Marino Stathakis

Lead Guitar – Vocals

Marino Stathakis grew up in Gary Indiana listening to his uncle Jim’s collection of 45s and albums from the mid to late 60s. His first purchases were supported by his Mom, taking him to the record store to get the latest Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and The Temptations. He was in 6th grade listening to a band at Bailey Junior High School when a friend budged him and said “we could be doing that next year.”

That’s when his inner musician came to life. He took every music course possible through public education and studied brass horns of all kinds. He eventually picked up keyboards, then bass guitar, drums, and guitar, applying the knowledge he attained from studying theory and harmony.

Early teachers who made an impact on Stahthalis were his band director Mr. Chilson and Dominic Argostino also a teacher or fellow student, or bandmate???, who could capture rock classics when they were freshly released and there was no online help to learn the chords.

He was exposed to the band Chicago in the early 70’s.  “Even though I was focusing on guitar at the time, the horn section really hit my radar because I was in tune with the horn parts. My good friend Vasil, who I played music with back then, we would sit and spin those albums for hours,” said Stathakis. He started his first garage band in 1977.

He became a state champion in brass performance, earning a scholarship to DePaul University, the alma mater of original Chicago founding member Walter Parazaider.

“Chicago is a jewel of a musical experience. Not only are they still touring together after more than four decades, they produced hits that became part of our musical culture,” said Stathakis.

Instead of pursuing a civilian degree, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and taught himself guitar while stationed in California. In 1978 he became part of a band called Truxx with four other trained musicians USMC.

Their first real gig was April 1979. He still has the press clip from it.  They played at the Enlisted Men’s Club on WHAT BASE??.  There were at least 500 Marines that gave us an roaring response. They played fine restaurants and galleries? in LA, focusing on a top-40 set list from the early 80s. They were signed by an agent and tasked with writing Peter Cetera style ballads.

At the height of their fame, the lure of rock stardom faded away as the grind of touring took its toll and he realized his family needed him more than the public.

The relocated to Texas and Stathakis joined a band named Sabrina and Gypsybleu. Formed in 2008, they’ve played most everywhere in the metroplex and still joins them when schedules allow. He was recruited by Chicago Tribute Authority Texas five years ago.

“I was referred by their trumpet player Bobby Manson, who I had played with in a group called Neon Lights,” said Stathakis.

“I truly love love love the music of Chicago. It offers the full spectrum of playing in a tribute band.  The music has a range of simple chord progressions to very complex time signature changes.  It has a romantic era and an edgy rock expression. The fact that nine of us play together and depending on the song, any one of us individually can make the song happen with a signature lick. This project is a shared experience. It is truly a team effort and the applause go to the entire band.”

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