Richie Begin (b. 1951) was the drummer for The Strain. From 1980 to 1982, he wrote for the Good Times column Night Moves. He was voted Best Male Singer in the 1982 Good Times Best of Santa Cruz Readers Poll Awards.
From July to November 1981, he played as a solo act weekly at the Countryard. He then started a country band, Richie Begin and the Country Jerks. This group started playing at O.T. Price's as early as January 17, 1982. Although this was not a new wave or punk band, this is significant because Richie was the first musician with a punk background to play at Price's venue. The Country Jerks played regularly at Price's throughout the season, while Richie also continued to play regularly as a solo act at the Countryard.
In July 1982 he introduced his new project, The Hi-Beams.
He now bills himself as Richie Begin's Soul University, which provides piano, cocktail trio, dance band services for weddings and corporations. He performs Monday nights at the Crow's Nest.