Celia and Rick continued writing songs, incorporating more rhythmically developed grooves, in part, by Celia visiting an african dance class with good friend Marianne Harkless, an incredible dancer from Boston, and her partner Kwame Purnell, an african drummer and close friend of Rick’s. Through their association, Celia and Rick’s music experience expanded as well as their writing. Studio recording helped their song development and also provided a solution to performing without a band.
With two shows coming up on Martha’s Vineyard at Carly Simon's coffee house in Vineyard Haven, they tried recording tracks to play along with. Bass, drums, background vocals, etc., would be on a tape, plugged into the p.a., with two tracks. One track would cue song beginnings through monitor speakers and the other track would go out through the PA. During one performance the audience helped Celia and Rick write a new song, on the spot. Before you knew it, the stage had eight people on it singing, dancing, and playing the extra instruments they had. What fun that was!
One day, soon after the shows, Rick’s childhood friend and tremendous musician Taylor “Chip” Smith, called from somewhere in Europe while touring and said ”I had a really vivid dream last night that we were playing and singing in a band together. I just told the guys I was leaving the band and going to Cambridge to start a reggae band with my friends Celia and Rick. Who can argue with a dream.” And so, the “Neptunes” were born. Original reggae music with an emphasis on harmony vocals. Fortunately the band landed Lorne Entress on drums and with Taylor on bass the Neptunes were strong on the bottom end. Plus with Celia on keys and Rick on guitar this was a good band. And a good start for what would later, much later, become the Wicked Hangin Chads.
Celia was now a regular at the african dance class in Central Square and had been befriended by the teacher, Ibrahima. Ibrahima Camara was a well known african dancer and drummer who had performed on Stevie Wonders’ “Secret Life of Plants” album and recorded some soundtrack work for Quincy Jones. When Ibrahima found out that Celia and Rick were no longer playing with the Neptunes, he invited them to play in his World Beat band. Ibrahima’s audition method was to see how you lived, because he felt that if you were calling yourself a musician, you already knew how to play. It was more about getting along as a band on the road. So Celia got the keyboards and Rick got to be one of three in the guitar section.
After the bass player disappeared Rick was asked to fill in. He then got the job full time when auditions for a bassist turned up nothing, So Rick played the bass while still filling in on guitar for some songs and studio recordings. Playing in this band was fortunate also because they met quite an eclectic bunch of musicians that would later follow Rick and Celia to their own world music inspired band. They met one of Jamaica's most celebrated hand percussionist and steel pan players, Mackie Burnette, as well as a wonderful conga player, Sandy Figueroa.
While playing in Ibrahima’s World Beat, Celia became pregnant. Two nights before Christmas she gave birth to Cole, named the band’s “mascot” by Ibrahima. ”But, no more babies!” he announced to the rest of the band. Four days later Celia and Rick played a big show at “Nightstage” in Cambridge, while baby Cole was four blocks away in our little apartment with a dear friend, Bronwen. Three days later they were on the road touring with baby Cole, who would go on to become a drummer and the third member of the Wicked Hangin Chads.
At first they called Cole “bulldozer baby,” because he would crawl along the floor and knock everything over. As he grew he graduated into “bongo boy” as he would sit on one side of the bongo and play the other.
Cole hated being left with a baby sitter while his parents went and played, so Celia and Rick gave their notice and left the band.