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