Thursday, January 10, 2013


Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMY's) David "Rock" Feinstein's Hall of Fame Induction speech given by Syracuse Music Historian Ron Wray - Nov 14, 2011 at the Dinosaur Bar B Que.

I've been involved documenting our Syracuse Music History over 48 years. Inducting "Rock" Feinstein into the SAMMY's Hall of Fame tonight is one of my greatest honors.

"Rock" is not only a great guitarist, a great entertainer who's played the greatest stages in the World, but his greatest gift is he is one of the great human beings on this planet. As for being my friend, all these years what more could I ask for.

I was introduced to "Rock" by the legendary Ronnie James Dio while they were members of the band ELF. Rick Gary (another inductee that evening) & I were from WOLF Radio and at the time we had concerts every week. Well we had the Deep Purple - ELF Concert at the War Memorial and Ronnie spoke to me prior about the ELF band, his great guitarist and new EPIC (Columbia) album they had just recorded. He said that they were going to play the album tonight. Now I've seen all the biggest bands in the world. I don't normally say this but ELF just blew me away. Ronnie's great singing and Rock's guitar along with Mickey Lee Soule and Gary Driscoll was one of the greatest bands I have ever seen.

I went back and spoke to WOLF Radio Program Director Howie Castle about seeing ELF with Ronnie & Rock and how they blew us away. We then call another SAMMY's Hall of Famer, concert promoter Jack Belle. Jack went on to promote Bruce Springsteen, Santana and many others. We met and the question was asked, what are we going to do to help this band. Jack had an idea, he booked them to appear in his upcoming concerts with Fleetwood Mac, Spooky Tooth and later J. Geils.

One day watching ELF from backstage at the Landmark Theater, Jack (Belle) & I heard Dio belting our his great vocals and watched "Rock" wailing away. He played the guitar with his teeth, behind his head, behind his back and everywhere else you can play a guitar. Jack said to me, Ron who plays the guitar like that ???? No one I know on this planet and he's one of those special guitarists and he's from our home area- Syracuse.

Ronnie James Dio as you know went on to join Rainbow, Black Sabbath and formed DIO. What you probably don't know is that I asked "Rock" (Feinstein) to come to Syracuse to record some material at Dayson Studio as we were recording a Buddy Holly tribute EP. All proceeds going to the Buddy Holly Memorial Society that sold in 17 different countries.

One thing I'll say, in the studio his Marshalls (amps) shook the studio walls, rattled windows and changed the foundation of the building. But he always gave us the sound we wanted. He is one of those special great guitarists.

In a funny moment...A lot of you probably remember the club "The Scene" in Dewitt...Well he blew off every ceiling tile.

In 1979, "Rock" formed The Rods with drummer Carl Canedy & bassist Garry Bordinaro. This resulted in 9 Worldwide albums, picture discs, Cd's, DVDs and cassettes along with playing rock festivals attended by over 50,000 fans.

He signed nationally with Ronnie & Wendy Dio's label Niji Entertainment as did The Rods sign with Niji. By the way Niji released ten days ago a new Ronnie James Dio and "Rock" Feinstein Cd called "And Before Elf there were Elves."  That should be in stores as we speak.

In support of the two Cd's in the last 12 months they toured Europe & UK with Dio Disciples a band of musicians that played with Ronnie the last few years. The tour just ended in June.

He's truly a Central New York music treasurer; it is my honor to welcome into the SAMMYS Hall of Fame... David "Rock" Feinstein....

Submitted by Ron Wray...  November 14, 2011

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