to meet him. but she told me he'd deny who he was and be all pissed.

  15. some of the old stock ended up in santa barbara ca, at a thrift shop. this was around 2001 or so. i got some bloodcum decals, shirts and a 12". the owner of the shop said he got it at an auction.

  16. Wow, holy shit. I used to live in this stuck up rich neighbourhood called San Marino, and would drive way the fuck down to Montebello. Met him once, cool guy. I doubt he's a "rip-off"... Bought a King Diamond cassette that said it had a sticker in it but when I opened it there was no sticker, King's label ripped me off!!!!

  17. Aww man, I knew Richard circa 1988-1992 when I was just leaving high school and then moved to England to go to university. We had never met but exchanged numerous letters and I loved him. He was lovely. So I am just gonna stick my finger in my ears and go la- la-la to all the posts which are damning him. I wish I was still in contact with him tho'.

  18. Damn i cant believe i can relate to alll yo guys!! I went in there a few times. Bought some rad tapes-Infamous Sinphoyny, bloodcum etc...

  19. Hey, I'm actually trying to get a hold of Richard C...

    Anonymous from November 28 of last year, you said you know him, think you could pass along his contact info to me?

    Thanks for any tips or leads here, guys!

  20. Found some of my old Meatshits demos the other day and was wondering what happened with Wild Rags. I talked to RC a couple of times on the phone and was a pretty cool guy. I told him about a scathing and harsh review Metal Maniacs did on one of the bands. Told me, I can't remember the woman's name who did the review, she was a bulldog dyke.

    He was cool enough to send me a free Fuck Frenzy shirt and some zines for defending Wild Rags.


  21. hey whats up guys well let me tell you that Richard C. was a cool guy he promote a lot of bands in the wild rags zine for free giving exposure to the bands in Europe ,latin america and here in the USA... SO I DONT KNOW THIS GUY TALKING SHIT ABOUT RICHARD C.

  22. Wow, what a post and comment section!

    I recently did a search for Wild Rags as I was researching a few older 80's contacts and "movers and shakers" in the Underground Metal scene. Little did I know what awaited me!

    Well I guess I better throw in my "metal $0.02" and chime in right about now.

    *I don't know about all of the Sh*t-talkin' posted here but he was always VERY helpful to me and always volunteered any help with my DEMOLISH FANZINE in the late 80's.
    I was an unheard-of and he did not have to waste any time helping me but HE DID, so I think that is worth something!

    He also gladly sent me promos to review and also any contacts that I requested. Of course I reviewed all of his releases.

    Perhaps a unique twist to this is the fact the he always told me who to watch out for (regarding other record stores) who were either "slow-payers" or did not pay at all for zines or product sold in their stores!

    **Regarding his dealings with his label and bands -I have no idea about any of that. I know it was a very small shoestring budget and perhaps these bands did not realize that. He DID, however get their material out there and promoted it pretty decent for the 80's.
    He had to be a hard worker and must have written about 10 letters a day, shipped many packages, ran a store, record label and mail order/fanzine etc.

    Maybe it was his ex-wife's clothing store that caused the avalanche. Maybe she turned him in to the I.R.S. for revenge? who knows...

    Anyway, good people sometimes make BAD mistakes, so let's just leave it at that and hope for the best.

    Thanks for bringing back lots of memories with the post.

    Anyone into all things METAL from this era' should have a peep at my blog.

    Rock on!

    Curt King
    Demolish Fanzine

  23. I don't live anywhere near the store but I do have a few original Wild Rags releases which I thought were pretty cool. Like the Gradually Melted EP by Deeds of Flesh. Had no idea about all this rip off business, thought/still think some great releases came out of there!

  24. I'm glad I found this post. I use to do a lot of trading with Richard C. and would travel from Orange County to Montebello about once a month. I had my own fanzine and he use to give me tons of stuff to review. I remember my friend and I would go in there with about $50 cash and walk out with a box full of stuff. He was constantly giving me free demos, zines and other stuff.

