Influences

and Inspiration

Many influences in my life of music, but if I had to focus on a handful, I’d most likely have to start with the Beatles. I am old enough to have experienced some of the Ed Sullivan show performances, but the big moments for me, were when my sister (or brother in some cases) would come home with the new Beatles 45! One of the best memories of this for me was “Paperback Writer”, she put it on our “High Fidelity” phonograph and from the opening harmonies to the blazing guitar riff, man, what a moment! 

 

Another influence was my own father back then. Like the famous story goes, my mother claims I would kick to my dad’s quarter notes from the womb!! Lol.

The amount of learning I took from my dad is more than a dozen schools of music combined, especially dad’s professionalism! He was a union man for most of his musical life until the union starting going downhill in the late seventies/eighties. Beyond the eighties, our local union wasn’t quite what it was in the 50s/60s and my dad, who held a seat on the executive board a number of times, became dismayed and eventually dropped out, although still respected to this day in the Hudson Valley music world. One thing I learned during his passing January 2018, is that he was good and true all the way through. He was nasty to no one! Such a loving man when it came to his family, but what was amazing is that he let that love spill into his career as well. Love ya pop! There’s not a gig that goes by where I don’t think of my father Vito Petroccitto Sr., my idol! 

 

Other influences of mine include NRBQ, Elvin Bishop, Danny Gatton, John Fogarty and of course Little Feat. NRBQ has a very special place in my heart. Believe it or not, these guys started pushing the Beatles aside when I was 8 or 9 years old. My sister (again) introduced me to NRBQ by having me “stand by” and flip the 33 and 1/3 over when the first side was over, and when the second side finished? Well, then flip it back to the first side again! I think the NRBQ record I remember flipping the most back then was their “Scraps” record. Wore that sucker out! To hear Frank Gadler (one of my favorite singers on this planet) sing those songs then, or now for that matter! Oh man! Terry Adams, Joey Spampinato, Tom Staley, Steve Ferguson, Big Al Anderson, the Whole Wheat Horns! Tommy Ardolino, Johnny Spampinato and of course the current line up! Love NRBQ! 

 

70s into the 80s! I went through guitarists in “phases”, I’d listen to one at a time and pick up anything I could, lick by lick. I kind of remember the order starting with the Beatles. Then came Rick Derringer, Johnny Winter, Robin Trower, Peter Frampton, Jimi, Jimmy, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Steve Ferguson, Big Al Anderson, Lowell George, Angus Young, Doobie Bros., Allman Bros., BB King, Freddie King, Elvin Bishop, and of course the list goes on for the next 42 years! Lol. I have to tell you, these are just the tip of the ice berg, many more. So if you’re surprised I didn’t mention someone, there’s just not enough space on my computer for the entire list of my influences! Lol.