Joe Marchese

  • My nicknames are “Jose” and “Joey.”
  • I am a keyboard player. I have played Fender Rhodes, Hohner Clavinet, Moog Synthesizer, Hammond B3, accordion, and various Yamaha synths onstage. I also sing at some songs.
  • My current instrument setup includes twin Yamaha Motif 6 synths, played through stereo JBL Eon studio monitors.
  • My favorite three bands or musical artists are: The Beatles, Steely Dan, Harry Nilsson, and Frank Zappa (OK, so math’s not my strong suit…).
  • My actual first “paid” gig was in 1963 (made $5 when they passed the hat at Mary Lu Pabian’s 13th birthday pizza party.)
  • I have 2 kids: Francesca (1982) and Nathan (1984).
  • In “real life,” I have owned “The Marchese Company,” Arkansas’ smallest ad agency, since 1988 (ya need a new logo?), and I currently own and operate Central Arkansas Piano Tuning.
  • My favorite foods are anything Italian, lox/bagels/cream cheese, and sopa de pollo (chicken soup) from El Porton. Favorite beverages are Dalmore single malt scotch, Starbucks mocha frappucino, and Mountain Valley Water (not necessarily together).
  • Something most people don’t know about me: In 1976, the band I was in backed up Tiny Tim on a one-night gig at “Godfather’s” in New Orleans!
  • The most interesting people I have met: Musician: Tommy Riggs. Non-musician: Father George Tribou, past principal of Catholic High School. R.I.P to both.
  • I have jammed with, or played onstage or in the studio with: B.J. Thomas, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ronnie Millsap, George Jones, Merle Travis, Geater Davis, and Jim “Buck” Johnson.
  • My favorite color is: Black (until they come up with something darker).
  • My favorite comedians are Mitch Hedberg, Firesign Theatre, Monty Python, Richard Pryor.
  • Weird thing from my past: In 1975, when I was with Tommy Riggs & Showtime, we spent 11 weeks in Canada headlining show rooms. One of our opening acts in Winnipeg was “The Homestead Act.” The leader of that group, Elmo Shropshire, later went on to write and record “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” and is probably still living off the residuals.