Dino Danelli (July 23, 1944 – December 15, 2022) was an American drummer. Danelli was best known as an original member and the drummer in the rock group The Young Rascals. He has been called “one of the great unappreciated rock drummers in history”. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 with the (Young) Rascals.
Born into an Italian American family in Jersey City, New Jersey, Danelli was a jazz drummer by training. He had played with Lionel Hampton and (by 1961) was playing R&B in New Orleans. He returned to New York in 1962 with a band called Ronnie Speeks & the Elrods. He also worked at times with such legendary performers as Little Willie John. Danelli met Eddie Brigati (a pickup singer on the local R&B circuit), and Felix Cavaliere (a classically trained pianist) in 1963. Later that year, Danelli and Cavaliere traveled to Las Vegas• to try their luck with a casino house band. They remained there until early 1964, but then ventured back to New York City.
Young Rascals and Rascals
In late 1964, Danelli teamed with Cavaliere, Brigati, and a Canadian-born guitarist named Gene Cornish to form the Young Rascals. Cavaliere and Danelli traveled to Las Vegas in January 1963–1964 to back up singer Sandu Scott and her Scottys, but returned to NYC in February 1964. That month they debuted with the Young Rascals at the Choo Choo Club in Garfield, New Jersey.
In addition to playing drums (before Cavaliere and Brigati began composing original music), Danelli and Cavaliere often scouted new repertory that the group could perform. In a 1988 interview, he cited their trips to record stores as yielding such songs as “Mustang Sally” and “Good Lovin’.” He was with the Rascals for seven years (1965–1972) and performed on three No.1 hits.
Bulldog and after
Along with Cornish, Danelli formed the group Bulldog in 1972 and they produced two albums before disbanding in 1975. Danelli joined the Leslie West Band for a short time along with bassist Busta Jones. Danelli and Cornish then joined the group Fotomaker in 1978 (initially with ex-Raspberries member Wally Bryson). By 1980, Danelli joined Steven Van Zandt as a member of Little Steven & The Disciples of Soul.
After performing with Cavaliere and Cornish at the Atlantic Records 40th Anniversary concert on 14 May 1988, there was a short-lived Rascals reunion tour later that year without Brigati. All four original members came together to perform at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997 and then once again on 24 April 2010, for the Kristen Ann Carr Fund dinner at the Tribeca Grill in Tribeca, New York City.
He reunited with his bandmates. The Rascals appeared at the Capital Theater in Port Chester, New York for six shows in December 2012 and for fifteen dates at the Richard Rogers Theatre on Broadway (15 April – 5 May 2013). Their production, entitled ‘Once Upon A Dream’, toured North America (Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago, Detroit, Rochester, and New York City). It was produced by long-time Rascals fans, Steven Van Zandt and his wife Maureen.
In 1999, Danelli produced a series of tracks for New York singer-songwriter Roxanne Fontana, which were released as an album entitled Love Is Blue on Etoile Records.
He was also a visual artist, based at DinoDanelliArt.com, and designed album covers for The Rascals and Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul.
It was reported by bandmate Gene Cornish on December 15, 2022 that Danelli had died at age 78.
- ^ “Roger Stone’s Really Secret Past – Hit & Run”. Reason.com. February 25, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2013.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c “What’s Your Question?”. Ask.com. Retrieved August 18, 2013.[permanent dead link]
- ^ Kaufman, G. (December 16, 2022), “Drummer Dino Danelli, Co-Founder of the Rascals, Steven Van Zandt Band Member, Dies at 78”, Billboard Magazine, retrieved December 16, 2022
- ^ Tortelli, Joseph. “Discoveries”, Goldmine, Issue 165, USA, February 2002.
- ^ “Dino Danelli Art”. Dino Danelli Art. Retrieved August 18, 2013.[dead link]
- ^ Sabrina Barr (December 16, 2022). “The Rascals musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Dino Danelli dies aged 78”. Metro. Associated Newspapers Limited. Retrieved December 16, 2022.
- ^ Blistein, J. (December 16, 2022), “Dino Danelli, Founding Drummer of “Good Lovin” Rockers the Rascals, Dead at 78″, Rolling Stone, retrieved December 16, 2022
- The Rascals Appreciation Site
- Dino Danelli
- Interview with Dino Danelli
- Dino Danelli’s Rascals Archived 11 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
- Dino Danelli Art
- Dino Danelli discography at Discogs
- Dino Danelli at IMDb
- 1944 births
- 2022 deaths
- American rock drummers
- Musicians from Jersey City, New Jersey
- Jersey Shore musicians
- The Rascals members
- American people of Italian descent
- 20th-century American drummers
- American male drummers
- 20th-century American male musicians
- Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul members