Dust was an American northeast power trio that released two albums, Dust and Hard Attack, on Kama Sutra in 1971/72.

Members: Richie Wise (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals), Marc Bell [Marky Ramone] (drums), Kenny Aaronson (bass, steel guitar, Dobro, bottleneck guitar)


Dust formed in 1969 in New York City when guitarist Richie Wise teamed with two teenage musicians: bassist/guitarist Kenny Aaronson and drummer Marc Bell. They became one of the earliest clients of aspiring manager Kenny Kerner, who assisted the trio with lyrics. Kama Sutra, a local bubblegum label recently under the distribution arm of Buddah, included Dust in a post-psych contract scoop (Albino Gorilla, Exuma, Buzzy Linhart, Hackamore Brick).

1971: Dust

Dust released their self-titled debut album in September 1971 on Kama Sutra. Wise and Kerner co-wrote six of the album’s seven tracks, including “Stone Woman,” “Love Me Hard,” “Often Shadows Felt,” and the 10-minute epic “From a Dry Camel.” Aaronson wrote the final track, “Loose Goose.”

Kerner produced Dust with input from the band and Kama/Buddah cover designer Dominic Sicilia. The album was mastered at Sterling Sound by Bob Ludwig, who also engineered 1970/71 recordings by Banchee, Cactus, Focus (Moving Waves), Mandrill, Mountain, and Seatrain.

Sicilia designed the cover, an image of three dusty skeletons (representing the band) taken from the Archives of the Catacombs of Rome.

Kama Sutra issued two singles from Dust: “Stone Woman” (b/w “Loose Goose“) and a mono/stereo promo 7” of “Love Me Hard.”

1972: Hard Attack

Dust’s second album, Hard Attack, appeared in May 1972 on Kama Sutra in the US, Canada, Germany, and Italy. It features nine Wise/Kerner numbers, including “Pull Away / So Many Times,” “Ivory,” “Thusly Spoken,” and “Walk in the Soft Rain.” Aaronson and Kerner co-wrote “Learning to Die,” the six-minute epic that closes side one. The album wraps with “Suicide” and the postlude “Entrance.”

Kerner produced Hard Attack at Bell Sound Studios with engineer Harry Yarmark, who also worked on 1972 albums by The Impressions and Norman Connors. Conductor Larry Wilcox (Aretha Franklin, Betty Wright, 5th Dimension) arranged strings on select passages.

Original copies of Hard Attack are housed in a gatefold sleeve with a painting of axe-wielding vikings on a mountaintop. The artist, noted comic and sci-fi paperback illustrator Frank Frazetta, later did album covers in a similar style for Nazareth and Molly Hatchet. The inner-spread has member shots by photographer Bob Gruen, also credited on 1971/72 albums by Larry Coryell, Elton John, and Elephant’s Memory.

After Dust

Wise played on the 1972/73 Kama Sutra releases Reincarnation and Life by Bahamian musician Exuma. He later played on the first album by Kiss and the 1977 Private Stock release by Long Beach hard-rockers Emperor. As a producer, he worked with Stories, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Elkie Brooks, and supergroup KGB.

Aaronson joined Stories for their 1973 third album Traveling Underground, released as Ian Lloyd & Stories. He then joined Derringer for a five-album run (1976–79). After an early ’80s touring stint with Foghat, he teamed with guitarist/singer Sammy Hagar (Montrose) and two Santana alumni: keyboardist Michael Shrieve (Automatic Man, Novo Combo) and guitarist Neal Schon (Journey) in the supergroup HSAS, which issued the 1984 live album Through the Fire, composed of original material. Later that decade, he worked with Billy Idol, Billy Squier, and Blue Oyster Cult.

Bell auditioned for the New York Dolls, who didn’t like his sophistication and technique. He instead joined hard-rockers Estus for a 1973 album on Columbia. In 1976, Bell surfaced as the drummer in Richard Hell’s Voidoids and played on their 1977 album Blank Generation. As Marky Ramone, he recorded 10 studio albums with The Ramones, starting with their 1978 fourth album Road to Ruin.

Dust and Hard Attack, were first reissued on CD in 1989 on Repertoire Records. In 2013, the two albums were paired onto one disc by Legacy Recordings. 


  • Dust (1971)
  • Hard Attack (1972)


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