Mentors: Gino, Joe & Ross Vannelli
I've mentioned others in my previous blogs but honestly, my career would have been very different if I hadn't met these friends above.
I first heard Gino's work on local radio while attending DePaul University, but one night on break (while playing at the Blackstone Hotel) I heard someone playing an acoustic guitar in a corner. I complimented him & became lifelong friends with Ross - who was visiting a girlfriend who was in the show. We exchanged numbers, stayed in touch & since then have written songs together... including "Where Do We Go From Here" for EWF, & the end title song of the movie "If You Only Knew" I scored.
I'd made my first demo (which I gave to Ross) but one day got a call from Gino. He told me that he liked what he heard, & wanted me to fly up to Montreal to possibly join his new band. This changed my life...I ended up touring, recording 2 albums, & even helping on music prep for arranger Don Sebesky who conducted the Royal Philharmonic on Gino's “Pauper in Paradise" album.
"We exchanged numbers, stayed in touch & since then have written songs together..."
Gino has one of the strongest & most wonderful voices I've ever heard, along with a unique writing style. This was matched by the most intensive commitment to excellence with his brothers Joe (on piano) & Ross (who did the live mix). In the mid 70's, synths were mostly one or 2 voice instruments, but the group used the Korg synths- each of us played 2 voices & collectively it sounded like a real section. Joe found a way to make Farfisa synths sound great for string parts.
"[H]eard a song that Gino composed in memory of his father - which was performed at the Vatican."
The lighting (done by Peter Bertrand) dramatically increased the effect of the show, & while there were thousands of screaming women I was always impressed with the wide diversity of the audiences. Rehearsals were done in L.A. & this gave me a chance to meet a number of influential people.
Later, in the mid 90's when I recorded my solo album "All Things in Time" I called Joe to do the final mixes... & he did a brilliant job on them.
Thanks to all of the Vannelli family…
I was going to either post "Storm at Sunup" or something I played on until I went online & heard a song that Gino composed in memory of his father - which was performed at the Vatican. I remembered how close the sons were to him (who also was a singer) & that I had a similar connection to my own father.
Gino Vannelli is a Canadian rock singer and songwriter who had several hit songs in the 1970s and 1980s. His best-known singles include "People Gotta Move", "I Just Wanna Stop", "Living Inside Myself" and "Wild Horses".
Born and raised in Montreal, Ross began arranging, writing and producing at an early age. His success also started early as he composed, co-arranged and co-produced his brother Gino Vannelli’s smash single, “I Just Wanna Stop”.
Joe Vannelli is a Canadian musician, composer and record producer. He was credited on most records of his brother, Gino Vannelli, and in collaboration with youngest brother Ross Vannelli, the three have won many awards. Vannelli studied music theory in Montreal, and learned to play piano.