Where do I start? To me, most bio's of musicians sound like
resumes. As if with some glimmer of hope, someone might read it
and hire them for the next gig. So please, allow me to do
something a little different. Rather than try to impress you with
some boring musical history, I am going to tell a little of who I
am. Just a little, the whole story gets really complicated. Please
excuse my punctuations, cause I was never any good at actual
I was born Thomas Dominic Farese, Jr. in the Bronx on
the hottest day of August in the mid 1950's. I am a third
generation Italian, whose grandparents were all from Naples,
Italy. I grew up in a neighborhood that was filled with people
you see in wise guy movies such as “Bronx Tale” and “Goodfellas.”
My father was probably the most honest, hard working man I have
ever known in my life. He was the youngest of 13 children;
needless to say I come from a very large family.
I grew up very
confused about what was right and wrong. On the one hand here is
my father, who owned 3 restaurants and worked 17 hours a day,
breaking his back to make an honest living. While on the other
hand, my uncles and other guys from the neighborhood were showing
me another side of life! To make a long story short, while other
kids had paper routes I had a numbers route! For those of you who
don't know what that is, trust me it's NOT GOOD! This is when my
parents decided they had to get us the hell out of this
We moved to Long Island, which to me was the equivalent
of landing on the moon. I felt lost and angry. My first day of
school was a nightmare. It seemed the only friends I could make
were the one's I could beat up after school, only to find out that
they had also been exiled from places like Brooklyn and Manhattan.
This made me feel that I was not the only one removed from a
familiar environment. That same summer me and some of the guy's
wanted to get this boat that old man Cronkey was selling, so that
we could spend the summer fishing. So, I came up with this
brilliant idea of opening a lemonade stand, but here's the catch.
I didn't open just one, I opened up a chain of stands. I put one
up on every construction site and all the beaches that were in our
vicinity. Needless to say we went fishing a lot that summer and
had a great seasonal business, which also kept us in a lot of
model airplanes and an unlimited amount of candy. I know what
you’re thinking, what did the kid do to make money in the winter?
Well, being that I excelled in math thanks to the education I got
from my old neighborhood, I ran a 3 card Monte Game in school that
lasted from the time school opened to the time school closed. A
couple of buddies of mine made sure that when I was in class one
of them would take over the game. It was 3-card draw one beat the
house, 25-cent ante bet, up to ten players. I bet you’re asking
yourself, how did he know if his friends were cheating him out of
money? Well, I am not saying they didn't, but I kept book on the
average take on a lunch hour and would accept a 10% loss in either
I guess you are wondering by now, what any of this has
to do with music! Well, I am getting to it; music has always been
there for me from day one. The old neighborhood was filled with
the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Roselli, and Louie Prima. On
top of the younger versions, which my cousins would listen to such
as Dion and The Belmont's, Frankie Valle and The four Seasons and,
my personal favorite Motown. I learned to sing doo- wop tunes in
that neighborhood with my cousins. They always gave me the high
parts of those songs being that I was only 5 years old.
Skipping ahead, I had gotten a snare drum and symbol
from my dad when I was 10. Supposedly, something to keep me less
occupied with "other things" and which for some strange reason
came easy to me. My next bright idea was to start a band. I got
a hold of my friend Julius Manno, who had just gotten a guitar
around the same time I got my drums. After jamming a few times we
went in search of somebody who was either willing to or already
playing bass. We found Russell Candia and we called ourselves
Satin Dusk. We would all take turns singing. We couldn't afford a
P.A., so we sang through our guitar amps, which led me to my next
How to raise money to buy the P.A. We pooled our
money together, which came out to about 15 dollars. Out of the
three of us, I possessed a particular talent for playing pool. So
it was decided, that I would hustle 8 ball at 5 dollars a game.
Needless to say, 2 weeks later we had a full P.A. As the years
went by we got better and better. We were offered to play clubs,
but there was one problem. Clubs were reluctant to hire bands
without front men (lead singers), so once again it was decided
that I had the best voice for carrying a tune. That's how it all
got started. We found a drummer, John Guido, who remains today my
closest and dearest friend. The band went on to be one of the
best on Long Island. We were playing clubs 5 out of 7 nights a
week and at that time, the early 70's, we were making a lot of
money. Like every other band we eventually broke up due to a case
of bad attitude and swollen egos. I then went on to front many
bands. Some of the biggest on Long Island, too many to mention.
You might be sitting there wondering how come I never
pursued my original career?
Well, the answer to that was
Numerous times. So it seems the story of my life, that every time
I came close to breaking a band something or someone would pull
the rug out from under it. I have had and still have a very low
tolerance to "BULL SHIT." Unlike most musicians who kissed ass
and brown nosed to get ahead, that is a talent I will NEVER
posses. Please don't misunderstand, I am not downing anyone who
has that talent, I actually envy that ability. Over the years I
have recorded many songs with such great friends as Tommy Byrns
(Billy Joel), Kenny Arronson (Bob Dylan), Skyler Deal (Michael
Bolton), Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow), Taylor Dane, Randy Coven (Ingwie
Malmstein) and the list goes on! One day I am going to take
some of the songs off the shelf and make them available to buy on
just like we did with “PLACE CALLED RAGE.”
At this time I would like to thank probably the only people who
believed enough in me:
To my Dad, who is no longer with me, I love you and miss you.
Words can't express the void in my life.
My Mom, (for without whom) I would literally be nothing,
of strength, compassion, and individuality.
Thanks Mom! Love you
Paul O'Neill, for giving me the opportunity to sing with the
Al Pitrelli, for no matter how bad the rumors of me were, still
called and wanted to work with me and still mentions my name.
Thanks Al, love ya like a brother.
To John Guido, Ronnie Galenti, and Dave Cooley, who are no longer
with us, my brother’s, my friend’s, sleep well sweet princes.
To all of you who are reading this right now, I would just like to
end by saying, thank you for listening!