It must have been in the fall on 1984, when bored with Algebra class I got a hall pass to go wandering the sunny concrete corridors at Poway high school and I first stumbled onto this cat sporting a mid-60s Keith Richards mop and a red turtleneck sitting on the ground outside of art class. I had recently begun a decent from my beloved west coast punk rock of the time into the rabbit hole of 60s garage music, and here was a guy who not only looked like an extra from the set of Riot On Sunset Strip, but I quickly found him to be an aficionado of all the music I had just begun to explore, and he would go on to turn me on to all kinds of sounds over the years for my thirsty ears.
Vince Giracello was a senior in high school that year-- one of the older kids who hung out with the cool bohemian guys who played in bands, listened to college radio and could competently discuss politics and other intellectual matters. The crowd he hung out with could be a little intimidating for a freshman like me at the time. That being said, I can't remember who broke the ice, but however it happened, he was quick to make me feel comfortable and didn't pull rank or pecking order like high school kids are quick to do. That's the kind of guy he was then and still is to this day: warm, honest and with a cool-as-shit disposition.
It didn't take long to earn his friendship, and almost 30 years later and over 6,000 miles away, Vince is still one of the digits on the hand I use to count my closest friends. He's sincere almost to a fault, the kinda friend who has your back no matter what the circumstances, and the kind who doesn't mince words if there is something he knows you need to hear.
When it comes to bringing people together and bringing the best out in everyone, Vince does it without effort or design --that is simply his nature, even if he's far too modest to take credit for it.
Whether we played softball on a Sunday in the park, dealer-call-it poker in his legendary Poway garage or music in our brief-lived visionary band 'The Tapioca Convention', we always played with passion and panache, and without fail we always managed to create memorable times together.
The summer of 2010 held no exception to this. After not having seen each other for nigh on a decade, Vinnie made a pilgrimage from his relocated home of Oklahoma out to California to visit when I flew there from my present home of Berlin to California that summer, and in typical Vinnie fashion, he went in to action and organized over 30 people from our old days to get together for an afternoon and evening of merriment in honor of friendship, love and music.
It was a truly magical day with many old friends, good food and great people -- and after well over 20 years, we played rock and roll music together again for the love of the game… but that was just the beginning.
The spark ignited from such gatherings that only he could have orchestrated, subsequent collaborative journeys to Colorado, California and now his home state of New Jersey has turned into a bonfire under the ass of my pal Vinnie Giracello, and it's doubtful that he's put down his electric guitar since, and he finally has the good sense to not be so damn greedy and share his songs with the world.
Nothing but love and inspiration!
aka Fez Wrecker
The Fuzztones- Berlin Germany, Dec. 2012