Frank Carillo Biography
Frank Carillo is the epitome of the "musician's musician." Throughout his career, his craftsmanship as a gifted world-class guitar player, electrifying stage performances, memorable prolific songwriting and his warm and affable persona have allowed him to make an indelible mark on the international music scene.
In 1972 and 1973 respectively, Frank traveled to England to add his distinctive guitar sound and style to Peter Frampton's "Wind of Change" and "Frampton's Camel" albums for A&M Records.
In 1973 he formed Doc Holiday a band which consisted of Robert Liggio on drums, Thomas Arlotta on bass and Bob Mayo on guitar. The band recorded their first album at Olympic Studios in England for Metromedia Records. The album was produced by Chris Kimsey who had just finished recording the Rolling Stones' "Sticky Fingers" album at Olympic Studios. Chris obtained permission for the band to use the Stones' equipment to record their album. As if using the Stones' equipment wasn't enough, Led Zeppelin, who was mixing their "House of the Holy" album in the adjoining studio, became fast friends which culminated one night in an unforgettable Led Zeppelin - Doc Holiday jam session at Olympic.
In late 1973 Frank was back in England recording French superstar Johnny Hallyday's album "Insolitudes" where he blended his creative guitar playing to the efforts of legendary bassist Klaus Voorman, guitar players Bob Mayo and Peter Frampton along with the unsurpassed horn section consisting of Bobby Keys, Jim Horn and Jim Price. Frank penned the title track for the album "La Solitude" which was a smash hit throughout Europe.
During the winter of 1978 and upon Frank's return from a highly successful Bee Gees Canadian tour where his band, which consisted of Jan Mullaney on keyboards, David Donen on drums and Kevin Keane on bass was the opening act, he signed an exclusive recording contract with Atlantic Records. Also vying to sign Frank was Led Zeppelin's record company Swan Song Records. After consummating the deal with Atlantic Records, a co-publishing arrangement was completed with Led Zeppelin's publishing company Kyknos Cantos Music, Inc. which means "Swan Song" in Greek.
Carillo's first album for Atlantic, titled "Rings Around the Moon," was recorded at Long View Farms near Worchester, Massachusetts in the summer of 1978. Incidentally, Yvonne Elliman who had a tremendous hit with her performance on the "Jesus Christ Superstar" album singing "I Don't Know How To Love Him" and as a member of Eric Clapton's band where she sang backing vocals on the hit "I Shot the Sheriff," performed backing vocals on this, Frank's debut album.
Just prior to the release of "Rings Around the Moon" Led Zeppelin had requested that Carillo be their opening act for a forthcoming North American tour. This would be the first time Led Zeppelin used an opening act for a North American stadium-size tour. The tour was cancelled when, tragically, Robert Plant's son died.
Carillo toured extensively throughout 1978 and 1979 playing with such acts as The J. Giles Band, Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
During a break in touring late in 1978, Frank found time to collaborate with Carly Simon where they penned a song titled "Pure Sin." Frank played guitar on the song which was produced by world-renowned producer Arif Mardin for Carly's "Spy" album.
The second Carillo album was released on Atlantic in 1979 and was entitled "Street of Dreams" and that album also had a luminary doing backing vocals - his name, Michael Bolton. After the release of this album Frank embarked on a 64-show U.S.A. tour opening for Bad Company. Playing to sold-out audiences in major areas across America, Carillo stunned the critics and fans with electrifying shows that received rave reviews throughout the United States with standing ovations and encores occurring at every show. The tour culminated in San Antonio, Texas, when after Bad Company's show, Carillo and Bad Company came out on stage and jammed, rocking the roof off the building!
In 1986, Frank began writing and producing sessions with famed British actress, singer and model Twiggy while she was in New York performing in a Broadway play. These sessions once again brought Frank and Carly Simon together, performed backing vocals on the Twiggy recordings.
Ricky Bird, guitar player and songwriter for Joan Jett & The Heartbreakers, approached Frank in 1988. This resulted in Ricky Bird and Frank composing "Play That Song Again." The song appeared on "Up Your Alley," Joan Jett & The Heartbreaker's multi-platinum album.
