One Bass Player's Story   
 

Who is Willie Favero (this Musician's Bio) Click on any image for larger view


Left to Right, Top: Penelope, All About, BMC Blues Band, Houston Open Mics.
Middle Row: Houston Open Mics, the Apaches, Open Mics.
Bottom Row: A couple of differnet Open Mics, Jazz group (Falls).



After taking guitar lessons for a few years, I purchased my first bass guitar, a used white Klira, in 1963. A short time later, I joined my first band and in 1964 played my first paying gig. I played bass with a lot of bands between 1964 and 1978. We performed all over Western New York and Southern Ontario. Yet, we spent most of our time playing in Niagara Falls, NY. Those years were a great time for me. I worked with some phenomenal musicians back then. Many of them are still playing today. In fact, a few are recording and doing quite well for themselves today.

I do have a few regrets... first is not continuing to play on a regular basis after moving to St Louis, Dallas, and Houston. Another major regret is the lack of photographs saved, or even taken, of the bands I have worked. I'm sure there are photos out there someplace. Unfortunately, I have no idea where they might be or how to get hold of them. Finally, the complete lack of any recordings of any of those bands. In fact, we did record a few of the bands, but reused the tapes over and over.

My recent retirement has given me the chance to look back at those years. I now have the time to share what recordings I did save on this web page. The most significant aspect of retirement is it has allowed me to embark on my second music career.

The photos and recordings that follow on this page attempt to document my musical career.

Please enjoy... and thanks for visiting.

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Willie_Favero_on_Bass image Musician profile: Willie_Favero_on_Bass    @ www.bandmix.com

Location: Kingwood, TX
Style: Classic Country, Country, Classic Rock, Blues
Personal Website: www.williefavero.com/mybands/
 
Now seeking: Bands (or musicians wanting to start a band)

   Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame
Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame 2017 Inaugural Class Inductee
(Inducted into the Niagara Falls Music HoF on Sunday afternoon, October 15, 2017)
                                   
                           
Event Program
         



         
Something Current
What follows is a recording made at an Open Mic at Puffabelly's in Old Town Spring, Texas, on October 26, 2017. The song, "I've Got This Thing For You", is an original tune written and performed here by David Becker. As you might be able to tell from David's introduction to the song, this is an impromptu performance. I believe the spontaneity of the performance in front of an audience of almost all musicians, all having fun at an open mic, gives the recording a special flavor. I hope you enjoy it...

The song was recorded on a handheld Zoom H1 recorder, then edited with Audacity, before being stored on SoundCloud.
WWWWWWWWWWWWW
         



 
Some of the Gear I've Used Over the Years
My very first guitar was a sunburst electric hollow body Silvertone from Sears. My parents bought it for me when I started taking guitar lessons back around 1959-1960.
 
To this day, this guitar still sits in the corner of my Mom's spare bedroom in Niagara Falls.
Silvertone guitar
My first bass guitar was a Klira bass guitar. It has a white vinyl body with black neck and black head stock, black pickguard, and double pickups. The bass was purchased from someone who lived around High Park Blvd near to the old Police Station way back around 1963.
 
I used it my whole time playing with the Apaches, plus a few short lived bands prior to the Apaches, and the London Fog.
 
Although it was a very inexpensive guitar, and far from being a collector's item, I would love to find the bass today and buy it back. It was an extremely fun (and very fast) bass to play.
My second bass guitar was a Gibson EB-2 bought brand new from Brundo Music (Pine Ave in the Falls) in 1967. Although it was my second ass, it was my first bass guitar with real style, My EB-2 was purchased while I was playing with the London Fog.
 
At some point while playing with the London Fog, I bought a Hofner bass (Beatle bass) again from Brundo Music. Huge mistake. I tired of it quickly and ended up getting rid of it after just a month or two. It was too light, too muddy sounding for me,a nd I had issues with feedback.
My Fender Precision Fretless was my "go to" bass for the next ten years and the last bass I would purchase for a very long time. I ordered my sunburst fretless bass guitar with its maple neck from Brudo Music (yup, another bass form Brundo's) in 1970. I was playing with "Penelope" at the time. The fretless was the only bass I used for the remainder of "Penelope", and all my time with "All About", "Sound City Express", and whenever I sat in with "Five in a Row".
 
