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Dion: A Rock Legend Opens Up View Comments
By Dion DiMucci and Mike Aquilina

In 1958, we went from glory to glory, headlining with the likes of Eddie Cochran (“Summertime
Blues”), Gene Vincent (“Be-Bop-A-Lula”) and Bobby Darin (“Splish Splash”). Bobby was another Italian boy from the Bronx, a few years my senior and more hip to the ways of the business world.

He became a close friend and a mentor, giving me good advice about how to read my contracts and file my taxes. Bobby grew up the same way I did and had many of the same worries. He spoke to my frugal nature, my inner Mom.

A lot of early rockers got jerked around and bled dry by their agents, their record companies and the crowd of scammers that follow the money wherever it goes. If I managed to survive rock stardom with a couple nickels to rub together, no small credit goes to Bobby Darin, who spoke my language and gave me free accounting lessons on the tour bus.

In the fall we got invited to join another superstar, Buddy Holly, on what was billed as “The Biggest Show of Stars.” Buddy had a streak of hits that could make DiMaggio jealous: “That’ll Be the Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” “Maybe Baby” and “It’s So Easy (to Fall in Love).”

He’d only been recording for a year, but he had already established a rock-and-roll sound that everyone was mimicking. I got to know Buddy when he moved to New York in August. He’d just married a New Yorker, Maria Elena Santiago, and he was happy in his new apartment. (He’d proposed to Maria Elena on their first date.)

We spent three weeks together on “The Biggest Show of Stars,” and we established a strong relationship––friendship and mutual musical admiration. When Buddy invited me to join him on his upcoming all-star “Winter Dance Party” tour, I was honored and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.

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Dion DiMucci is a multi-platinum recording artist, Grammy Award nominee and inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mike Aquilina is the author of many books, including Love in the Little Things and Angels of God (both from Servant Books). Dion and Mike co-wrote, Dion, The Wanderer Talks Truth.

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Philip Neri: Philip Neri was a sign of contradiction, combining popularity with piety against the background of a corrupt Rome and a disinterested clergy, the whole post-Renaissance malaise. 
<p>At an early age, he abandoned the chance to become a businessman, moved to Rome from Florence and devoted his life and individuality to God. After three years of philosophy and theology studies, he gave up any thought of ordination. The next 13 years were spent in a vocation unusual at the time—that of a layperson actively engaged in prayer and the apostolate. </p><p>As the Council of Trent (1545-63) was reforming the Church on a doctrinal level, Philip’s appealing personality was winning him friends from all levels of society, from beggars to cardinals. He rapidly gathered around himself a group of laypersons won over by his audacious spirituality. Initially they met as an informal prayer and discussion group, and also served poor people in Rome. </p><p>At the urging of his confessor, he was ordained a priest and soon became an outstanding confessor, gifted with the knack of piercing the pretenses and illusions of others, though always in a charitable manner and often with a joke. He arranged talks, discussions and prayers for his penitents in a room above the church. He sometimes led “excursions” to other churches, often with music and a picnic on the way. </p><p>Some of his followers became priests and lived together in community. This was the beginning of the Oratory, the religious institute he founded. A feature of their life was a daily afternoon service of four informal talks, with vernacular hymns and prayers. Giovanni Palestrina was one of Philip’s followers, and composed music for the services. </p><p>The Oratory was finally approved after suffering through a period of accusations of being an assembly of heretics, where laypersons preached and sang vernacular hymns! (Cardinal Newman founded the first English-speaking house of the Oratory three centuries later.) </p><p>Philip’s advice was sought by many of the prominent figures of his day. He is one of the influential figures of the Counter-Reformation, mainly for converting to personal holiness many of the influential people within the Church itself. His characteristic virtues were humility and gaiety.</p> American Catholic Blog When we suffer, we don’t just come to understand the pain of Christ’s cross more, we come to understand the depth of God’s love for us: that he would endure such pain for us—in our place. We have a God who endured death so we would never have to do so.

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