What do you ask a local notable who 1) has spent decades in the industry, 2) has an exciting new project to promote, and 3) is also widely recognized as an adept angler?
Well, if you're the Crawler, you ask about the secret to such longevity, about juicy celebrity stories and about fishing tips, of course. And that's just what transpired when the opportunity arose one week prior to Johnny Spampinato's Iron Horse engagement with the Spampinato Brothers. Here's how it went down.
Nightcrawler: You've worked with NRBQ and the Incredible Casuals most notably, so I'm wondering what made you decide the timing was right to dive into a new endeavor with your brother Joey?
Johnny Spampinato: Joey and I always wanted to do an album, band, et cerera, and the time was right when the Q was off. The CD came about after a few songs got recorded. We decided on an album over an EP. So we worked slowly in the studio until there was enough good stuff.
What can we expect at the Spampinato Brothers show at the Iron Horse July 23? Everything from your Pie In The Sky disc to some assorted Casuals/NRBQ chestnuts?
We've been adding Pie songs as we go. We do a few already, and they've been going over very well. We will be adding more of them in.
It's so great that you and your brother still enjoy the "sibling revelry," so to speak. To what do you attribute your great working relationship? Was your family musical?
Our dad played guitar, and used to cut his own records back when his friends came over to play. Johnny Cucci, Tony Lento and others were some of the names I remember as a kid. They would play, and my dad would put a blank disc on and they'd go though a number. If there was a mistake, he'd toss it. Different than nowadays. My dad always had music playing in the house. His stereo was his pride. We had the best, and knew it. He recorded Joey's first band, The 7 of Us, in our apartment. Beatles records couldn't sound better than on my dad's system. This was the important start to the music scene. There was a guitar always around, and my dad and Joey would show me chords. I'd play with the stereo and try to cop parts, licks.
I'm a sucker for good stories, and I know you have heaps of them that include a veritable Who's Who of rock royalty. Would you care to share some of your career highlights?
Playing the Elvis tribute with all those stars was a thrill. We got to hang out with Elvis' original band, the Jordanairs, James Burton, and many others. Just about everyone was there. We backed up Jerry Lee, and it was mayhem. Another highlight was being a cartoon on The Simpsons. Very cool to be a part of that.
I also hear you are quite the angler. Still getting time to get out there and rip a few lips?
I keep my gear in the car most of the time. Right now the striped bass have been the thing on Cape Cod. The bluefish have arrived as well. Freshwater fishing has taken a back seat to the saltwater. I love catching them on the fly, too.
Also on July 23, Valley upstarts the Drunk Stuntmen invade Bourne Scenic Park (http://bournescenicpark.co m) with special guest Mike Flood and blues/roots rockers Damon Reeves & The Love Thieves (facebook.com/damonreevesband) make their Bishop's Lounge debut.
"It's actually a huge week for us," Reeves notes of the latter. "Bishop's Lounge has such a great, laid-back vibe and is just a fantastic spot to check out live music in an intimate setting. Then on July 30, we have the honor of opening for blues legend Kenny Neal at the Iron Horse."
Send correspondence to Nightcrawler, PO Box 427, Somers, CT 06071; fax to (860) 394-4262 or email Garycarra@aol.com.