Unfortunately, one of my really dumb musical equipment moves was selling the fretless in 1981 when I was living in St Louis. That was and still is my biggest equipment mistake I have ever made. It's also a mistake I can never rectify. The kid I sold it to, took it apart, painted it, and did a bunch of other stuff to it.

  My first bass amp was a transistor powered Standel bass amp.   I then moved to an Ampeg B-15, Fender Bassman, and finally to an original Ampeg SVT Blueline, the amp that started it all. My first SVT setup was the one Blueline head with two 8x10 cabs. Then, after a short time, a second amp SVT head, this one a Blackline, with a second set of 8x10 cabs was added. For a while I also had an Ampeg B25 amp that I tried to drive the two SVT heads with. I didn't have a lot of success with that though.
 
Each SVT head pushed a huge 300 watts RMS, had six massive 6146 power tubes, and weighed in at 95 pounds each. Each 8x10 cab (that's 8 ten inch speakers per cabinet) weighed in at 105 pounds each. That's 600 pounds' total getting carried in and out for every gig. BTW, the acronym SVT stood for "Super Vacuum Tube" although that name never ended up being used.

  
CURRENLY... my go to rig has been a Sadowsky Ultra Vintage through a Fender Rumble 500 V3 amp with a Schroeder 15PL extension cab for larger gigs. I'm using a light weight Fender Rumble 40 for open mic performances when backing up acoustic players.
 
For some venues, I do fall back to an older Fender MIM Precision. On rare occasions, I will bring out my 1973 Fender Fretless Precision. However, with the Fretless 40+ years old, I no longer drag it along to very many performances. Yes, I know it needs to be played... and yes, I am fearful of something happening to it at the venues I currently work. It will return to the road one day though.
 
Finally, I have an acoustic fretless that I have been using lately for a couple of recording efforts. Se the last section on this website labeled Keith.

If you have more interest in musical equipment, check out my pages describing what I own today at or http://williefavero.com/MyMusic/

My Favorite Music Flavors
Classic Rock, Blues, Jazz, Funk, R&B, Brazilian, Country, Christian
                       

My  Band  Participation  History
1964 - Current
(Niagara Falls 1964-1978)
This Section Also Includes a Few Live Recordings
What follow is what I hope is an accurate history of the time I have spent playing music. I haven't listed everything I have ever attempted, that would be borderline silly. However, I have tried to list the events, the bands, and the people, who had a significant impact on me wanting to do this all over again today, at 67 years old, along with a few current events that are making a musical dream come true again.

How the Journey Started
A very long time ago, my cousin Woody had a band called the "Contrails". Hearing his band practice is when I decided I wanted to play in a band also.
Although there were a couple of garage bands that did a few free gigs in the very beginning, the first Band with paying gigs: Alonzo "Slick" Bradley (vocals, RIP), ?? (guitar), ?? (drums), and Willie Favero (bass).

First paying gig was at the Hully Gully, from there moved onto the old Victory Lounge on Main Street off Falls Street in Niagara Falls.

  
The Apaches
The Apaches
These first recordings goes back even further, back to the mid-1960s, back to a Saturday night dance at Bishop Duffy High School. The band is the "Apaches".
 
The "Apaches" were a bunch of kids just starting high school; Thom Rotella on guitar, Pat Perry on drums and vocals, Rich DelZoppo on guitar, and me, Willie Favero, playing bass guitar. We all shared background vocals duty. John DiNunzio (aka Johnny D) joined the band later on as the lead vocalist.
 
Although this wasn't the first band I was in that made momey from playing music, it was the band that actually got me started as a Niagara Falls musician.

