Vitale father, son bond by way of music whereas forming All-Star band The Vinyl Machine

ByLouise McGinnis

Oct 15, 2022

Canton native Joe Vitale remembers when his son and namesake first displayed a ardour for music.

Vitale, a former touring drummer for the Eagles and a percussionist who has labored with Crosby, Stills & Nash and different artists, had shocked Joe Vitale Jr. with the Christmas present of a toy drum set from Sears, coloured blue and full with a snare and cymbals.

Solely 2 or 3 years previous, the kid went full rock star − banging and blasting the drums with abandon till they have been destroyed.

“With these sorts of issues,” the daddy stated with a smile, “you possibly can see this man is trending in direction of music for positive.”

Sitting facet by facet on a sofa within the again studio of Gattuso’s Music and Extra in Canton, the daddy and son recalled the anecdote with smiles and laughter that brightened the dimly lit room.

The second was additionally an instance of their love and connection by way of music, a relationship that has matured and solely grown within the subsequent many years.

“That is a double bond,” Vitale Sr. stated. “We all the time have the household bond, however so as to add to that the musicianship and making music, that is an entire different degree and inseparable bond.”

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Added the son: “It is surreal.”

The youthful Vitale, a multi-instrumentalist with a solo profession, now heads the band Ravenwood, which performs a mix of commercial and different rock. Releasing its first album, “Ravenous” in 2021, the Akron-based band has carried out at Lock 3 and different Northeast Ohio venues.

He is additionally toured as an instrumentalist for Joe Walsh, Stephen Stills and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

However regardless of some visitor appearances and former excursions along with different artists, the Vitale duo has by no means carried out in a full-blown rock band of their very own till the latest formation of The Vinyl Machine.

Boasting members with ties to Walsh, Warren Zevon, Lou Gramm, Joe Cocker and the aforementioned artists, the All-Star ensemble will maintain its first live performance Oct. 19 at Akron Civic Theatre. Tickets value $25 and may be bought at, however availability is restricted. Tickets are additionally accessible in-person from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays on the Civic Theatre field workplace contained in the arcade at 182 South Fundamental St. (King James Approach) or by calling 330-253-2488.

The present can be on the John, James and Clara Knight Stage.

Becoming a member of the daddy and son within the The Vinyl Machine are: Duane Sciacqua (lead guitar, vocals), Jim Stapley (lead vocals, guitar), Stanley Sheldon (bass, vocals) and Tommy Stephenson (keyboards, vocals).

Sciacqua has carried out with Paul McCartney, Glenn Fry and Steve Lukather. Stapley has labored with Cactus and Kenney Jones of the Faces and The Who. Sheldon is finest recognized for his work with Peter Frampton, together with the legendary album “Frampton Comes Alive” in 1976. Stephenson has toured with Walsh, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.

Songs will embrace “Life within the Quick Lane” by the Eagles, “Rocky Mountain Approach” by Walsh, “Woodstock” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger, “Love the One You are With” by Stephen Stills, “Werewolves of London” by Zevon and “Midnight Blue” by Gramm.

Vitale Sr. can be taking part in drums and serving to on vocals whereas the 45-year-old son describes himself as The Vinyl Machine’s “utility man,” splitting guitar, vocal, synthesizer and percussion duties, relying on the tune and preparations.

‘Our band is chargeable for about 30 million information mixed.’

The 73-year-old Vitale Sr. was animated and energetic whereas discussing the brand new band.

“We have performed lots,” he stated. “And we have been with main acts, and we have performed all of the venues, and large, small, all the world over, truly.”

However the group did not wish to be one other tribute or cowl band.

“Our band is chargeable for about 30 million information mixed,” stated Vitale Sr., who additionally sings and performs keyboards. “So … why not characteristic all these songs that we truly performed on. I respect tribute bands as a result of they’re superb, however they did not report these songs. They’re simply taking part in these songs. We truly recorded these songs.”

“The setlist is unimaginable, and it is nothing however hits, truly,” Vitale stated of the 24-song repertoire. “We’re excited as a result of it sounds good.”

