Five Firsts: Rocky Petrocelli of the Ernie Williams Band

Rocky Petrocelli

Rocky Petrocelli

NAME: Rocky Petrocelli
BAND AFFILIATION: Ernie Williams Band, owner of Rocky’s Music Studio
INSTRUMENT: Drums

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … I mainly bought 45s when I was a kid and listened to my parents’ records, but the first album that I bought with my own money was George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass.” Love the sound of that record!

2. THE FIRST CONCERT THAT I EVER SAW WAS … Leslie West & Mountain at the Palace Theatre. My ears are still ringing from that concert!

3. THE FIRST MUSICAL INSTRUMENT I EVER OWNED OR PLAYED WAS … A drum set from Montgomery Ward’s that I got for Christmas – the kind with cardboard drum heads and a colorful Hawaiian scene on the bass drum. I tore through that set in five minutes, and then my parents took me out and bought me a set of white marine pearl Ludwig’s … I wish I still had that set!

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4. THE FIRST SONG THAT I EVER PERFORMED IN PUBLIC WAS … I wish I could remember!

5. THE FIRST BAND I WAS EVER IN WAS … Well, I guess the first “pro” band that I was in was the Country Travelers. They did square dances, parties, bars etc. I was 14 going on 15, and they were well into their 30’s. My first gig with them was the Ft. Crailo Bar (And, yes! There was a chicken wire fence around the stage) in Rensselaer. I made $30.

Rocky Petrocelli slips behind his drum kit to fuel the blues backbeat for the Ernie Williams Band at The Linda in Albany on Saturday, February 4. The big birthday bash begins at 8pm, and tix are $18. And when he’s not backing up Albany’s Ambassador of the Blues, you’ll likely find him at Rocky’s Music Studio in North Greenbush.

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