Thom Rotella went on to become a very sucessfull sessions guitarist, recording artist, and composer, He currently is performing in the Los Angeles, CA area.
The following recordings, now on YouTube, were made with a 1960 tape recorder by Jim Brunn, the MC you'll hear on these recordings, at a Bishop Duffy High School dance:
"Day Tripper", The Beatles "Cara Mia", Jay & The Americans
"Run For Your Life" by The Beatles (only a short excerpt)
  
           
           
       

  
The "Big Break" that never happened": On December 11, 1965, the Byrds (yup, those Byrds of "Mr Tambourine" and "Tune, Turn, Turn" fame) were booked to play at the Stand Theater on Falls St in Niagara Falls, NY. The Apaches were invited to perform on stage as one of their opening acts. However, the Stand Theater was a union shop. Since we were too young to join the Musicians union, the union prevented us from performing, possibly missing out on what could have been a huge opportunity for a bunch of local kids. As things turned out, regardless of what decisions the union may have made, it was never going to be an opportunity for the Apaches. The Byrds flight that day was fogged in at New York City's airport preventing them from making it to the concert. The Buffalo Beatles performed alone on stage that day.
Byrds Ticket Ad

  
London Fog
At some point Pat left the Apaches and Russ became our drummer. The band at that time transitioned to the London Fog.
 
The London Fog was made up of: John DiNunzio (vocals), Rich DelZoppo (guitar), Russ Previte (drums), Willie Favero (bass), Thom Rotella (Guitar)
Tom Nelson (vocals after John left), Walter Birch (lights)

  
Everyday People
"Everyday People" was a formed out of The London Fog minus Tony Beccari. John DeNunzio was playing for us in February 1969. We were at LaSalle High School playing with The Purple Gas. Tom left us for the Purple Gas with Zito, Bax, Franky G and Jim Curtis. When John DeNunzio left he band, we went into Frank Fracassi's mothers Living room from March thru May practicing with Toni Beccari. We were offered a job at the Main Lounge at the corner of Main Street and Falls Street. However, we had to change the band's name at the request of Larry Googosion, the owner of the Main. He wanted to make sure that a bunch of teeny boppers or High school kids followed us to his place. We opened at the Main in late June as "Everyday People".
 
I was with the band for just under a year. When I left the group, Carl Filbert took my place on bass.
 
Who made up the original Everyday People? Tony Beccari (vocals), Rich DelZoppo (guitar), Russ Previte (drums), Frank Fracassi (Keyboards), Willie Favero (bass)
 
Russ, Frank, Tony, Carl, and Rich are still playing with Everyday People in the Niagara Falls area.
Everyday People today (2016). This is for their Duffy Dance performance on April 30.

  
Penelope
The Apaches
Penelope was made up of (left to right): Frank Fracassi (Keyboards), Bob Isaacs (Guitar), Joe Rotella (drums), Bobby Sirianni (vocals), and Willie Favero (bass)
 
Penelope is still around today playing at events in the Niagara Falls area. However, Bobby is the only original member still with the group.

  
Jazz Group (no name)
jazz group
Jazz group: Ralph Fava (guitar), Willie Favero (bass), Carol Clayton Kostoff (vocals), Bill Bates (drums), and Joe Ruggiero (keyboards)

  
Country/Rock Attempt
Country/Rock attempt: George Kobas (guitar), Fred Amendola (guitar, RIP),

  
All About
Cover_page
Here's a couple of YouTube samples of one of the bands I was fortunate enough to play with back in the 1970s. The band was called "All About" as you can see form our brochure. It was an 8 piece very funky horn group that played all around Western New York.
 
"All About" consisted of our front man and lead vocalist John Davis, Tom Greco on guitar, lead vocals, and backup vocals, with Dom Mitro on keyboards. Our horn section was made up of Tony Nastasi on alto and tenor sax and flute, Eddie Urso on trumpet, and John Davies (RIP) on trombone. Our kick a$$ rhythm section was made up of Mario Quaglia on drums and backup vocals, and Willie Favero on fretless bass and backup vocals.

(John Davies was posthumously inducted into the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame in 2017.)
  