Rehearsals went properly, though gathering in Nashville has been a logistical problem.

“It will get tough at occasions since you’ve received folks in Kansas, Atlanta, Nashville (and Stark County) … so we now have to get all of us collectively in a single place to work,” the youthful Vitale stated. “It has been a problem, nevertheless it’s additionally been numerous enjoyable placing that every one collectively.”

‘We have all gotten actually cool tales.’

The inaugural present in Akron is the one one scheduled in the intervening time. Vitale Sr., nevertheless, is enthused in regards to the band’s touring potential.

“We particularly picked a smaller venue as a result of we wish to take a look at run it,” stated Vitale, who lives within the Canton space. “I bear in mind studying a number of years again The (Rolling) Stones, and I am not evaluating us to the Stones, however when the Stones did this main tour, their first gig was a little bit membership in Toronto, Canada, and I believed, ‘Wow, what an important thought.'”

“We figured … a small venue, intimate place, and numerous followers and buddies, will probably be simply be a enjoyable night,” Vitale stated. “And we’ll take a look at run this present there, and that is what each band does. We might like to dive into the deep finish, however we’ll wade in a little bit bit at a time.”

A storytelling component can be featured on the live performance with band members who’ve collectively carried out greater than 30,000 exhibits worldwide whereas having written or carried out quite a few hit songs with chart-topping artists.

“We have all gotten actually cool tales,” Vitale Sr. stated. “You might be a fly on the wall within the studio or a backstager on a bus and all that, like what’s in my (2008) guide, ‘Backstage Cross.’ However to inform these tales, lots of people are doing that now. They’re doing music and tales, and the viewers actually enjoys that.”

“This can be fairly a number of fascinating tales, I assure you,” he stated with one other massive smile. “There’s some humorous stuff.”

Stepping on stage at age 10 in entrance of 19,000 screaming followers

Vitale Jr. grew up figuring out his father was an expert percussionist. Not just for the Eagles, but additionally whereas performing or recording with Dan Fogelberg, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wooden, Ted Nugent, Boz Scaggs and different basic rock elite.

Vitale and Walsh co-wrote the hit tune “Rocky Mountain Approach,” in addition to “Fairly Maids All in a Row” from The Eagles’ iconic album, “Lodge California.” Vitale additionally co-produced albums for Walsh, Stills and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Younger.

At age 10, the son joined his dad on tour for the primary time, witnessing the spectacle of a significant live performance. That was additionally when he stepped onto the Blossom Music Heart stage with Crosby, Stills & Nash to play tambourine on “Train Your Youngsters” in entrance of 19,000 folks.

“Seeing simply the group screaming, it was actually wonderful,” recalled Vitale Jr., who lives within the Portage Lakes space of Summit County.

Moments like that ultimately dissuaded the teenager from pursuing his first dream of changing into an astronaut, even after attending House Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

“That did it,” Vitale Sr. instructed his son affectionately throughout the joint interview. “You have been completed.”

A mutual musical admiration has developed between the 2.

“There’s by no means a day that goes by when he would not pull out a (drum) fill that’s insanely good,” Vitale Jr. stated. “And I’m going, ‘The place did that come from?'”

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Particularly memorable was when the daddy and son drummed facet by facet final yr at a Donnie Iris and The Cruisers live performance on the MGM Northfield throughout “Love Is Like a Rock.”

“We did not attempt to do that,” the daddy stated of the uncanny twin timing. “We’re synched up − completely each single drum motion … and we’re so locked.”

Donnie Iris wails during a song opening for Journey at the Concert for Legends at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Donnie Iris wails throughout a tune opening for Journey on the Live performance for Legends at Tom Benson Corridor of Fame Stadium Saturday, August 6, 2022.

Donnie Iris praises Vitale drumming tandem

Throughout an interview final summer time about opening for Journey at Tom Benson Corridor of Fame Stadium in Canton, Iris raved in regards to the drumming tandem.

“Junior’s an important drummer,” he stated. “He definitely takes after his dad.”

