June 22, 2014

THE ALIBI (Cranston/Providence, RI)

What, were you expecting long hair and paisley shirts? The Alibi, from left: Steve Bova (lead guitar), Anthony Mazza (bass), Mike Christy (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Dave Rossi (drums) and Joe Parenti (organ).

Two short, fast splashes of minor-key pop-psych are captured on this unheralded 45 featuring members from Cranston and Providence. The Alibi was led by lead singer and rhythm guitarist Mike Christy, with bassist Tony Mazza and his cousin Joe Parenti on organ, along with lead guitarist Steve Bova and drummer Dave Rossi.

Along with Cranston counterparts the Malibus, the Alibi were featured in the weekly Cranston Herald newspaper. Zounds of Sounds! (Click to enlarge)
The band's lone 45 was released on a label created by (and named for) Joseph S. "Dody" Sinclair, of the Outlet Company and WJAR-TV. The article below, published in the April 18, 1968, edition of the Cranston Herald, tells pretty much everything you'd want to know about the band … though it does leave a couple of unanswered questions: Did their second recording session ever happen, and if so, did any material survive the decades?
"Sunshine," on the Dody label, reflects on Tony Mazza, Mike Christy, Dave Rossi, Joe Parenti and Steve Bova, all local boys, known as "The Alibi." The boys are hoping that "Sunshine" will soon break over the whole horizon!

Tony Mazza, the son of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Mazza of 2 Summer Street, Cranston, was born July 26, 1946. He has a sister Rosalie who thinks the record is tops. Tony is a graduate of CHE, 1964, and is working at WJAR-Radio as Continuity Director under Sherm Strickhouser. Tony loves radio work and hopes to become an announcer. He definitely loves music, music and more music and wants to be part of this industry as do the other members of the Alibi. Carol Bonin of North Smithfield is the lucky, engaged gal in Tony's life. With the Alibi, he plays the bass guitar and sings harmony.

Mike Christy comes from a well known singing family, his Dad Alphonse (Star Auto Sales) and Uncle Frank Christy, with his Mello-Tones, of Reservoir Ave., Cranston. Mike was born on May 8, 1948 and is a CHE, 1965 graduate. The other Christys are brothers James (with Dad at Star Auto) and David with the Job Corps in N.J. and sisters Patty and Nikki, both attending St. Ann's School. Mike is living at 1045 Elmwood Ave., Providence, with wife Gwen and daughter Melissa. He is also noted for his own song, "Shadows," and is the lead singer and plays rhythm guitar for the Alibi. He loves the outdoors and skindiving.

Joe Parenti, son of the Pellegrino Parenti, lives on 13 Baldino Drive, Cranston, and is a Senior at CHE. He was born on May 4, 1949. The other Parenti's are Pamela, 14, at Bain (8th grade), Dennis, 9, and Jo Ann, 6, both attending Woodridge. Joe, like Mike, is an outdoorsman. He plays the ogan and sings harmony with Tony (both cousins). Joe wants to be an architect some day.

Steve Bova of 39 Wealth Avenue, Providence, is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Gurino Bova and is a graduate of Mt. Pleasant, 1966. His birthdate is September 4, 1946. Steve is working at North Kingstown Music and attending R.I. Jr. College. He plays the lead guitar. Steve likes cars and calls himself an automobile enthusiast and also likes swimming.

Dave Rossi, son of the Frank Rossi's of 18 Brown St., Cranston, graduated from CHE, 1965. He was born on November 3, 1946 and has a married sister Frances. Dave is the drummer with the group and once challenged the "world's greatest drummer," Buddy Rich, when he played at Lennie's On-the-Turnpike, to a session. Buddy accepted and the event was to take place at his next appearance at the Albee Theatre, but Dave was not a union member and could not perform on stage. Dave likes the outdoors and boxing and hopes to teach drums to kids, some day. Dave told me that they always practice at Joe's house because of his organ and his Mom is always baking something good!

The group formerly called themselves "The Sensations." Tony told me he was watching "Let's Go To The Races" and the Number One horse in the First Race was called "The Great Alibi." He made a list of names including "The Alibi" and asked Mr. Sinclair of the Outlet Company to pick one. He also liked "The Alibi" and the boys cut their first disc, "Sunshine," on the Dody banner. The future brings them their second recording date in N.Y. for Southern Music Corp. under Lucky Carle on another label, Brown University's Spring Weekend and Blackwood Music Publishers, also in N.Y.

Rather hurriedly, I asked them their favorite performers, in order not to take them too long away from their rehearsing and munching on Mrs. Parenti's baked pastries. Here they are: Steve with Johnny Smith, Tony with the Young Rascals, Joe and Mike with the Beatles and Dave with Buddy Rich, of course, of course!
— Dottie Dyer

Mike Christy stayed in the music business and is currently a sound engineer at Pisces Sound in Maine.

Band members, relatives and old friends: We'd love more info and photos. Get in touch!

Sunshine / Oh She Was A Beautiful Woman
(DO 335 • ZTSP 140335/36) February 1968

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