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Background & Info
The Roadie Years
Sir George Martin
and Bonus Audio
Domenic at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto in July of 1968 during
the annual Canadian Music League Festival (photo at right). In 1970, Domenic
won third in duet and first in solo accordion for his age group at the CML
Check out the vintage Accordion Awards.
How It All Began
One day when he was about 6, a guy came to the door with a small red accordion.
He had a trunk full of them.Anyways, he spoke Italian, a nice guy. He talked
D's folks into letting him try it out, and they all loved it. They bought
that little 12-bass (gone now), and along with it, lessons every week -
for 25 cents! Once he started getting pretty good at it, it was time for
a new box. The Bellini 120-bass came along in 1968, and it was enormous!
D. was a student at the Royal Ontario Conservatory in Hamilton, Ont. for
six years up to 1972. His last teacher was the famous Silvio Camilleri.
He rarely played it after quitting that year, taking up guitar and other
instruments during his teens and twenties.
He also spent five years on the road as lighting director and roadie for
a number of bands during the eighties (click on "The Roadie Years"
link at left to find out more).
Happily, Domenic has picked up the squeezebox again. He still has that old
Bellini 120-bass, and ouch! it's still heavy! He plays the polkas, waltzes,
tangos and other traditional accordion stuff, but nowadays, he's more into
rock, zydeco, blues, etc. etc. See the Repertoire page (link at left) for
a partial list of the songs he plays on the accordion.
Why D. quit the accordion for many years
In 1972, he was a member of a 42 -piece accordion orchestra, playing classical
music such as "Williiam Tell Overture". Accordions played all
the orchestral instrument parts, with different reeds for different sounds.
The orchestra had a fully equipped percussionist, though, with bell chimes,
timpani, and gong.
The orchestra was scheduled to go to Europe on a 4-week tour as opening
act for the Vienna Choir Boys. D. was rehearsing on his own for up to 4
hours per day, and 2 or 3 times weekly with the whole orchestra for 4 hours.
This went on for weeks before one day, practising in his room on a late
summer day, he stopped to turn the page. That's when he heard his younger
brother and their neighbourhood friends enjoying a game of football in
the schoolyard next door. That was the exact moment he decided to quit.
How D. got into playing Beatles on accordion
He started by learning some of their songs on guitar over the years. In
1992, while attending Queen's University in Kingston, he met Spencer Evans,
who at that time, had just come off of a lengthy tour with the Cowboy Junkies
as their keyboardist (which included the Albert Hall and The Tonight Show
with Jay Leno). D. had just reacquired his accordion after years of not
touching it, except sometimes briefly at Christmas or other special occasions
when he was home visiting his family. Of course, they encouraged him to
keep his performances short.
Back to The Big Smoke
After graduating, he moved to Toronto, and in late 1994, hooked up with
Spencer again, who was living there as well. He asked D. to play guitar
in a band he was putting together. They played two shows at Clinton's on
Bloor St. in Toronto the last week of December, playing mainly R&B,
blues, Ray Charles, Aretha, that sort of stuff. D. and Spencer did an accordion
interlude during the band's break,which included "Beer Barrel Polka",
theme from "The Godfather", and the "Barber of Seville"
overture. He came over to visit one day, and he put on D.'s Bellini and
dazzled him with Cajun and zydeco material that he had gleaned from his
then-recent stay in New Orleans. You may have noticed that D. is a HUGE
Beatles fran, so he asked if Spencer could play any. He launched into "In
My Life", and the rest, as they say, is history...
His Own Flaming Pie Moment
At that moment, Domenic decided that he had to learn the entire Beatles
catalogue on the accordion. No other single instrument can capture bass,
rythm and melodies simultaneously, not to mention harmonies, as can an
accordion. It is so lyrical that vocals aren't even necessary - as instrumental
Beatles, it's truly sublime. The accordion really is an orchestra in a
Since then, D. has sorely neglected all his other instruments to bring
this plan to fruition. Along the way, he has performed for all sorts of
people, at formal and informal events, and has received a generally good
response, at times verging on enthusiastic! D. believes the accordion's
popularity has never been higher, and is glad that he can once again play
the first instrument he learned (and loved) in public.
||Brief Bio & Background
"The Accordion Beatles Guy"
Domenic Amatucci was born and grew up in the Steel City, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He has held jobs
as a furniture salesman, truck driver, bar manager and bartender, lighting
director/roadie, musician, and janitor - all before going back to university
and finishing his education. After graduating from Queen's University at
Kingston with an M.B.A. in 1993, Domenic took a business & management
consulting position with a provincial government ministry, which led to
private practice with government and non-profit organizations, consulting
with staff and their clients on matters relating to small, home- and community-based
business start-ups and funding. This led him into general business/management,
marketing and communications consulting through his company, Market Vision Unlimited, established in 1990.
plays guitars, keyboards, drums, accordion, harmonica and trumpet. He has
been a member of SOCAN since 1990 (when it was still called CAPAC), and
has composed and recorded a number of his original works, also playing most
of the instruments. For five years, he travelled and worked with many bands
as a lighting director and roadie.
The photo at right was taken on Dec.02.09 at Domenic's home
studio/conservatory in Kingston ON.,Canada, where he is currently recording
the AccBtls CD.And playing a hell of a lot of guitar. And jazz piano. Distractions,