Vitale Jr. has stuffed in on percussion for Donnie Iris and The Cruisers when drummer Kevin Valentine is not accessible.

“I believe it is a matter of really feel,” Iris stated of expert drummers. “A variety of them have an important really feel to play drums, and it doesn’t matter what it appears like, it may be good as a result of the tracks really feel good. I believe Joe junior and Joe senior, they undoubtedly have a really feel, which I like.”

Rising up in his dad’s musical shadow

Vitale Jr. admitted to feeling the strain of being in comparison with his dad.

On the identical hand, the Jackson Excessive Faculty graduate stated he realizes being the son of an completed musician has “opened doorways.”

“However I nonetheless need to ship,” he stated.

Vitale Jr. stated he not will get nervous about making music and performing in his father’s shadow. “I simply exit and convey it,” he stated.

Stress has by no means come from his father, Vitale Jr. stated. “He solely pushes me in a very good sense. He is solely pushed me to do the perfect I can do.”

Added the dad: “My solely judgment of what he does is what he does on stage and the way he sounds.”

Music business goes from vinyl singles to digital downloads

Vitale Sr. stated the music business has modified dramatically from the ’60s and ’70s.

In these days, when vinyl singles have been launched, it wasn’t uncommon for cash to be slipped to radio stations in alternate for airplay, the elder Vitale stated matter-of-factly.

“That’s simply the way in which you probably did it,” he stated. “Our complete band would go to radio stations and say, ‘Please play the one.'”

Joe Vitale Jr. (left) works in a recording studio with his father, Joe Vitale Sr., a Stark County native and accomplished percussionist, including formerly serving as a touring drummer for Eagles. Vitale Jr.'s band, Ravenwood, released a new album earlier this month.

Joe Vitale Jr. (left) works in a recording studio together with his father, Joe Vitale Sr., a Stark County native and completed percussionist, together with previously serving as a touring drummer for Eagles. Vitale Jr.’s band, Ravenwood, launched a brand new album earlier this month.

Digital music, streaming and social media have remodeled the distribution of music, Vitale Sr. famous. “I do not know if that is a double-edged sword,” he stated.

“It is not simple these days to try this stuff,” the daddy added. “Younger bands are getting artistic on the right way to do stuff.”

“We needed to wrestle to get something performed,” he stated of his early profession. “… We grew up in a unique time.”

However regardless of the modifications, rock and roll is “alive and properly,” Vitale Sr. stated, referring to exhibits at each arenas and small golf equipment and bars. “It is simply modified.”

Joe Vitale Jr. released a new album earlier this month under the Ravenwood name. Vitale Jr., son of famed drummer and Canton native Joe Vitale, produced, engineered and played all instruments and sang all vocals on the record.

Joe Vitale Jr. launched a brand new album earlier this month underneath the Ravenwood title. Vitale Jr., son of famed drummer and Canton native Joe Vitale, produced, engineered and performed all devices and sang all vocals on the report.

Vitale and Walsh carry out ‘Rocky Mountain Approach’ with Stephen Colbert band

Vitale Sr. has been holding busy musically, together with performing “Rocky Mountain Approach” with Walsh on The Late Present With Stephen Colbert throughout a one-week August residency during which he performed keyboards.

He additionally will carry out within the VetsAid 2022 Joe Walsh & Pals live performance on Nov. 13 at Nationwide Enviornment in Columbus, that includes the James Gang, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, 9 Inch Nails, The Breeders and The Black Keys.

“We bought it out in a half hour,” Vitale stated, noting the present can be streamed on-line. “This yr, as a result of it is in Columbus, Ohio, it is … all Ohio personalities. I will play with Joe, however then he is received the James Gang taking part in … (and) it may be a improbable present.

“That is what’s arising,” Vitale stated. “And I do not know what is going on to occur subsequent yr. Hopefully a bunch of Vinyl Machine exhibits, and we’ll see what occurs.”

Attain Ed at 330-580-8315 and [email protected]. On Twitter @ebalintREP.

This text initially appeared on The Repository: Joe Vitale’s new band has ties to the Eagles, The Who and Rod Stewart