In 1990, Frank joined up with singer Annie Golden creating the duo of Golden Carillo. They turned their attention towards Europe where they recorded two albums, "Fire In New Town" and "Toxic Emotion" for Silenz Records. The albums were met with great acclaim and success in Europe. Golden Carillo embarked on a number of extensive tours in Europe playing to sell-out crowds in Holland, Belgium and Germany. While performing in Europe, Frank appeared on countless radio and TV shows and created a loyal and strong European fan base.
Between European tours Frank worked with Atlantic recording artist and former Zebra band member Randy Jackson. Randy's debut solo album which was produced by legendary producer John Sonneveld.
Returning to Europe to record the "Toxic Emotion" album for Silenz Records, Frank utilized a studio in Belgium owned by Golden Earring's guitarist George Kooymans. He developed a wonderful friendship with George. He was reunited with producer John Sonneveld and Frank, George and John produced the "Toxic Emotion" album which had a great deal of success in Europe.
1992 found Frank himself, along with Annie Golden, making his first major film appearance as a musician in "Prelude to a Kiss" staring Meg Ryan and Alec Baldwin. Frank and Annie co-wrote and performed the song, "Waiting For Someone", on the film's soundtrack.
In 1995 George Kooymans introduced Frank to Dutch vocal sensation Anouk. Frank wrote two songs, "Pictures On Your Skin" and "Time Is a Jailer" which appeared on Anouk's platinum debut album.
In 2002 Golden Earring journeyed to the United States and then to up-state New York to record their most recent album entitled Millbrook, U.S.A. Frank co-authored seven songs on this CD along with Golden Earring members George Kooymans and Barry Hay. He also contributed backing vocals, slide guitar and laud.
Over the last several years Frank has enjoyed touring North America and Europe as a member of legendary blues guitarist John Hammond’s band. Playing with some of the greatest blues musicians in the world has been a tremendously artistic experience for Frank. He played guitar on “Slick Crown Vic” one of John Hammond’s latest CDs which was produced by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos.
In 2004 Frank formed a new band called Frank Carillo & The Bandoleros featuring Norman DelTufo on percussion/backing vocals, Eddie Seville on drums/backing vocals, Karl Allweier on upright bass/backing vocals and Frank’s brother Andrew Carillo on guitar. Frank has reunited with his former manager Phil Lorito for this project. Recently, the band’s début CD entitled “Bad Out There” was released on Jezebel Records, Inc. which is distributed by Red Eye in the U.S. and Canada. The CD was also released in numerous European countries via Jezebel Records, Inc. and various European distributors.
Embarking on its first headline tour of Holland and Germany in January, 2006, the band played night clubs that were sold out or nearly sold out. The band’s performance was absolutely outstanding having received a minimum of two and sometimes three encores each night. This tour established the band as one of the most impressive new American groups rising on the European scene.
In the United States, the CD has received rave reviews and was selected in many journals as one of the Year’s Best. It was added to Play Network which streams tracks from the CD to over 15,000 retail outlets throughout North America, including Starbucks, TGIF, Krispy Kreme, Hooters and Eddie Bauer's. In addition, DMX In-flight has added tracks from the CD and they are being played on all major airlines worldwide. American Airlines featured Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros on their “Harvest” country station with fellow country artists Faith Hill, The Dixie Chicks, Kenny Chesney and Brad Paisley.
The CD has also been added to XM Satellite Radio X-Country where in April of 2006 it hit #6 on that channel’s Top 40 chart. “Wired In,” The X-Country Concert Series on XM Satellite, aired a live recording of Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros in the summer of 2006. Songs from the CD have been played on over 180 AAA; Americana and Roots radio stations in the United States and at different times, different stations have played all 14 tracks from the CD.
The CD enjoyed position on the AMA charts and in January 2006 we achieved # 1 on both the Roots Top 100 and the Roots Rock Top 40. At one point it was on the Roots Rock Top 40 charts for over 42 weeks, went off the charts, and then went back on. The CD was “Featured CD Review” on the Roots Music Report where it was given the highest rating - five stars. It also received the highest rating from Amazon.com with their five stars.
In the late summer of 2006 the single “Red Queen” was released to country Radio in the United States. The CD was included on the CDX Country Radio release and was warmly embraced at Country Radio.
Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros are on MySpace with tens of thousands of fans and listeners and has been noted in the Top 10 most popular Country artists in New York State on MySpace.
The single “Red Queen” was also released to radio in Germany and every radio station in Germany that plays new American artists - over 74 radio stations added the song.