Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The Vikings formed back in 1962 by Dave Pasternack (former Knights guitarist) along with Bill Huber (drums) and Pete Pellinz (bass). Guitarist Joe Sawmiller was added a short time later. The band appeared playing live on WNDR's Dick Snyder radio show perfoming "Love Potion #9". Snyder featured some of Central New York's greatest talent playing live at the WNDR studio in Dewitt

The band's second version started in 1963 and included Dave Pasternack (guitar) with Dave Novak (guitar), Howie Castle (drums) WOLF Radio's Fred Winston (bass) and Carman Licitra (lead vocals). Joe Sawmiller went on the join Don Barber and the Dukes.

With their popularity a name change to Carman Licitra and the Vikings Mainstays Pasternack, Novak & Licitra were joined by Mike Adanato (drums) and Chuck DiCosmo (bass- joined in 1964.). This lineup opened for the Beach Boys (with Brian Wilson) in a rain shortened event at MacArthur Stadium on September 3, 1964.

Next they shared the War Memorial stage with the Four Seasons (Frankie Valli) and The Animals (Eric Burdon) before 2,500 screaming fans on October 12, 1964. They also played a four month engagement at the Fayetteville Inn and made regular stops at Colgate & Cornell Universities. In September 1965, Carmen & The Vikings recorded more than a half dozen demo recordings for RCA Records (I Do, Bye Bye Baby, Mary Sue Ellen & others), but never signed to a official contract. They next played at the famed Grossinger's Resort (Nov 18, 1965) in the Catskill Mountains located near Liberty, NY with Neil Sedaka. Then it was to the War Memorial stage opening once again for the Beach Boys before 4,500 on July 22, 1966.

Various Vikings and Carman & The Vikings recordings can be heard on the History of Syracuse Music album series. Carman Licitra after heading the band for three years departed in 1967 and spent the next two-years in the military service. At this point Dave Novak departed to join "The Nightcaps" (replacing Don Shoudy). Dave  Pasternack left  to team with ex-Sam & the Twisters members Mickey Palumbo, Jan Fetterly & Al Wolf to former the "Livin Ennd." Upon his return to Central New York,  Carman Licitra joined the group "The Night Magic" playing many evenings at the 4 Choices Restaurant in 1980.

Note- Carman Licitra donated his guitar, photo and vest top to the Onondaga Historical Association in Syracuse. They are currently on display.

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