Band New 2025


Each member of the band has many years of musical experience. Everyone in the band sings, both lead, and back up vocals, which translates into melodic harmonies not often found in live bands. The music is tight, and the presentation polished, making BANDANA a must see act.

BANDANA originated, in Venice, Florida, in October of 1990. Since that time, they have won the hearts and support of thousands of local fans, and tourists visiting Florida, from all over the United States, and the world.  Appearing, as a local band, people are astounded by the professionalism, and charisma that pours from the stage as this group of highly talented musicians, and vocalists perform.

Click on the names to learn more about the band members, or scroll down: Tony Gerace Dave Hartman Steve Showers Bill Glover

From 1996 through 2007 Bandana
have received 11 consecutive awards
for Best Local Band!

Awards

 



 

 

 
After performing in Homestead, Florida at the Hurricane Andrew Relief Benefit in 1992, Butch received this special Thank You from organizer Louise Harrison, sister of former Beatle, George Harrison.
Louise Harrison

“BANDANA is the band to book when you want to kick your event up a notch or two! We appreciate their participation in the Backyard Bash benefit for the Sons of the American Legion, for the last five years in a row—selling out every time. They are real crowd pleasers and just good folks to deal with all around!”
— Billy Twardosky
Originator of the Backyard Bash

“It has been a pleasure to work with Butch Gerace and the other members of BANDANA over the last few years as featured performers at Venice Little Theatre’s Oldies Concert. Their popularity in our local area makes them the perfect draw for our annual Theatre Guild fund raiser. We look forward to BANDANA’s return each year!”
— Earl Baumruck
Member of the Board of Directors, Venice Little Theatre


“BANDANA plays at our venue on a regular basis. Butch and the band have a great following and always bring large crowds. Our customers look forward to having BANDANA play here and the band puts on most entertaining performances. We highly recommend the band.”
— Ken Hansen,
Manager of Snook Haven Retreat, a Sarasota County (FL) Park

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tony "Butch" Gerace

Formerly of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs Tony "Butch" Gerace is the leader, and founding member of BANDANA. His credits include radio, television, and recording, as only a part of this, dynamic performers past. Butch started performing to live audiences at age 5 in his hometown, of Haverstraw, New York. He attended vocal training classes at Startime Studios while making weekly appearances on the Horn & Hardart’s Children’s Hour, a television show out of New York City, where he sang, danced, and acted out skits with other young entertainers on live T.V.

This T.V. show opened doors for Butch at age 12, to record with the Mitch Miller’s Sandpiper Boys chorus, which released Boy Scout recordings in the mid 1950’s.
Early in 1960 he joined forces with a very popular dance band as featured vocalist. The band was Steve Frank’s Blue Devils. Although Butch was only 15 years old, he sang popular standards from Moon River to Sweet Georgia Brown at weddings, corporate functions, and various parties all around Rockland County, N.Y., and neighboring North Jersey. Appearances with this band, gained Butch a great deal of notoriety, and publicity.  He was being billed as Mr. Melody. After two years of performing as Steve Franks’ featured vocalist, Butch decided he wanted to start his own band. He got together with a few schoolmates, and formed his very first rock and roll band, playing school dances, teenage night clubs, and benefits with giant names, Helen Hayes, Don Cornell, and Gene Krupa just to name a few.

Tony Gerace & The Timelighters, from Haverstraw, N.Y., won first place prize, in the Battle of the Bands Contest, at the Broadway Theatre, in Haverstraw, beating out bands from Rockland, Bergen, Westchester, and The Bronx. First place winners won a gig at the very popular hot spot, The Peppermint Lounge in New York City. This was the beginning of his life long professional career. In 1963 Butch recorded a single pop ballad for Fleetwood Records in New York, which received local airplay. During his latter teenage years, Butch formed a band called Tony Gee & the Gypsy’s. This band performed in the world famous Metropole Café in Times Square, New York City for 18 months, and also other hot night spots, like The Peppermint Lounge, and Trudy Heller’s in Greenwich Village, prior to being discovered by Leonard Stogal & Associates, business manager of Sam the Sham.

Tony Gee & the Gypsy’s were transformed into The Pharaohs, and went on to record “Lil Red Riding Hood” for MGM records in 1966, which soared to the number 1 record in the world for most of the summer of 1966. Other hits include "Wooly Bully", "Red Hot", "Oh that’s good", "How do you catch a girl", all from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. During the years from late 1965 through 1969, Butch was bass player, and vocalist for this mega hit M.G.M. recording group. Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs, was listed as one of the top 13 groups on the planet, at that time. Butch, has shared the stage


In 1969, Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs broke up, after a few months at home Butch formed a Las Vegas type show band called LEMON TREE. This band performed in upscale show lounges across the country including Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, and many more. Lemon Tree was a high energy all male show band that was booked by Norby Walters & Assoc., one of the top booking agencies, in New York City. The band, was favorably written up, by Peter Benchley. At that time, he was working with Paramount Pictures.

