Q&A with multitalented musician and writer Dennis Marcellino - a former member of many top bands

"I miss how important and ground breaking music was culturally. It doesn't seem like there has been anything new and exciting for many years."

Dennis Marcellino: Music On The Clouds

Dennis Marcellino has an extensive history in the music business as a musician who plays sax, flute, guitar and other instruments, as well as being a vocalist, composer and arranger. He is a former member of many top bands including The Tokens (the band who once had the hit, "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), Sly & The Family Stone, The Elvin Bishop Group and Rubicon (who closed the largest paid-ticket event in history, Cal Jam 2). With these groups he recorded 10 albums. As a solo artist he had the #1 selling cassette in the Northwest in 1992 & 1993 called "It's Christmas" and the following solo CD releases: "Daddy's Home", "New Beginning" and "The Spirit of Christmas". He has a duo CD release with his brother-in-law, Mark Stefani called "An Evening To Remember" (now called "Tenderly") that received a five star review in Jazzscene magazine, ranking Dennis higher than all other sax players, and was an international bestseller.

Besides being a member of the above bands, he has recorded and toured as a musician/vocalist with Sha Na Na, Rare Earth, 3 Dog Night, The Electric Flag, Graham Central Station, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, Leon Patillo and Kyle Henderson, among others. He has also been a special guest star on many television shows including The Tracey Ullman Show, American Bandstand, Midnight Special, Merv Griffin, Living The Life (at the 700 Club studio), etc. He scored and performed the music for a number of movies, and sang the lead and played sax on two songs in "Sweet Bird Of Youth", starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mark Harmon. He also has written 8 books.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How has philosophy, and theology influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?

It was a long journey of discovery through 20 different approaches to lifestyle and truth, ending in a total confidence in Jesus and the Bible.

How do you describe your sound and music philosophy? Where does your creative drive come from?

Music has been how I've tapped and revealed my inner depths ... as long as it was inspired.

Which meetings have been the most important experiences? What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?

All meetings of becoming a member of top name bands. Our music should be "better and different" to be popular.

Are there any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

My band Rubicon closing Cal Jam 2 with 350,000 people was exciting. The professionalism in doing many TV shows and recording sessions.

"It was a long journey of discovery through 20 different approaches to lifestyle and truth, ending in a total confidence in Jesus and the Bible." (Photo: Dennis Marcellino, Rubicon days)

What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?

I miss how important and ground breaking music was culturally. It doesn't seem like there has been anything new and exciting for many years.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

Much less difficulty in making a living through music and music sales.

What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in music paths?

Spiritual purity trumps hedonism.

What is the impact of music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want it to affect people?

More of a vehicle for deep self-revelation.

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really want to go for a whole day?

How did people relate to music 2000 years ago, and how pure was their sensitivity to it?

Dennis Marcellino - Home

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