Saturday, December 13, 2008

Midnight Music Club # 3 - Norman Nardini

Norman has never worked a straight job for one day of his life. He has only ever played music. Pittsburgh has had some great rock bands: Gathering Field, The Silencers, Joe Grusheckey & the Iron City Houserockers, Rusted Root, Donnie Iris, The Clarks and Billy Price to name just a few. Among all these, Norman Nardini is a legend. He is working tonight, somewhere, at a festival or in a dive bar he's playing his rust belt rock & roll, his three piece band working man's music. It's American heartland music, like Seeger or Bruce or Mellencamp or Petty, no different than any of them and certainly no less. He's lacked a great commercial success but what the fuck does that have to do with making great rock and roll ?

In 1975 he was a bass player for the rock band Diamond Reo. Norman left the band to start Norman Nardini & The Tigers as lead singer, lead guitar and song writer. The 1981 release "Eatin Alive", recorded live at Cleveland’s legendary Agora Club, received a 4 Star Review from Rolling Stone’s record guide. The Tigers toured together through 1986. CBS in 1983 released "Norman Nardini and The Tigers", which featured Norman’s longtime friend, Jon Bon Jovi, on background vocals. In 1987, CBS released "Love Dog" which featured Rick Derringer, Dr. John and Paul Schaeffer. Throughout the 90's, Norman continued touring and released 3 CDs on New York City's Circumstantial label . 1991’s "This Ole Train" took Norman over to Germany for a tour with the Blues Brothers. In 1998, Moondog Records released "There Was A Time" and more great stuff has followed. 1993's "It's Alive" is live and alive Norman at his best. He's the real deal. He makes friends easily, shares his toys and jams well with others.

..."Norman Nardini is the epitome of rock'n'roll. He lives it and breathes it. The greatest compliment anybody can pay a player is that he lives it. God bless him for it.." ~Jon Bon Jovi

Here are my friends Norman and Whitey Cooper and Harry Bottoms doing "Rock & Roll City" in the Beachland Tavern, a neighborhood bar, the kind of place where they are most at home. With Norman , it's all about the music and the buzz he can pass on to you in the night.

If you want more I recommend the "Smoke Two Joints " video, above.

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