Everyone has a story, but Boston area singer/songwriter Rick Pisano's story reads more like a movie script. "I remember that night like it was yesterday," Pisano says. "The anticipation. The excitement. It was February 9, 1964. The Beatles were in the United States and would appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. To an impressionable 12-year-old boy and his 15-year-old brother, nothing else mattered in the world," continues Pisano. "Man, they were great! Soon thereafter, my parents bought me an electric guitar and my brother a drum set and our first basement/cellar band was born. From that moment on, we were hooked on this thing called 'the music business.' "
In the years that followed, Pisano (accompanied by older brother Fred) paid his dues. "We found ourselves performing in small nightclubs and dingy lounges as part of some very forgettable bands—while our food-deprived managers/agents took most of our money? hardly what we had envisioned on that magical night in 1964," says Pisano. Yet the dream refused to die. "Fred started experimenting with lyric writing; soon I joined in, adding music and lyrics of my own. Our early influences fueled our creativity: The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, etc. Although our songs were primitive, the spark had been ignited. We decided to get serious about songwriting and leave the smoky club scene behind." In 1972, Rick and Fred Pisano took to the musical streets.
"We began making frequent trips to New York City's famed music district: the Brill Building and the 1650 Broadway area. Equipped with a guitar, a briefcase, and a dream, we walked the corridors and knocked on doors in hopes of meeting any publisher or label, who would listen," says Pisano. "Although crushing to the ego, it was a great learning process. Over the years that ensued, we traveled the Nation's music centers, made numerous studio demos, generated local airplay for our songs, attended various songwriting seminars, and competed in songwriting contests. We got two songs published, were briefly signed to a management/publishing contract and came very close to a major label deal. We listened. We learned. We sent out a constant flurry of mailers to labels, managers, publishers etc. and got back enough rejection letters to wallpaper our office—which by then we needed because we couldn't afford the wallpaper," Pisano laughs. "All this, while having lives of our own with jobs, relationships and studies. However, we soon learned that real life has a way of putting your visions for the future on the back burner."
But the spark was still smoldering. In 2006, energized by the flourishing independent music scene, and inspired by the talent and success of artists such as Susan Tedeschi, Dave Matthews Band and The Derek Trucks Band, Pisano had an awakening. "I call it my musical epiphany," he says. "Everything just started coming together and making perfect sense for me. I started writing songs with a renewed vigor. When it came time to record them, I contacted Oak Grove Recording in Malden, Mass. and hit it off with owner Joe Laquidara—a fine musician/engineer and winner of both a gold and platinum record for his work on Boston's Walk On album," Pisano relates. "It was the right time for me to take total artistic control of the project and I put everything I've learned over the years into it," says Pisano, who co-wrote, produced and arranged his debut CD, Dawn of a Waking Man. "It's taken close to two years to complete this album, but this is my finest work. The dream lives on. It's great to be back in the game."