This one is a little long… but it was such a wonderful look down someone’s memories.
Today’s Tip – Lights, Cameras, Dreams and… flash bombs?; Guest Blogger: Lenny Bellezza (Musician)
So let’s see where do I begin, I think at some point in everyone’s life, you are given the chance to do something that will be your mark, something that you will always be known for, Of course things don’t always work out the way you want to, but still; it was your time. Lets see the year was 1968, I decide I want to play an instrument, of course my mom rest her soul wants me to play the piccolo, I of course want to play drums, All I can say is THANK YOU uncle Frankie, He was my soul supporter, and if anyone was lucky enough to grow up in our family they got to listen first hand of some really talented guys, this side of our family all played an instrument.. It’s in our blood, I look back on times where Uncle Frank and Frank Tripi would make me sit in and play drums with them even though I was green at it and let’s face it I pretty much sucked, but they still made you feel like buddy rich (you youngster won’t have a clue who that is) So now it’s 1971, My dream comes true, I join a rock and roll band. Here we go, I look back at those early years and I laugh to the point of crying, my first drum set consisted of an old marching band bass drum and snare with a cymbal that screwed on to the bass drum (Neal pert it’s not). But hey it’s a set none the less, My friend Joe played guitar, an old GRETCH, Alan played bass and our organ player actually played an accordion with a microphone taped to it, and bill was our singer, crude as it was we all thought we were super stars.
We immortalized black magic women and evil ways from Santana, I’m pretty sure Joe still has that reel to reel recording of the infamous night, Now its Xmas 1972 with the help of Uncle Frankie my parents surprise me with a real drum set for x-mas.. Let the good times roll! So at this point your thinking he goes on becomes a great drummer the band excelled, Well not quite, we did play together for a while, then the unforeseen happens, I break my arm, nothing worse can happen to a drummer. I did resume playing again but was never the same, just to give you a smell from the 70’s our first band name was “mother grass” Then we changed it to “Sabu” then to “Doc Holiday” It stayed that way for a year or so, our singer left, we hired “Andy” Joe Left and Gary and Frank joined up with Al and I eventually left and was replaced by Wayne. Then the 70’s kicked in full throttle, they actually got real good, doing a lot of the 70’s cover’s , Remember me talking about making your mark, well I actually went back the band, The wanted to add a pyrotechnics light show “ding ding” I Like the sound of that.
I found my Niche, and I know your saying really lights, niche REALLY? They are only lights… anyone who knows music knows the importance of a good light show, you end up getting a reputation when people come to see you, PINK FLOYD do I need to say anymore, I created a absolute mind boggling, light show, strobes, smoke, explosions you name it, I think in the beginning when we first started playing out regularly there wasn’t a gym floor around that didn’t bare the battle scars from my flash bombs.. And here’s the thing, as a lighting tech you need to know every break in the song, every little nuance that each guitar player does, it’s just as important as being on stage with an instrument, and better then that… having the respect of the musicians on stage because they know if they piss you off, with a single throw of a switch you can blow them to smithereens..
So now the band is at its prime the name changes again to TRIXX, we have the respect of many followers we are being sort after by many clubs on the island and new jersey to play for them, we open for a few headliners, Rick derringer, Johnny winters, the good rats (got to love them) to name a few. Just as we really start to excel tragedy strikes, Gary our lead guitarist gets killed in a car accident in Sayville after we finished playing a local club… It’s something that took years for me to get over, he was my friend and like a brother to me. That pretty much sealed it for me, the band went into a different directions, Gary was replaced by a guy named Bryan Unger. Who by the way is an excellent guitarist, I still get some of my peeps who used to see us play tell me that the lights were amazing, they loved the flash bombs.
Of course thanks to a few morons who burned clubs down, that aspect of the light shows are gone.. assholes… use flash powder not black powder geez really? and to fast forward to my life now, I’m in corporate America, making no money hating what I do, and not a day goes by where I don’t totally miss those days, and trust me this was a watered down version, I relive my youth and love of the music scene thru cousins and friends who I respect for sticking it out in a very tough field. Oh and 1 side note, Everyone has a hero they look up to sometime in their life, and even though they may never say anything to anyone about it, My cousin Frankie, I was never more proud of a guy (served in VIET NAM IN THE 60’S) I will always look up to that guy for what he did, so many people came back all fucked up from that war, I had a draft card, if the draft would have continued I would have been drafted, and who knows where that would have led to.
So here is my advice, follow what makes you happy take a gamble, give the other guy a break maybe he’s having a rough day just like you, and take that step back and a deep breath. In the end your destiny is where it leads you…