    I know there were a lot of bands who had problems with him, but I never had any problems at all. I would bring in copies of my zine for him to sell and he'd give me a bunch of cassettes and CD's in return. We also did an ad swap too. I added a full page to my zine and he had a small ad in exchange. Just from that little ad, I had floods on mail coming into my mailbox everyday. People use to say that he lied about his circulation list for his fanzine, but after trading ads with him, I knew his circulation list was for real.

    If it wasn't for Richard C and Wild Rags I would of never been introduced to some of the bands he had on his label.

    We would sit in his record store for hours and talk about the scene, his record label, all the bands that has had problems with him, etc.

    Richard and his ex wife started Wild Rags as a partnership. She sold clothes and he ran the label part. Even after their divorce they still worked together.

    Richard lived in the store and was extremely passionate about what he did.

    I'm glad to see a ton of positive posts about Richard Campos. He was always a great guy and welcomed me and my friends into his store with open arms.

  25. Richard, come back. All is forgiven. We love you xxxxx

  26. Richard was a fucking prick, man!!! I dealt was his rudeness to customers when I used to shop at Wild Rags in the 1990s. Actually, I first met him back in 1985 when I was 14. It was when he was selling heavy metal paraphernalia at the swapmeet in the city of Rosemead. My Mom had taken me with her to visit that swapmeet one morning and she had given me some spending money. I come across Richards little spot over there and saw a Judas Priest shirt that I liked. So I decided to buy it. When I had shown my Mom what I had bought, she looked at it and could tell that the shirt was of very shitty quality, so she talked me into returning it for a refund and then buying the shirt of better quality somewhere else. So when we went back to his spot and tried to return it, he told us that he doesn't accept returns. Then my Mother told him that he doesn't have a sign stating 'no refunds'. Then they started to get into a huge argument, and he started talkin' some shit. This was the Richard that I later knew when I started shopping at Wild Rags, around the late 80s till the store went out of business. He was rude to me on the phone a couple times. Let's just hope that someone has kicked his ass by now for his raunchy mouth......Fuck you, Richard!!!

  27. This is all interesting to read. I am currently collecting the wild rags back catalogue, and also got some of my buys from his daughter lil who is really great to deal with.
    I know nothing about Richard, but he opened a lot of doors for underground bands and that has to count for something, also there are some great releases on the label

  28. Back in '92, when I was making my first steps into the world of underground metal, the word on everybody's mouth regarding Wild Rags was 'rip-off' and nothing else.

    So, I refrained from placing an order with him even though I dearly wanted it. His distro list was just massive and full of amazing stuff!

    It's nice to read positive comments about him and the work he did because I have managed to track down and purchase quite a few of the label's releases; some of this stuff is just excellent!

    My copy of 'Fallen angel of doom' on vinyl is more than enough to do the trick for me, every time!

  29. I was never in touch with Richard C, but I was in touch with Lori Bravo and Steve Cowan of Nuclear Death, who sent me tons of anti-Wild Rags flyers to give out. They HATED him for apparently ripping them off.

  30. @ Dave La Roxxx
    The only prick here is you, why would you buy a shirt of "low quality" and then take your "Mommy" to demand a refund?... It is your fault who bought the shirt in the first pace don't blame RC. I owned my own shop so I know what a hassle and annoyance it is for people that do this sort of thing, you buy something then a few minutes later you come back and demand a refund, business ISN'T A GAME. So if you buy something, then enjoy it or deal with the bad decision YOU made in purchasing the item. Don't return and whine about it like the little prick that you are. And another thing, if you claim you have had a "bad" experience with him before, why continue purchasing stuff from him?... So FUCK YOU Dave La Roxxx

  31. Wow. Found this thread for the same reasons most other people did.

    I used to do a 'zine from about 92-94 and of course found myself in touch with Richard C, marveling over the grimy selections he had for sale in his catalogs. I had heard from countless folks that this dude was a total rip-off but didn't really know what to make of it because he kept sending me these promo-catalog-zine things (which mostly consisted of distro lists and the occasional interview). I never ordered anything from him because his prices were a bit expensive ($6-7 per tape, which was a lot those days, especially when you are in junior high like i was).

    He was doing an upcoming "underground zine special" issue of The Wild Rag and I asked if I could be listed in it. He said "sure, no problem - just send me 5-10 copies of your zine". I wrote back asking, "What's the deal? Are you going to sell these? Why can't I send you just one copy? Seems like a rip-off to me".... he wrote me back a nasty letter telling me to suck his dick and go fuck myself, blah blah blah blah.