  
Cover_page   Inside_Cover   Inside_page_2_and_3   Inside_page_4   Back_Cover
The following 32 recordings, now on YouTube, were all made in June 1975 and July 1975 with an old 1970s style tape recorder laying on one of the front tables at these two clubs during performances of "All About": "International Lounge" on Pine Avenue or "The Switchyard" on Porter Road, both in Niagara Falls, NY.

Please excuse the recording quality. The MP4 recording needed for Youtube where created using a Behringer UCA222 to transfer the from a reel-to-reel to my computer, Audacity to break up the massive WAV file created by the data transfer, and Windows Movie Maker for final editing, adding text and photos, and to create the MP4.

All of the following YouTube recordings are COVERS by "All About" of popular songs performed by major artist in the 1970s.
"A Funky Song" (Ripple) - International Lounge "A Funky Song" (Ripple) - The Switchyard
"Brand New Love Affair" (Chicago) - The Switchyard "Can't Move No Mountain" (Blood, Sweat & Tears) - International Lounge
"Don't Change Horses" (Tower of Power) - International Lounge "Down to the Nightclub" (Tower of Power) - International Lounge
"Everybody's Everything" (Santana) - International Lounge "Everybody's Everything" (Santana) - The Switchyard
"Fire and Rain" (Blood, Sweat and Tears) - The Switchyard "Fire" (The Ohio Players) - The Switchyard
"Got The Love" (Average White Band) - International Lounge "Got To Get You Into My Life" (The Beatles) - The Switchyard
"Hollywood Swinging" (Kool & The Gang) - The Switchyard "Lucretia Mac Evil" (Blood, Sweat and Tears)
"Mighty Mighty" (Earth, Wind, and Fire) "Moondance" (Van Morrison) - International Lounge
"Moondance" (Van Morrison) - The Switchyard "Old Days" (Chicago)
"Once You Get Started" (Rufus featuring Chaka Khan) - The Switchyard "Only So Much Oil In The Ground" (Tower of Power)
"Pick Up The Pieces" (Average White Band) - The Switchyard "Someday We'll Get By" (Azteca) - The Switchyard
"Put Your Hands Together" (The O'Jays) - International Lounge "Put Your Hands Together" (The O'Jays) - The Switchyard
"Song for My Father" (Horace Silver) - International Lounge "This Time It's Real" (Chicago) - International Lounge
"Walking In Rhythm" (The Blackbyrds) "We've Got To Live Together" (Buddy Miles Express) - International Lounge
"What is Hip" (Tower of Power) - The Switchyard "You Can Count on Me" (Chicago) - International Lounge
"You Got It" (Average White Band) - The Switchyard "You're Still A Young Man" (Tower Of Power) - International Lounge

  
I Wasn't Actually in this Band, But...
Cover_page
This is an odd one. I was never in Five in a Row. However, when I was working with another band, I often sat in with them. It was always a great way to use up an off night and kept the hands in shape.

Five in a Row: Marie Navarroli (vocals), Ernie Vendetti (vocals), Stan Sciera (keyboards), Rich Golda (drums), Bernie O'Donnel (guitar)

  
Sound City Express
Sound City Express: Ike Smith (vocals), Paul Weitz (Guitar), Al Albano (keyboards, RIP), ?? (drummer), and Willie Favero (Bass)

Paul Weitz went on to become a sucessfull Jazz guitarist currently performing and recording in the Los Angeles, CA area.

Al Albano became the conductor and keyboard player for the Lettermen in 1993 and toured with them until be became sick. Al died on Febrary 19, 2002.

  
You're a Good Man Charlie Brown (musical)
Played with the band (small orchestra) that supported the musical "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown" that was performed in North Dallas around 1988.

