J Geils Band 1973J. Geils Band
 
Pittsburgh produced some really outstanding bands in the late '70s and early '80's, including G-Force, aka; The Granati Brothers.
 
Hermie GranatiHermie Granati (vocals and keyboards) is also well known from such high profile gigs as the legendary B.E. Taylor Christmas shows and performing with local legend Donnie Iris.
The Granati Brothers toured with some legendary bands, including Van Halen and a 4-show run with J. Geils Band in 1979.

"Wonderful mentors to us young bucks" said Hermie about the experience. "We did 4 Midwest shows w/ them & they took us under their wings, most notably Pete Wolf & Seth Justman - they were impressed w/ our live show & intrigued by our use of synthesizers - not long after, their breakthrough records (FreezeFrame, Centerfold, etc.) contained that fresh & unlikely element to their blues influenced music. Great band & people ...very encouraging & flat out cool guys - they were like a veteran ballclub that had all the fundamentals DOWN!"

Hermie went on to describe their first meeting.

"We were on a plane flight & noticed all these dudes in swaths of black leather - they asked who we were & we sheepishly told them we were opening some shows for them! They couldn't have been nicer. But the defining moment was when we got to the airport & Wolf mysteriously appeared for the first time...it had been raining, however he was wearing sunglasses, a black hat, raincoat, leather pants & grade school (not sexist) RUBBERS covering his black patent leather shoes! He asked who we were, then stuck his hand out & says, "Pete Wolf...if you need anything, you come to me!" It was like a movie moment in my mind! He was the ultimate cool big daddy beatnik..."

Were there any tales of rock star excess?

Hermie:  "We didn't really witness anything - they were all about the music - very about the business.This was when they were doing theaters & colleges - shortly before they went arena & MTV strength - plus Wolf was courting one Faye Dunaway at that time - no wonder we didn't see him in coach travel!"

Did you at the time get a sense they would get as big as they did?

Hermie:  "Put it this way: They did a 360 from what we saw in them, but they were such an extraordinarily tight, ass kicking unit, it made sense. They were simply astute enough to incorporate some current contemporary essences of that period into the blues rock they had always been doing. A number of veteran bands have reveled in that approach if & when they could find it."

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Category: Main Stage