Here is my story...

It all started with my parents taking me to see KISS in concert in Milwaukee, WI. I was 5 or 6 years old and I immediately knew that was what I needed and wanted to do. From that point on I was the king of tennis racket guitar. Being extremely shy as a kid my parents made me take guitar lessons at the age of 9. My first several lessons were with a woman in her late 20’s who was about 7 months pregnant. She taught me all of the things I didn’t want to learn. Old folk tunes and things that a kid in love with Van Halen and KISS could care less about. One week I showed up and she wasn’t there. In her place was a 17- year old teacher named Mike. He looked cool and played great. We learned an AC/DC song and I was hooked. I practiced and practiced and practiced some more. I would fall asleep every night dreaming about being a rockstar. Limos and mansions...

I had a few childhood friends who I convinced to start playing, one on bass and the other on drums. We played the local fairs and even played our high school and a bar or two all before we could drive. They always told me I was too serious about music, but I knew in my heart that this is what I wanted to do and I wasn’t willing to sacrifice anything to give up on my dream. After high school my 3 friends and I joined other bands separately and together and continued playing music. As we got older their aspirations became different from mine. They saw the music thing as a very unstable life choice and I could not blame them but I needed to follow my gut and continue playing guitar. It was the only thing that made me feel whole and unique...

In the late 90’s I felt like I had went as far as I was going to go in IL and I decided to pack up and move to TX to pursue my dream. It was the best thing I ever did. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had and found that this crazy dream I had was actually attainable. After a few years in TX I joined a band and toured. We did several tours across the US and had a lot of fun. We slept in vans in truck stops, in the middle of February, in New York. We bathed in restaurant and club bathrooms. I have some amazing memories...

In September of 2001 we drove to New York City to play the CMJ Music Marathon. On 9/11 the world changed forever and we watched the buildings burn from our friend’s Manhattan apartment rooftop. All shows were canceled, we drove back to TX and the band was done...

I played around town with a few bands but I was starting to think things needed to change. I was considering moving to LA when I received a call from an acquaintance asking if I might be interested in trying out for this really great band he was in. I said sure, auditioned and ended up getting the gig. It was everything I thought I wanted. We recorded, we toured, we released our first CD, we shot a video, we toured, we released a live DVD, we shot another video, we toured, we wrote new songs, we recorded, we toured, we released our second CD, we shot another video and toured some more. I met some amazing people along the way, even some of my idols. My dream had become a reality and I was beyond happy. I was in my dream band and playing my guitar everyday...

Then things started to change. This thing that I was so excited about began to become a beast. It was no longer fun. I really started to question my life choice. Why was I so depressed and unhappy when I’m doing what I love? At the end of the day I realized I was devoting all of my life and time to this band that really wasn’t mine. So I walked away. I promised myself: if I’m going to continue to play music and devote my life to this dream than it needs to be a true band. Equal in every way. No one person making more than the guy sitting next to him and not one person receiving special treatment over anyone else. There’s a reason bands like U2 do it that way. Having the same members for 25 years says it all...

After I left the band I sat around for a few months and then I dusted myself off and began all over again. In 2008 I was invited to join up with some friends in Nashville. I felt I had gone as far as I could go in TX. So I gave up all I had built over the last decade, packed up and moved to TN.

From 2009 until 2013 I was a member of the Nashville-based band, Adalene. We opened for everyone from Bush and Halestorm to Apocalyptica and The All-American Rejects. We released two EP's - 2010's "Night On Fire" and 2013's "Atlantic Heart" before disbanding.

Since late 2014 I have been working on my own band called Lights of Marfa. After several false starts, we began releasing singles in February of 2019 and have so far released 14 singles. Some include music videos as well. All created completely DIY.

I continue to write, record, play and repeat. I’m not sure what the future holds but I do know that there’s no time like the present to make your dreams come true.

It’s funny, the older I get the more I wonder if this crazy dream was all worth it. I look at my friends with their day jobs and some sense of normalcy and wonder what would have been had I never seen that concert as a child. Then I talk to them and they tell me not to give up. That since we were kids I was the one guy that was actually going to do this and they wonder what would’ve been had they actually continued playing. They tell me that they know this is what I’m meant to do. I guess I know that too or I wouldn’t be here still chasing the dream. Oh yeah. I still dream about being a rockstar every night. Except now I could live without the limos and mansions as long as I can do what I love...

Peace, Rizzo


Born in Kenosha, WI. Grew up in Rockford, IL. 
1992 - 1993: Member of Essie Ecks 
Performed regionally. 

1993 - 1994: Member of Motormouth 
Released 1 EP, "Family of Freaks", independently. 
Performed regionally. 

1995 - 1997: Member of LeSonic 
Released 1 EP, "Lounge", independently. 
Performed regionally. 

1998: Moved to Dallas, TX 

1999 - 2001: Member of Clumsy 
Toured the country several times. 

2003 - 2007: Member of Burden Brothers 
Toured and opened for Velvet Revolver, Jane's Addiction, Billy Idol, 
Breaking Benjamin, Finger Eleven, Local H, Seven Mary Three, and many more. 
Performed at 2006 Lollapalooza Festival. 
Released 2 full length CD's and 1 Concert DVD on Sony/Red. 

2008: Moved to Nashville, TN 

2009 - 2013: Member of Adalene 
Opened for Bush, Halestorm, 10 Years, RED, Fuel, Redlights Kings, Framing Hanley, Full Devil Jacket, and more. 
Released 2 EP's on Idol Records. 
Toured regionally. 

2013 - current: Member of Lights of Marfa 
released 14 singles AND 7 MUSIC VIDEOS since February 2019. 

Other notes: 
Worked with Justin Meldal-Johnson, David Castell, Joe Chicarelli, Chris Scruggs. 
Godin Guitar and REVV Amplifier endorsee. Featured in Premier Guitar magazine (full page ad).