The Stoners
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The Stoners

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"CHECK OUT THE STONERS"

Domenico Scola went to Italy to find his roots, but he also found a band.

Scola, who grew up in Haddon Heights, heard the calling to trace his ancestry in the Old Country.

While in Italy and digging to uncover his bloodlines, he unearthed his passion for singing by joining a rock band called The Stoners, an Italian tribute band to the Rolling Stones.

Now, D.J. as he is known to family and friends from grade school at St. Rose of Lima — is living in Italy because, he says, “life is great there.”

However, he is back in the area singing with his band this summer. Tonight, the Stoners play at Sylvester’s in Philadelphia and tomorrow night they play in Avalon to wrap up the tour.


“It is wonderful to share this part of my life with the origins of my youth,” Scola said about old friends from Haddon Heights coming out to see The Stoners.

Scola is joined by a group of Italian musicians. This year’s tour lineup includes Ugo Moretti, Maurizio Galanti, Tonino Grossi and Vincenzo Montalto, who all are from Italy. Also, playing is Dan Rendine from Philadelphia.

Scola, 32, is a hit with his band mates, who range between 13 and 19 years older than him.

“Of all the Italian tribute bands, he is the best singer,” Moretti said.

“Not only singer, but frontman,” Galanti added quickly.

In addition to the singing, Scola plays the role of Mick Jagger prancing on stage.

“He jumps on tables and climbs on the bars,” Montalto said.

“He is a Monkey Man,” Galanti said smiling, alluding to the Stones’ song.

Scola also is an educated man. After graduating from Bishop Eustace Prep School, he earned a degree in accounting from the University of Richmond in 2000.

He now lives near Rome — not far from his band mates — and works during the day as a certified public accountant.

“It keeps my dad happy,” Scola said laughing. “He is a CPA.”

When Scola went to Italy six years ago, he saw a want ad in the newspaper for a lead singer for a Rolling Stones tribute band. The Stoners had already been together for two years, but their singer had moved.

“Right away, we knew he was the right person,” Grossi said.

Scola wasn’t as convinced.

“I wasn’t sure I was good enough,” Scola said.

He has been with the band the last five years.

“It was my dream, but I wasn’t expecting it,” Scola said about being the lead singer of a successful touring band.

Like so many their age in Europe and in the United States, The Stoners all grew up listening to Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones.

The Stoners passionately play the driving riffs of Keith Richards while Scola sings. They call it Rolling Stoniano in Italian.

The Stoners have been playing in Italia since 2002 and performed a successful tour of the States in June 2008.

They are now on their second U.S. tour, which includes 12 shows in 11 cities in 16 days.

On this year’s tour, highlights included playing at Kenny’s Castaway’s in The Village in New York City, where Ben Harper recently took the stage, and The Lucky Dog Music Hall in Worcester, Mass., where the Stones played in 1981.

For the second time in as many years, Scola and The Stoners played at P.J. Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill on July 19.

When Scola played his first concert in Cherry Hill, the band opened with “Sway,” which he dedicated to Tim Lenahan. Scola played grade-school basketball at St. Rose of Lima for the legendary Lenahan, who died in 2005.

“I still remember the life lessons he taught us,” Scola said. “I remember him talking to us about working hard and saying, “do you think your fathers felt like getting up this morning and going to work?’ “

Scola has an Italian-American father, Dominic, and his mother, Helen Ann is of Lithuanian origins.

Scola has three siblings — Angela, 41, a graduate of Paul VI High School and Saint Joseph’s University, lives in Haddon Heights; Brett, 39, a Bishop Eustace and Loyola grad, lives in Washington, D.C.; and Nicole, 35, also a Bishop Eustace and Loyola grad, lives in Baltimore.

When he was 17, Scola sang “Wild Horses” in a Eustace talent show.

The Stoners have never met the Stones. Neither have they heard from them. But The Stoners believe the Stones would approve of their work.

“They would see the passion that we have,” Grossi said.

“They would like our front man,” Galanti said.

Scola fronts another band, Crazy Fish, which performs his original rock music.

“I aspire to have a family and I aspire to be a rock star. It is difficult to do both,” Scola said with a wide smile. “Eventually.”

Scola and his band mates said they would like to keep covering the Stones for another seven to 10 years.

“It is a working hobby,” Scola said, smiling as if he is having more fun than Mick Jagger himself. - COURIER POST - KEVIN CALLAHAN


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Tribute the World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll Band, The Rolling Stones.

Fresh off their 2009 U.S. Summer Tour (their second tour of the States), The Stoners are led by their Italian-American singer Domenico Scola, whose stage presence is nothing short of electrifying. Scola is joined by a group of Italian musicians who have decades of experience under their belts. This summer The Stoners packed houses with their energetic shows from Boston down to Washington D.C. The Stoners emit a contagious energy that begins at the instant the first guitar chord is struck and lasts well beyond the moment that the crowd chants beneath the stage for “one more song!”. The musicians of The Stoners grew up listening to the Stones while Jagger and co. were in there hey-day and at the peak of their musical careers. For this reason, The Stoners have no difficulty in creating the RollingStoniano (as they say in Italian) feeling both from the first period (1964-1969) and their most recent recordings and tours. This said, The Stoners give to their audience a wonderful and faithful interpretation both musically and visually that marked then and marks now the concerts of the mythical Rolling Stones.