    Next issue of The Wild Rag came out with a big special feature on zines in it and in there was a section of the article about "ripoffs" and sure enough, my zine's name and address were there with a small blurb describing how i'm a rip-off and untrustworthy. All because I raised questions about sending him a pile of free zines.

    Douche central!

  32. uff!!! como muchos de ustedes he caido en este block buscando noticias de este emblematico sello y de este renombrado sr. Campos!!!
    La verdad es que nunca tuve contacto con el, pues en esos años de estudio era mas importante beber vino y jugetear con las muchachas que comprar material, pero en fin, el tiempo pasa y la nostalgia me biene a la mente con cantidades de fanzines que tenian reFerencia a WILD RAG,y ni hablar de los grandes legados como IMPETIGO, BLASPHEMY que en la actualidad despues de mas de 20 años de musica estan dentro de la mejor parte de mi estanteria. Solo acabar con decirles que en esos tiempos las cosas no son como ahora....cada cosas en su tiempo....pero WILD RAG dejo un legado que nadie lo podra opacar...
    PD 1: LARGA VIDA A LA PALABRA RIP OFF!!!!(diccionario del undergroun mundial)
    PD 2: este block a sido leido por mucha gente de habla en castellano, por eso no es traducido
    BLOODY CROSS forever!!!!!!!!

  33. Interesting to hear the stories on Richard here. I too heard all the rip off stuff but all my dealings with him were solid. He always threw extra stuff in which is why people sent him things. I even got a Nocturnus demo tossed in with an order shortly before The Key came out!

    The bands and other 'zines I knew personally said they had no problems so agree a lot of it may have been misunderstanding. The reason asked for a few copies of a zine was because he'd get them out to people. He was about getting the info and the music out there. Aside from the big reputation my understanding was that it was a pretty small operation. So obviously if something was lost in the mail, he couldn't afford to just replace it like Metal Disc or something like that could.

    There was another small label called Seraphic Decay and that guy also had a bad reputation for being a rip off. There were flyers going around about that and never had any problems there either. Possibly I just got lucky?!

    1. Steve O'Bannon probably wasn't even his real name. Total asswad douchebag lying thief.
      Richard was a dick as well. He didn't do anything that didn't benefit him. CONSTANTLY lied about what bands sounded like just to get me to buy shitty records that were a waste of money.

  34. @anonymous: If Richard did not want to grant a refund, that's fine. But he was a real shit talker and very rude and unprofessional on many occasions when it wasn't called for. Lots of people will tell you the same thing. And then, of course, I stopped shopping there. Why do you diss me? I understand that there are certain policies that a store has, but he didn't have handle things the way he did. Do you really blame me for disliking RC? Maybe you always had good experiences with him, which I also had a few as well.. But several bad ones too..

  35. @anonymous: If Richard did not want to grant a refund, that's fine. But he was a real shit talker and very rude and unprofessional on many occasions when it wasn't called for. Lots of people will tell you the same thing. And then, of course, I stopped shopping there. Why do you diss me? I understand that there are certain policies that a store has, but he didn't have handle things the way he did. Do you really blame me for disliking RC? Maybe you always had good experiences with him, which I also had a few as well.. But several bad ones too..

  36. Richard was rude and unpolite to his customers and talked much shit, but that still doesn't give me right to talk shit about him to everybody either, as printed above. That makes me look bad the way he did, so I take back the statement above, if I can. Hopefully, he'll see the brighter side of things one day... Peace...

  37. I apologize for talkin' shit above... That's the past... Peace and respect to Richard C... \m/

  38. Off-topic, but that daughter of his is an arrogant, dumb, fat piece of trash. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

  39. Wild Rags releases kick total ass!!! Loved everything I got from them- long live metal !!! Hails

  40. I worked at this place for the last few years it was open i can tell you richard didnt ripp off people but he did ripp off the IRS big time by not paying his taxes, he was a straight forward NO BULLSHIT dude who most likely said he wasnt richard back in the day because he was verry popular not because he ripped people off and as far as the group of people makin the flyers look at the guys from dark realm who are also the guys from Ritual. They always had beef with rags and richard. He would be straight forward with you, if you walked in to his store and asked for something he WOULD have it and expect you to buy it if you made him pull it out, consumers are morons and he treated them as such. and no he is not in mexico. which in fact btw isnt his home country.

