Where do I start? To me, most bio's of musicians sound like resumes. As if with some glimmer of hope, someone might read it and hire them for the next gig.  So please, allow me to do something a little different. Rather than try to impress you with some boring musical history, I am going to tell a little of who I am. Just a little because the whole story gets really complicated. Please excuse my punctuation, ‘cause I was never any good at actual writing.

I was born Thomas Dominic Farese, Jr. in the Bronx on the hottest day of August in the mid 1950's.  I am a third generation Italian, whose grandparents were all from Naples, Italy.  I grew up in a neighborhood that was filled with people you see in wise guy movies such as “Bronx Tale” and “Goodfellas.”

My father was probably the most honest, hard working man I have ever known in my life.  He was the youngest of 13 children; needless to say I come from a very large family.  I grew up very confused about what was right and wrong. On the one hand here is my father, who owned 3 restaurants and worked 17 hours a day, breaking his back to make an honest living. While on the other hand, my uncles and other guys from the neighborhood were showing me another side of life!  To make a long story short, while other kids had paper routes I had a numbers route!  For those of you who don't know what that is, trust me it's NOT GOOD!  This is when my parents decided they had to get us the hell out of this neighborhood. 

We moved to Long Island, which to me was the equivalent of landing on the moon.  I felt lost and angry.  My first day of school was a nightmare.  It seemed the only friends I could make were the one's I could beat up after school, only to find out that they had also been exiled from places like Brooklyn and Manhattan. This made me feel that I was not the only one removed from a familiar environment.  That same summer me and some of the guy's wanted to get this boat that old man Cronkey was selling, so that we could spend the summer fishing.  So, I came up with this brilliant idea of opening a lemonade stand, but here's the catch. I didn't open just one, I opened up a chain of stands.  I put one up on every construction site and all the beaches that were in our vicinity.  Needless to say we went fishing a lot that summer and had a great seasonal business, which also kept us in a lot of model airplanes and an unlimited amount of candy.  I know what you’re thinking, what did the kid do to make money in the winter?  Well, being that I excelled in math thanks to the education I got from my old neighborhood, I ran a 3 card Monte Game in school that lasted from the time school opened to the time school closed.  A couple of buddies of mine made sure that when I was in class one of them would take over the game.  It was 3-card draw one beat the house, 25-cent ante bet, up to ten players.  I bet you’re asking yourself, how did he know if his friends were cheating him out of money?  Well, I am not saying they didn't, but I kept book on the average take on a lunch hour and would accept a 10% loss in either direction.

I guess you are wondering by now, what any of this has to do with music!  Well, I am getting to it; music has always been there for me from day one.  The old neighborhood was filled with the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Roselli, and Louie Prima.  On top of the younger versions, which my cousins would listen to such as Dion and The Belmont's, Frankie Valle and The four Seasons and, my personal favorite Motown. I learned to sing doo-wop tunes in that neighborhood with my cousins. They always gave me the high parts of those songs being that I was only 5 years old.


Skipping ahead, I had gotten a snare drum and symbol from my dad when I was 10.  Supposedly, something to keep me less occupied with "other things" and which for some strange reason came easy to me.  My next bright idea was to start a band.  I got a hold of my friend Julius Manno, who had just gotten a guitar around the same time I got my drums.  After jamming a few times we went in search of somebody who was either willing to or already playing bass.  We found Russell Candia and we called ourselves Satin Dusk.  We would all take turns singing. We couldn't afford a P.A., so we sang through our guitar amps, which led me to my next bright idea.

How to raise money to buy the P.A.  We pooled our money together, which came out to about 15 dollars.  Out of the three of us, I possessed a particular talent for playing pool.  So it was decided, that I would hustle 8 ball at 5 dollars a game. Needless to say, 2 weeks later we had a full P.A.  As the years went by we got better and better.  We were offered to play clubs, but there was one problem. Clubs were reluctant to hire bands without front men (lead singers), so once again it was decided that I had the best voice for carrying a tune.  That's how it all got started. We found a drummer, John Guido, who remains today my closest and dearest friend.  The band went on to be one of the best on Long Island.  We were playing clubs 5 out of 7 nights a week and at that time, the early 70's, we were making a lot of money.  Like every other band we eventually broke up due to a case of bad attitude and swollen egos.  I then went on to front many bands.  Some of the biggest on Long Island, too many to mention.

You might be sitting there wondering how come I never pursued my original career?  Well, the answer to that was I did. Numerous times. So it seems the story of my life, that every time I came close to breaking a band something or someone would pull the rug out from under it.  I have had and still have a very low tolerance to "BULLSHIT."  Unlike most musicians who kissed ass and brown nosed to get ahead, that is a talent I will NEVER posses.  Please don't misunderstand, I am not downing anyone who has that talent, I actually envy that ability. Over the years I have recorded many songs with such great friends as Tommy Byrnes (Billy Joel), Kenny Arronson (Bob Dylan), Skyler Deal (Michael Bolton), Bobby Rondinelli (Rainbow), Alan Scott Plotkin (Seven), Taylor Dane, Randy Coven (Yngwie Malmsteen) and the list goes on!  One day I am going to take some of the songs off the shelf and make them available to buy on the web just like we did with “PLACE CALLED RAGE.” 

Besides his contributions to Seven’s “Exile Virtual Box-Set”, you can catch more of Tommy by visiting his website at: www.tommyfarese.com

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