Born in Alice Springs, a small town in outback Australia, to violent and abusive parents, Richie's first years as a guitar student were far from simple. His parents were against him playing guitar at all, and labeled his efforts a waste of time.
His formative years were on a diet of Slim Dusty, Johnny Cash and the like. Country music was just about all there was for about the first eight years of his life, and he became a fan of a well-told story, and some good guitar pickin' - which he loves to this day.
Richie's family didn't have television until he was 9 or 10 years old, so the radio was everything - until Richie was given a guitar. Richie's neighbour moved to another town and gave Richie his old guitar. It only had two strings on it, and Richie made the most each of them, - as he has done ever since!!