  41. So do you know where he is? Is he well?

  42. I would like to know where he is too. I just want to say hi. I did a one page (front and back thing) called Amy's Newsletter from 1992-1997. It was kinda like a fanzine. I wrote about bands and 'zines and swapped ads and stuff like that. I had tons of pen pals back in those days. I forget originally how I came into contact with Wild Rags but I'm thinking maybe it was from an ad in the Rolling Stone classifieds or something. Anyway it was Richard C and a guy named Mark from Rock Fetish in FL who helped me make all of my copies of my newsletter and I would send them some for free to hand out as well. Richard always sent me big priority mail envelopes full of promo cd's stickers and 'zines. Once I asked for a photo of him (because we were pen pals) and the one he sent me, he is wearing sunglasses. I always thought perhaps he just was shy or wanted to seem mysterious. It's funny, I still have that photo and until tonight I never knew what he looked like (without shades I mean). I happened to find a photo tonight while I was searching the web. Funny the things you wake up thinking about in the early morning hours. Also Richard used to call me to talk a little sometimes. The time I remember most was one Valentine's Day, my little brother had answered the phone...then he yelled "Amy, the president's on the phone" and it was Richard. I still get a kick out of that one. Anyway I have no idea if anyone was ever ripped off or whatever but he was always a cool guy to me and I wish him only the best wherever he is.

    1. Hi...
      Could you please email me at - I'm interested to get a full story about your experience with Wild Rags Recs.

  43. Mis respetos a Richard c. donde quiera que este.

  44. I started listening to death, black and doom metal back in the mid nineties and got in touch with Ricardo Campos in the transition of the XX to the XXI century.

    I am from Portugal (Europa) and even here he was really famous as a rip-off. All metalheads advised me not to get in touch with him. Anyway I realy wanted those THERGOTHON and UNHOLY demo tapes, two milestones releases in funeral doom metal from Finland.

    He was really nice in all our short snail mail correspondence. I got those two tapes really cheap and he sent lots of flyers, catalogues, free zines and CDs as a bonus. Of course the layout of the catalogue and releases wasn't as good as NUCLEAR BLAST, MUSIC FOR NATIONS or DISPLEASED! Of course everything was kind of cheesy around the WILD RAGS name and concept. But that was so genuine and trult underground!!

    I am really glad that I found this topic because all this info was a missing piece in a very obscure puzzle that was my teenage years, long before internet when the only way to get music was throuh my MOURNFUL TAPE TRADING and NEVOAS RADIO SHOW.

    Thank you very much to all of you. And respect to Richard C. wherever you are!





  46. My boyfriend and I used to spend a lot of time at Wild Rags, looking through the demos, fanzines, vinyl and attending signings (VoiVod, Dark Angel, Destruction). I ended up working there for a short time in '88, or maybe it was '89. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Jesus Tovar, aka Jose de Jesus Tovar (Chuy) please comment. Thanks.

  47. I grew up in Montebello, I spent a lot of money in the late 80s/90s at his store. I wasn't into the death metal stuff, I would go for the latest Flipside and Maximum Rock And Roll... I loved his video rentals, all the old Target videos. Sometimes we would go in just to look, I was there a lot, and I never had an issue with him, he was always cool to me... Although everyone at MHS called him a dick, no one ever said why. I think it was just popular to call him a dick. RIP Wild Rags.

  48. Growing up in ELA and Montebello, I spent a lot of time there. Spent a lot of money there as well. I was able to get what I was looking for back then without having to go all the way to Hollywood. He had cool punk videos, most of them with very shitty quality. For the time, they were cool! Richard was a Dick. He had an attitude problem. I only seen him act tuff with the kids. Any grown man would have kick his ass. I wonder if he had any friends, he was always at the shows by himself. I still have the "Necrophagia", "Bloodcum", and "Preacher" albums from the "Wild Rags HARDCORE DEMO SERIES". I paid $5 for them at time. Good memories.

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  50. I used to drive there every week in the early 90's. Anyways one time I asked Richard if I could use the restroom. He says yeah and tells me where it is. So I go back there and man, I've never seen so many boxes in my life. I asked him if he knew what was in there and he says "fuck no". He gets one and opens it and it's brand new copies of metallica 6 1/2 years ep. Now this was in metallica's prime of their popularity. I just laughed. But man do I miss that place! Btw dark realm sucks and they always sucked. Their selection was always weak compared to wild rags

  51. I dealt with Richard C for many years. He was always upfront and sent some great promos and WILD RAGS samplers along with his fanzine. He was mostly into DEATH METAL, Grindcore etc... However, I'd see fair reviews of Melodic Power Metal in his magazine. I discovered a lot of great bands through Richard C. He never once ripped me off nor any of my Metalhead friends. Always wondered what happened to him. Hope he is well and listening to METAL wherever he is.

  52. Wild Rags was a sweet record store and I remember many occasions visiting the store with my brother and friends. I remember Richard not being the most pleasant guy to deal with but his store was second to none. I remember the day it closed and seeing the auction sign out front, was a very sad day.

  53. Man, how "wild" to find this thread on Richard C and Wild Rags! Here's my humble bit on that scene. I am actually from Huntsville, Alabama but spent summers during my teen years in the late 1980's in SoCal where my mother lived (San Fernando Valley). I even moved there semi-permanently in 1991 after high school. I have since returned to Alabama long ago, but anyway... I was a huge metalhead back then and loved visiting there because I had access to so much great heavy music there I couldn't find in Bama. Saw many great shows at the Santa Monica Civic (Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, VoiVod, Danzig, Exodus, etc) during that time. I actually learned about Wild Rags when a friend of mine's band Humanicide from Alabama signed on with WRR. So the next time I was in SoCal I made a point to visit the store in person. I took a freakin' RTD bus from Van Nuys all the way to Montebello on a few occasions and spoke with Richard C every time. He was always cool with me and usually sent me home with a few demos from all over the world. I would bring him copies of bands from back home as well in the hopes he might give them a shot. He sent me his catalogs in the mail and I was always surprised that the clothing line didn't match the music he released. I understand why now. Funny thing, I became a late blooming musician myself and played in a handful of bands in Alabama ranging from Southern rock to metal to rockabilly. A good friend of mine and drummer in a couple of those bands with me named Brian Ridley once gave me a copy of his teenage death metal band's cd and whaddaya know! It was on Wild Rags Records! The band was Necrotomy from Texas by the way. I knew that Richard had rubbed a lot of folks the wrong way supposedly, but Ridley didn't seem to have much negative to say really. I haven't talked to my friends from Humanicide in many many years, but don't recall them saying anything bad other than the whole operation was very low budget. But now I'm a small business owner myself and it's how I live. I can sympathize with Richard and I can appreciate his dedication and enthusiasm for the music and bands he loved. My store is actually a boutique style craft beer store and I feel the same about the small breweries I work with and promote at my store. So regardless of where Richard may be these days and despite all the negativity that has been heaped on him over the years, I hope he is doing well. Really fun taking the trip down memory lane.

  54. Hello everybody...
    I'm Ason from Malaysia and doing my zine called ' Ultimate Darkness '. I want to make a section discussing about Wild Rags Recs for my upcoming issue which will be release in nov or dec 2017. I welcome everyone to submit their stories ( Positive or negative ) about Wild Rags Recs to my email at =
    Please state your name and place/country.
    Thanks and cheers from Asia.

  55. I published a zine in the late 80's, early 90's (East Coast) and I too got the "care packages" from Richard, loaded with records, flyers, zines, etc. Most record labels at the time were very selective about who they sent promos to, especially zines as there were dozens of crappy, short-lived publications for every one that had some quality, longevity, and decent circulation. For a zine editor, getting on a label’s promo list was a huge deal. I can imagine labels paid thousands of dollars in postal fees mailing hundreds of promo records (vinyl) to magazines and fanzines all across the globe. The marketing budget for each release must have been substantial. Richard pretty much sent his stuff to anyone that would listen. Most of the glossy publications didn’t take him seriously, so he relied on ‘zines to help get the word out about his releases… as well as the street team kids and what not. It was pretty brilliant marketing on his part. He knew his audience and he knew how to get the word out. In a lot of ways, he capitalized more than anyone at the time on the pre-internet network of tape traders and mail order fans. That of course left the door wide open for scrutiny. For every botched order, there was some kid ranting about how much WRR sucked and that they were “rip offs”.

    I think pretty much anyone who did any kind of business with him at all during that period knew about his "reputation" or had received one of the anti- WRR flyers as the folks who hated him were just as active in the underground trading scene/ network as he was. I can’t really speak to that as I was never ripped off or had any negative dealings with him, but it wasn’t uncommon in that era for any band on any label to feel ripped off to some degree by their labels for one reason or another. Richard C was an easy target.

    Much later I also ran a record label, so I understand the complexities of working with artists and accounting, paying bands etc. I don’t know what kind of contracts he had with his bands (if any), but it’s likely his accounting practices were messy especially if he was allegedly “cheating” the IRS. I can’t say to what extent he may or may not have been cheating the bands he worked with… I never dealt with him in that capacity. He did a lot of barter deals for merchandise and advertising. He was giving away a ton of merch and spending a lot of money in postage fees to get the word out. All of that stuff is tricky to account for. I can certainly see how a band selling a few hundred or thousand records would get pissed that they weren’t seeing any money as he was spending a ton and probably not accounting for all of it. The reality is, most of his releases probably lost money and the store floated him, allowing him to stay in business.

    Anyway, it’s difficult to tell if Richard’s intentions were good. He answered pretty much every piece of mail he got and made nice with his fans. He even picked up the phone and randomly called me a couple of times to talk about my zine, his label, the rumors, and just shoot the shit about music. Maybe he was a good marketer and salesman and was a pro at exploitation, or maybe he was just a huge fan that was trying to do his best in a hard business. Everyone seems to have an opinion on that.

    I lost touch with him in the early 90’s when I stopped publishing my zine, and was surprised to see how active he still was for several years well into the late 90’s. Bands would still work with him, regardless of his rep and he clearly put out some highly influential stuff. He was way ahead of the game and saw something in many bands that most labels at the time would take a pass on. I do believe the guy deserves some credit for that.

    I do know some folks who new him personally or had met him and thought he was a clown. I just never experienced it, personally, but I never met the guy face to face either.

  56. I miss shops like Wild Rags, British Imports, and La Casa De Candles... Those days are long gone. Those were fun places to shop at. As I mentioned earlier about some of my shopping experiences at Wild Rags, I know what its like to do business with annoying customers (working as a cashier so many years) so now I understand maybe that’s why Richard was the way he was, but his place had all kinds of kick ass stuff to buy. Stage clothing, albums, shirts, posters, you name it (there’s no more shops of that sort around here, all online now). I do remember these rockstar figurines he used to sell, you had to paint them yourself and post a photo of a face onto the movable head. British Imports had the sickest selection of leather accessories too. Lord I miss the 80s...

  57. his ugly picture is on the internet. Dick scratched my record . He did not like us high school kids.

  58. Growing up I met him a few times in his store and the last time I saw him was at a concert at Soma San Diego when it was located downtown. Kreator, Morbid Angel, Unleashed from Sweden, the LA band Sadistic Intent played there too he gave me a couple wild rags records T-shirts printed "the smallest but heaviest record label" Early 90s he sent releases for review regularly, featured my zine Thrashikus in his newsletter which sold out. Hellwitch is an amazing band he released. Unfortunately things went south between him and Hellwitch, Nuclear Death, some other bands. I think the rip-off stuff is coming mostly from bands with recordings released on his label.

  59. Para aquellos que sufren de ansiedad y depresión, los animales suelen ser de gran ayuda para afrontar el día y las dificultades que se encuentran a diario, en especial los perros de servicio. Esto es cierto tanto para adultos como para niños.

  60. I remember ordering tons of cassettes and CDS from Wild Rags in the early 90s. Always got what I ordered in quick fashion. Subscribed to the newsletter as well and always received those.