Long Island Bands

January 24th, 2011 by David Gross | Comments Off

While I was living in New York City, there was a lot of great music coming out of Long Island and as you will see, I had a connection to a lot of it!

One of those bands was Danny Beline the Rich Kids.



Money Isn’t Everything

Danny was Perry Como’s nephew.The band was considered RCA Victor’s answer to the Young Rascals.  I had heard a lot about this group but never got a chance to see them. I did end up playing on another member of the band’s solo LP “Tale Tales” by Richie Supa who went on to great fame with Aerosmith, Richie Sambora and Pink. A great writer! I remember walking into Tower Records, hearing something on the sound system, thinking to myself, “I know this song, I know this bassline!” Well, I realized that the track I recorded with Richie was Lightning Strikes recorded here by Aerosmith! Small world.

Another interseting, ironic twist was I was at Richie’s house on the Eastside when we received the news about John Lennon.

The Illusion were an American psychedelic rock band from Long Island. They released three full-length albums in the U.S., the first of which was also issued in the United Kingdom. The group had one minor hit in the U.S. in 1969 w!ith “Did You See Her Eyes”, which peaked at #32. I wore this record out!

I felt they were similarities between the Illusion and Nazz, Todd Rundgren

Listen to the song and let me know

Did You See Her Eyes

The Hassles were a rock group in the 1960s, most notable for being the first releases to feature Billy Joel. The group released two full-length albums and a number of singles. The original line-up of the group was John Dizek (vocals), Billy Joel (Keyboards), Jon Small (drums), Howie Blauvelt (bass) and Richard McKenner (guitar). Dizek left some time after their first album, at which point Joel took over on vocal duties. Joel and Small eventually formed Attila while Blauvelt later joined Ram Jam who had the hit Black Betty.

There was a band from my high school days that had some great musicians in it. They were called Fire and they played this song. A personal shout out to Taylor Daniels, Tommy Schiff, my good friend, the late Bobby Blaine and Roger Kahn!

Have a listen to this great Sam and Dave cover!

You Got Me Hummin

Vanilla Fudge is an American rock band. The band’s original lineup – vocalist/organist Mark Stein, bassist/vocalist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist/vocalist Vince Martell, and drummer/vocalistCarmine Appice – recorded five albums during the years 1966-69, before disbanding in 1970. What a great band! Tim Bogart was one of my early influences. The band has been cited as, “one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal.”

You Keep Me Hangin On

The Rascals (initially known as The Young Rascals) were an American blue-eyed soul group initially active during the years 1965–72. The band released numerous top ten singles in North America during the mid- and late-1960s, including the U.S. #1 hits “Good Lovin'” (1966), “Groovin'” (1967), and “People Got to Be Free” (1968). Back in 1989, I got a call from Gene Cornish, their guitarist. He was reforming a new version of the Rascals and asked if I would like to audition. I was thrilled! How great to play that great music and to be part of  a rhythm section with the great Dino Danelli. The audition went great, we started rehearsals, shot a new video, which I wish I could find, and then I went out on the road with CIndy Bullens, followed by 6 months in Europe with Robin Beck. Oh well, I still enjoyed myself immensely with the Rascals. The band was finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore

What all of these bands had in common was a club, I had heard about on the radio dubbed  “the real home of the Long Island sound.” The Action House in Island Park. It was owned by Phil Basile, described a New York magazine article as “the all-time classic Island club owner. A reputed Luchese crime-family member, Basile operated several famous L.I. clubs—the Action House, Speaks, Channel 80,  Industry—three of which were the same club (on Austin Boulevard) with different names.” Here are a bunch of ads for bands that played there. It was a regular stop on the East Coast circuit. I wish I was old enough to own a car!