In 1977 Norby Walters and record producer, Meco Manardo  transformed Lemon Tree into The Meco Cantina Band of STAR WARS fame. The #1 record, “Theme from STAR WARS” disco version took Butch on his 2nd world tour with a giant hit, playing Europe, Asia, South America, and cities all over the United States, and Canada.

During the world tour of the Meco Cantina Band, Butch’s  young cousin, Jeff Frasco, was their  Special Effects Technician. Today, Jeff Frasco is with Creative Artist Agency, one of the most successful booking agencies in Hollywood, CA.

Butch settled down in Venice, Florida in 1978 after traveling for 13 years on tour. He met and married Shannon Davidson his present day wife of 29 years. After all 4 children were raised, he decided to form a local band, “BANDANA”. When asked where the name “BANDANA” comes from, Butch always replies, “I got that name off the top of my head!”

In the Beginning...

Butch Gerace started his career performing in front of live audiences at age 5 in his hometown of Haverstraw, New York, where he attended vocal training classes at Startime Studios while making weekly appearances on the Horn & Hardart’s Children’s Hour, a New York City television show. There he sang, danced and acted in skits with other young entertainers on live TV and doors started to open.

At age 12, Butch joined Mitch Miller’s Sandpiper Boys chorus, which released Boy Scout recordings in the mid 1950’s. In the early 60’s, he recorded a single pop ballad for Fleetwood Records in New York, which received local airplay. During his latter teenage years, Butch formed a band called Tony Gee & the Gypsys. Performing at the world famous Metropole Café in Times Square, New York City for 18 months, along with other hot night spots like The Peppermint Lounge and Trudy Heller’s in Greenwich Village, this band was discovered by Leonard Stogal & Associates, business manager of Sam the Sham, and was transformed into The Pharaohs. They went on to record “Li’l Red Riding Hood” for MGM records in 1966, a recording that soared to #1 in the world for most of the summer of 1966. Other hits included “Wooly Bully,” “Red Hot,” “Oh That’s Good” and “How Do You Catch a Girl” — all from Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs.

In 1969, Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs broke up. After a few months at home, Butch formed a Las Vegas type show band called Lemon Tree. This band performed in upscale show lounges in major cities all across the country including Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans and others. In 1977, Lemon Tree was transformed into The Meco Cantina Band of Star Wars fame. Their #1 record, “Theme from Star Wars” disco version took Butch on his 2nd world tour with this giant hit playing Europe, Asia, South America and cities all over the United States and Canada.

Now Butch Gerace brings his incredible talent, all those years of experience and an amazing level of energy and vitality to every BANDANA performance. Don’t miss your chance to see Butch and his talented band mates perform!

Back to top



Dave was born in Ludlow, MA, and grew up in Springfield, MA, where he started playing bass at age 15. His first axe was a Hagstrom bass he used for his work in his older brother’s band.  His early musical influences came from his older brother Ron, Jack Bruce, Ron Carter, The Beatles, and the Ventures.

During his high school years he played bass for several local bands in the New England area.  After graduation in 1967 he enlisted in the US Navy, and formed bands with fellow shipmates that performed in some of the Mediterranean countries, as well as the Caribbean, during off duty hours.

After 4 years in the Navy, Dave returned to Springfield, and joined up with his brother Ron, in the Ron Hartman Band. As his musical talent progressed he moved onto other bands playing various types of music, such as Blues, Rock, Rock & Roll, Jazz, and Southern Rock.  These groups included, Cedar Creek Band [w/Ron], Metal Band Abadon, Lady Jane, Charlie Galvin Band and recorded a live LP with Jack Amberlock and Blues Unlimited at Theodores Blues club in downtown Spfld. With Lady Jane, he opened a gig for Leslie West of Mountain at the Warehouse 1 in Springfield.  The group Cedar Creek continued to work the New England states, MA, NH, VT, CT, & RI.  He continued to work with several local bands, until he decided to move to Port Charlotte, FL in 1987. Being the new kid on the block, Dave found lots of gigs in the Charlotte County area, with The Jets, Honky Tonk Ramblers, Heart Attack & The Pacemakers, with Larry Kuran of Bandana and Tommy Lobue of The Crashers, Nightshift, Nitehawk, with Richard ‘Bluesman’ Bryant, and Dr. Dirt’s Little Boogie Band.

Dave now plays a Fender P bass & Warwick Thumb 5 String bass.  He uses a Hartke 3500 Amp, & Hartke XL cabinets.
He was contacted by BANDANA to do a fill in gig for New Year’s Eve 2011/2012. His outstanding abilities as a Bass Man made him the perfect choice to complete the overall sound of the band.