  
BMC Blues Band
Cover_page
BMC Software's main offices had a terrific recording studio on their lower level. That studio, combined with the fact that it often seemed like everyone at BMC played some musical instrument, sparked an idea sometime in the late 1990s that maybe we could use that space afterhours to put together a band. It seemed like a great way to blow off some steam at the end of the day. However, somewhere between our many practices and the fact that we were having a blast playing together, management suggested we think about playing for some BMC events. At first, it was a few sales rallies. However, that eventually turned into us traveling to Unix World in Dallas to play for one of the huge afterhours parties. It was all very cool and great fun.
BMC Blues Band: Dave Fox (guitar), Tommy Sprinkle (guitar), Willie Favero (bass), Julian Waits (sax), and ????? many others.
 
I apologize for not remembering everyone's name in the photos.
                   
                   

Woodlands Acoustic Jam
The Woodlands Acoustic Jam, a group on Meetup.com, is a group for acoustic musicians of all skill levels who want to meet in The Woodlands for a bi-weekly acoustic jam. The frist 20 group members to sign up spend 3 hours on a Sunday playing their favorite songs.
It's a very cool group, playing together is a lot of fun, and they on occasion get to perform for others.
Make Music at Herrera's (Herreras Mexican Restaurant in Conroe, TX)
Bi-Monthly Jam
Cover_page
  
Jam for "National Night Out" in Windsor Hills (Conroe, TX)
October 3, 2016

  
Archie Bell
I had the opportunity to play bass guitar for Archie's band at a benefit performance in Montgomery, TX (very far North Houston).
Archie Bell and the Drells took the songs "Tighten Up" and "I Can't Stop Dancing" to the top of the charts back in 1968. Archie is still going strong and dancing up a storm today at 72 years young.

Puffabellys Old Depot Restaurant
Puffabelly's Old Depot Restaurant is located in Old Town Spring, TX.
                         
  
Thursday Night Open Mic (multiple appearances)
                         
"Last Kiss", by Bill Curd
  
Outdoor Courtyard Stage at Old Town Spring Autumn Art and Texas Wine Festival
Performing, and in the photos, are Aimee, Angela, Barry, and Willie on the outdoor stage, sponsored by Puffabellys, at the Old Town Spring Autumn Art and Texas Wine Festival, on October 1, 2016. The outdoor stage featured some of Puffabellys Thursday night open mic participants throughout the day.
Cover of "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane Cover of "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree" by KT Tunstall
Cover of "Blue Bayou" by Linda Ronstadt Cover of "Peaceful, Easy Feeling" by Eagles

  
Open Mics with Barry Rome
Swanny's Grill - November 15, 2016
Cover of Jimmy Buffett's "Cheeseburger in Paradise" Cover of Lyle Lovett's "She's No Lady"
Cover of the Eagles' "Peaceful Easy Feeling" Cover of the Eagles' "Take It Easy"
Cover of James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James" Cover of Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl"
Puffabelly's - December 29, 2016
Cover of Jim Croce's "Working At The Car Wash Blues" Cover of James Taylor's "Sweet Baby James"
Cover of Eagles "Take It Easy" Cover of Lyle Lovett's "She's No Lady"
Puffabelly's - January 12, 2017
Cover of Hayes Carll's "She Left Me For Jesus" Cover of Jim Croce's "Operator"
Cover of John Mayer's "Daughters"

  
Open Mics with Frank & Marie
--- Willie (bass), Marie (harmonica, vocals), Frank (guitar, vocals) ---
Swanny's Grill - January 31, 2017
McCardell's Tavern & Grille - January 31, 2017
Swanny's Grill - February 7, 2017
Puffabelly's Open Mic - February 23, 2017
Puffabelly's Open Mic - March 2, 2017
Puffabelly's Open Mic - March 9, 2017
Texas Wine and Art Festival - Puffabelly's, Old Town Spring, TX - April 2, 2017

  
The Can't Hardley Playboys and One Girl Band
- - - The bands webpage - - -
- Frank (guitar, vocals), José (drums), Marie (harmonica, vocals), Roger (guitar, vocals), Sonny (guitar, vocals), and Willie (bass) -
  
