PITTSTON TWP. — Tony DeSanto has been involved with many bands throughout his music career, but probably his most well-known band, Revolver, will take the stage once more.
DeSanto, 63, said his band will reunite after a multi-year hiatus to perform at his annual Tony D’s Christmas Bash on Saturday, Dec. 5 at Memorable Occasions in Duryea.
The Pittston Township native started the band in 1999 under a different name after teaming up with fellow musicians to play at local shows.
“I was doing solo work, duo work with my brother and then a couple of my friends started coming and playing and it was turned into a band,” said DeSanto. “I was going under the name Good Cheer, and that was short-lived because a couple of guys left and I got a few new guys and that was when I changed the name to Revolver.”
Original members of Revolver in 1999 included Mike Dantone on bass, Mark Todd on drums and Dave Norris on guitar, with DeSanto on guitar and vocals.
Members came and went over the years and the current members who will perform on Dec. 5 include DeSanto, his brother Angelo DeSanto on drums, Scott Mcilvain on guitar and Jack Davis on bass.
Revolver did mostly cover songs from artists such as The Beatles, Eric Clapton and other classic rock artists.
DeSanto said the band played numerous live shows up until 2005, stopped performing altogether for a few years and only did summer and Christmas events from 2009 until 2012, when they disbanded for various reasons.
“We stopped because we were doing a four-disc CD set,” DeSanto said. “We got so involved in recording we stopped playing live for a while. It took us over a year to do it, so after we finished it nobody wanted to play out anymore, so we stopped.”
DeSanto has since done solo work at his annual Christmas bash and records with other musicians both locally and internationally, including an artist named Marco Maenza, who recently moved to Castelnuovo della Misericordia, Toscana, Italy. DeSanto says they send tracks to each other over the internet and he compiles them together.
DeSanto still does covers of classic rock, country and jazz songs, but will not shy away from writing his own music.
A musician since he was in high school in 1966, DeSanto started playing the guitar and singing after watching The Beatles on TV one night.
“When I went to school the next day I saw the girls going nuts,” he said. “I went home and said, ‘Dad, I want a guitar.’”
DeSanto was involved with numerous bands including Inner Vibrations and Jet and Cook Book before eventually forming Revolver.
The upcoming Revolver reunion is not for any special occasion, as DeSanto said he just thought it would be a great idea.
“It was just an idea I got,” he said. “After Revolver stopped doing the bashes I did them myself under my name and I had this band called Frixtion backing me up. I thought this year it would be fun to get the guys back together, so I called them up and they were all up for it.”
Tony D’s Annual Christmas Bash will have seven acts including Revolver, the Seperazza Band, Frixtion, and more.
Revolver has been rehearsing for the event, and DeSanto says it was like they never disbanded.
“We thought it was going to be a disaster,” he said. “We sat down and half way through the first song it was like we never stopped playing. It was crazy and everything just came right back.”
Once the bash is over, DeSanto said the Revolver members will go their separate ways again and he’s unsure if any more reunions will happen.
“I’m at a point now in my life where I’m not looking for anything,” said DeSanto. “My recordings I just do for my own enjoyment and I put videos out there of my music and whoever likes them, likes them. I’m not looking for that big break as you would call it, the only thing I would ever like to see is some big artist picking up one of my originals and making a hit out of it.”
Tickets are $35 each and can be purchased by calling Tony DeSanto at 570-510-4589, Joe Sluck at 570-562-1258 or Eric Sperazza at 570-362-2988. Tickets will also be sold at the door. DeSanto said monies from ticket sales pay for catering staff at the event.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher