Totaro

Totaro

BandRockAmericana

Paul Westerberg meets Cracker meets Neil & Crazy Horse.

Biography

“All I ever wanted to do was play and write music,” says John Totaro. The son of a trumpet-playing father, the Natick, Massachusetts-born John opted to play guitar while his siblings practiced piano. He cut his teeth on the professional scene as the teenaged roadie for Boston band Duke and the Drivers. Later he worked with John Curtis of the Pousette-Dart Band, until Curtis gave him the push, saying, “Now you’ve got to go out and do it!” And, with only a brief hiatus, that’s what he’s been doing ever since—as a founding member of The Accidents, The Tats, Group E, and of course, Totaro.

In April 2007 John released his latest CD. A longtime fan of the band Cracker, he approached its co-founder David Lowery in 2006 and asked him to produce it. Impressed with the material, the famously picky Lowery agreed to record Totaro in his Virginia studio; the result is Vice Presidential Pardons—a mix of classic rock ‘n’ roll infused with country and blues. Further endorsement came from Lowery when he invited Totaro to open shows for the New England leg of Cracker’s summer tour.

The material for VPP is based on John’s recent hard earned experiences with disappointment, drugs, and a loss of direction. In the mid-nineties--twice named one of the best unsigned bands in America by Musician magazine--John was getting airplay as far away as Europe and Japan and hosting an award-winning cable TV show, Rawk Tawk with John Totaro. By the turn of the millenium, with a major label knocking on his door, John was ready for the big-time. But when the deal fell through at the eleventh hour, John’s disappointment was visceral.

“I just stopped playing,” he says. “The members of the band were pissed. By late 2002 I was pretty bummed out; drinking and drugging too much.”

But John just doesn’t have the personality for giving up. Realizing he couldn’t live without music, he embraced sobriety in 2005 and got back to work. A feature on the New England music scene again; in July, Totaro will play six dates in the Republic of Georgia, birthplace of the band’s keyboardist and classically trained pianist, Nino Tianeli.

John’s attitude to playing music is different nowadays. “Before I would play with any good musician who was willing to commit; I didn’t necessarily have to like them. But now it has to be a good fit in terms of support and camaraderie. It has to be fun.”

Lyrics

Bottle, Me and You

Written By: John Totaro

Lately we don't see I to I
There's three of us and only one of I
Me and you and the bottle makes three
Lately you are mad at me
Don't really have much to say
You've heard it all anyway

The Bottle, Me & You
The bottle what's the use

Maybe I'll just go away
Find myself a new Miss Take
Me and her and the bottle makes three
Wonder if she'll be mad at me
Don't really have much to say
You've heard it all anyway

The Bottle, Me & You
The bottle what's the use

Or maybe I'll just get a dog
We'll go for walks to my favorite bar
Me and her and the bottle makes three
Wonder if she'll get mad at me
Don't really have much to say
You've heard it all anyway

Lately we don't see I to I
There's three of us and only one of I
Me and you and the bottle makes three
Lately you are mad at me
Don't really have much to say
You've heard it all anyway

The Bottle, Me & You
The bottle what's the use

Hollywood Street

Written By: John Totaro

Up and down Hollywood Street
My star is somewhere 'round here
Aimlessly walking I'm looking for me

Another wasted evening
Another wasted life
I'm just 3am litter crossing the street

Another wasted evening
Another wasted life

It's a lonely feeling
Overlooked underloved
Here I am just walking while the city sleeps

Another wasted evening
Another wasted life

Up and down Hollywood Street
My star is somewhere 'round here

Obsession Away

Written By: John Totaro

If you're in trouble here's what I say
You ought to find yourself a better way
You better get on your knees and begin to pray
You better ask your Lord take the obsession away

You're in the back of a cop car your hands are in cuffs
You feel victimized yet you are drunk
You better get on your knees and begin to pray
You better ask your Lord take the obsession away

You're going to jail but you get a phone call
You dial direct you call your Lord
You better get on your knees and begin to pray
You better ask your Lord take the obsession away

I feel bad for your wife and kids
Living with you in the shape you're in
You better get on your knees and begin to pray
You better ask your Lord take the obsession away

Discography

LP: Vice Presidential Pardons (2007)