Monaville Hall in Waller, TX - October 29, 2016
- Frank (guitar, vocals), Gary (drums), Marie (harmonica, vocals), Roger (guitar, vocals), Sonny (guitar, vocals), and Willie (bass) -
Cover of "Tulsa Time" by Don Williams Cover of "Kansas City" as performed by Fats Domino
Cover of "Copperhead Road" by Steve Earle Cover "The Bottle Let Me Down" by Merle Haggard
  
B&H Grill in Tomball, TX - November 19, 2016
- Frank (guitar, vocals), José (drums), Marie (harmonica, vocals), Roger (guitar, vocals), Sonny (guitar, vocals), and Willie (bass) -
Cover of "The Wild Side of Life" by Hank Thompson Cover of "Swinging Doors" by Merle Haggard
Cover of "Live Forever" by Billy Joe Shaver
  
Big John's Birthday at Monaville Hall in Waller, TX - December 17, 2016
- Frank (guitar, vocals), José (drums), Marie (harmonica, vocals), Roger (guitar, vocals), Sonny (guitar, vocals), and Willie (bass) -
Cover of "Georgia On A Fast Train" originally recorded by Billy Joe Shaver Cover of "Live Forever" originally recorded by Billy Joe Shaver
Cover of "Somewhere Between Right and Wrong" originally recorded by Earl Ray Conley
  
Jimbo's Road House (35230 Hempstead Hwy, Hockley, TX)- Every other Wendesday - Feb 8 thru ????.
- Frank (guitar, vocals), José (drums), Marie (harmonica, vocals), Roger (guitar, vocals), Sonny (guitar, vocals), and Willie (bass) -
Cover of Steve Earle recording of "Copperhead Road" Cover of Johnny Cash recording of "Folsom Prison Blues"
Cover of Jason Allen recording "John Boat Blues" Cover of Eric Clapton recording of "Lay Down Sally"
Cover of Willie Nelson recording of "On The Road Again" Cover of Merle Haggard recording of "Ramblin' Fever"
Cover of Merle Haggard recording of "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down"
Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos
Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos
Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos
Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos
Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos Jimbos

  
Jennifer and Kenny (plus others) at Puffabelly's
- Kenny (guitar, vocals), Jennifer (vocals), Joe (dobro), Howard (fiddle), and Willie (bass) -
Cover of James Taylor's "Copperline"

   
Keith Roger's Recordings
  
- Keith (guitar, vocals, sound and digital editing/arranging), plus many others -
Cover of Frank Solivan's "Put Me In Your Pocket"
Cover of Guy Clark's "Black Diamond Strings"
Cover of Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez's "Sweet Tequila Blues"
(Return)

Some Very Personal Details:   I was born in December, 1950 in Niagara Falls, NY. I grew up in a terrific neighborhood with most of my childhood living at 2236 LaSalle Ave. I attended Our Lady of Mt Carmel School for 9 years (K-8) before graduating in 1968 from Bishop Duffy High School. In 1973, I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Information System Management from the State University of New York (SUNY) College at Buffalo (aka Buffalo State College). Career opportunities convinced me to move from the Falls to St Louis, MO in 1977, to Dallas, TX in 1988 (technically Grapevine, TX), and finally to Houston, TX in 1994. I married my best friend Karen Meng in September 1982 in St Louis and have two Daughters (Lauren and Catherine) and 4 Grandchildren (Faith, Anthony, Colton, and Annabelle). Besides music and family, my other passions over the years have included fast cars (including some racing), motorcycles, photography, building Lego kits, and computers (not always necessarily in that order).

         
Just some fun photos from a variety of different places and different times
         
photo_2  Penelope_in_tent_Willie 600x848 (cropped) Jimbo's 06 (IMG_4970)
    Jazz_group_Bill-Bates_Willie_Carol-Kostoff_Joe-Ruggiero_999x725 Jimbo's 05 (IMG_4968) Jimbo's 06 (IMG_4970)
Jimbo's Willie Jose (IMG_4968)  Kenny Penelope inTent - original w names - face-block  Jimbo's 05 (IMG_4968)
 Puff_outside Puffabelly's SnapShot(0) Subdivision_night_out_DSC_2987 Taylor AB-3 Willie_four_pics_720x566

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