Domenic Michele Antonio Troiano
January 17, 1946 – May 25, 2005
Domenic Michele Antonio Troiano was a Canadian rock guitarist, most notable for his contributions to Mandala, The James Gang, The Guess Who and as a solo artist. Born in Modugno, Italy, Troiano became a naturalized Canadian in 1955. He was raised in Toronto and began playing guitar at age 15. As a professional musician, he was a guitarist for Ronnie Hawkins, James Gang, The Guess Who and Bush, among others. His first group of note was Robbie Lane & The Disciples, who were hired en masse to back singer Ronnie Hawkins upon the departure of Levon and the Hawks. In 1965, Troiano joined The Rogues who became The Five Rogues and comprised singer George Olliver, bass player Don Elliot, keyboard player Josef Chirowski and drummer Pentti Glan. In September 1966, the band changed its name to Mandala and recorded two singles, including the top ten hit, “Opportunity” in February 1967. Olliver and Chirowski left later that year and were replaced by Roy Kenner and organist Henry Babraj. With yet another organist, Hugh Sullivan, the group scored another big Canadian hit in 1968 with “Love-itis” on Atlantic Records and issued an LP, “Soul Crusade”. The band formally broke up in June 1969, but Troiano, Kenner, Sullivan and Glan soon regrouped as Bush, with bassist Prakash John. Kenner also later sang in the James Gang with Troiano, who left in the mid-1970s to play with The Guess Who. He performed with the Domenic Troiano Band in the late 1970s and scored his biggest hit with the 1979 Disco-themed “We All Need Love”. He also wrote music for television including the series Night Heat. Songs composed by Troiano, such as “I Can Hear You Calling”, have been performed by other artists including Three Dog Night. His guitar work can be heard on recordings by Moe Koffman, Joe Cocker, James Cotton and Long John Baldry. He also had a Canadian release with the band “Black Market” with the original Independent label El Mocambo Records. For nearly twenty-five years, beginning in the early 1980s, Troiano concentrated on contributing to the work of others, as a musician and as a producer, rather than enhancing his own solo career. Guitarist Domenic Troiano was closely associated with the “Toronto Sound” of that era, contributed at least two songs to that genre: “356 Sammon Ave.” (1972), a short, instrumental tribute to his parents’ former home in East York, and “My Old Toronto Home” (1973). Domenic Troiano’s production credits include albums by Kilowatt, David Gibson, John Rutledge and Patria. He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996.