Dave was asked to become the steady bass player for BANDANA in March 2012


Back to top



Steve Shower

Born in Madison WI August 27, 1950. Steven started playing piano at age 6, took classical piano lessons for 8 years, during which time played trombone with his junior high, and high school bands gaining musical knowledge which carries through to present day. Steven’s keyboard technique is rare, from beautiful classical melodies to raunchy honky tonk piano, showing musical abilities that can only be acquired through years of playing. After high school, Steven enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, where he majored in the Arts. He played through the summer while earning his degree.

In 1970 Steven joined a local group, called “STONE HINGE” which gained a great deal of popularity, they played extensively through out the mid-west, and as far south as Florida. He spent almost 8 years on the road paying dues!

Steven moved to Venice, Florida in 1978, and worked in the aluminum industry with his brother David, building pool cages in Sarasota, and Charlotte counties. In 1992 Steven joined “BANDANA”, and since then has played hundreds of gigs all over the state, from Miami to Jacksonville and back again Steven is truly an asset to the band.


Back to top


Tony "Butch" Gerace

Bill began keeping the beat playing rock n’ roll when he was a toddler growing up in Florida on Treasure Island, during the ‘50s He would take all his mother’s pots and pans out of the cupboard and play along with the radio. He took lessons on drums as a child when his dad bought him his first beginner’s drum set. During the ‘60s he practiced daily for hours by playing to his favorite rock n’ roll artist. He figured out how to wire his guitar amp to his turntable so he could hear the music well enough to emulate the pro-drummers he heard on the records. One day a teenage musician walking by the house heard Bill playing along with the hit drum-solo song, “Inagodadavida”, by “Iron Butterfly”. He was impressed with Bill’s ability to play the drum-solo “note for note” and asked Bill to join his band. That was the beginning of Bill’s lifelong career of playing music.

While Bill was in junior high and high school he played out every weekend with local bands until 1971. In ’71, leaving high school, he auditioned for the ABC-Paramount recording artist, The “Roemans”, of Tommy Roe fame, with his uncle Bob Glover on guitar. The drummer, Bertie Higgins, was leaving the band to pursue his solo career. Bertie went on to record “Key Largo”. Bill passed the audition and toured the South with the” Roemans”. While touring Bill met Capitol recording artist, “Gene Cotton”. Gene recorded several Billboard Top 40 hits, “Before My Heart Find’s Out” being his most notable. Gene offered Bill a job so Bill decided to move to Nashville and toured with Gene for several months.

While on the road in 1971, Bill had turned 18. Being on the road fulltime he had failed to receive notice to report for a physical during the draft. The Vietnam War was still going on. While Bill was home for a short break from the road, he received a notice that since he had failed to report for a physical, the U.S. Army had drafted him. He was to report immediately. Dismayed, he packed his bags and got on the bus to take the physical. Luckily he failed the physical and was able to moved back home. By this time his mom and dad had gotten a divorce and his mom had moved to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to be close to her mom and family.  Bill got his GED and started Bible College in Ft. Wayne. While in college he met three other talented musicians and in September of 1972, at the age of 18, formed the four-time Grammy Award winning Christian rock band, “Petra”. Bill toured with Petra for eight years recording two albums, “Petra” and “Come and Join Us”. During those early years of Christian rock music they failed to get the airplay secular rock bands enjoyed. Bill resigned from the band when he got married and had a child. The income from Petra was not enough to support a family so Bill went to work selling men’s clothing and playing music with local bands in the Mid-West.

In 1980, following a painful divorce, Bill moved to Texas to open a Christian coffee house ministry to college students with his brother, Rick. Rick was an associate pastor of a church in Midland/Odessa.  Bill started a band there called “Aslan” and opened for National Christian rock bands that performed at his coffee house. Tiring of operating the coffee house full time for over two years, Bill had heard good things about the music business in Dallas/Ft. Worth; and wanting to get back into the music full time he moved there and started the Blues band, “Shame Shame”, performing in Blues venues around the South West, including B.B. King’s in Memphis, Tennessee.  Bill lived in Texas, recording and touring the South West for 15 years. In ’95, Bill moved to Chicago to play the Blues. He lived there for five years playing Blues venues including “Buddy Guy’s”. In 2000 Bill moved back to Ft. Wayne, Indiana to be close to his aging mother. There he joined forces again with two other founding members of Petra, guitarist Greg Hough and bassist  John DeGroff. Together they formed the Christian rock power trio, GHF. GHF has a new album coming out in June of 2013. GHF is a recording band and doesn’t tour. Bill continues to reunite with founding members of Petra on occasion to this day.

Upon moving back to Ft. Wayne in January of 2000 Bill met his present wife, Tammy. They now live in Venice, Florida where Bill enjoys his retirement and helping take care of his mother who recently turned 87 years old. Bill joined Bandana and played his first gig with the local hero’s April 7, 2013.

Back to top