MROZINSKI

HIStory

 

MROZINSKI was born Robert Joseph Mrozinski (legally changed to MROZINSKI in 1980) on the Northside (Willlamsburg/Greenpoint), Brooklyn, New York on June 5, 1954. Parents Michael and Margaret Mrozinski and big sister Arlene completed the working class, Catholic and close-knit family. At age 5, Mom Marge (may she rest in peace) bought him a $39 Magnus chord organ and from this point MROZINSKI began teaching himself music.

MROZINSKI went to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School on North Sixth Street in Brooklyn. He excelled in school, skipped a grade and began composing at a very early age, but his first performance credits were at St . Vincent's, where he was hired as organist and choir director while a teenage student at St. Francis Preparatory High School (which at the time was right across the street).

MROZINSKI graduated the Prep with honors in 1971 and entered Columbia University on scholarships with the intention of becoming a UN interpreter, but music called once again, and he was solicited to join a local band for a church block party. MROZINSKI's first live band performance was on the roof of St. Vincent's new school building, playing keyboards in an unnamed cover band with William deFrancisco (bass), Robert Puchal (guitars, vocals), Roger Kenney (guitars, vocals) and Robert Delio (guitars, vocals).

 

After the scholarship money ran out, MROZINSKI pursued music fame and fortune fulltime with the following Northside Brooklyn bands:

ODIN (original compositions by MROZINSKI and William DeFrancisco)
MROZINSKI (keyboards, vocals)
William deFrancisco (guitar)
Kenny Malczynski (bass)
Bobby Baranowski, Carl Monaco (drums)

SOUTH SIDE PANIC (Copy and originals)
MROZINSKI (keyboards, vocals)
Joey Pakstis (guitars, vocals)
Johnny D. (bass)
Nicky Berretta (drums)
Angie Burke (vocals)

INCIDENT (some originals)
MROZINSKI (keyboards, guitars, vocals)
Joey Pakstis (guitars, vocals)
Frankie "Teeth" Ciorciari (drums, flute)
Jackie Palumbo (bass)

Via a fortuitous meeting with refugees from David Bowie's management company MainMan, (namely Michael Smythe and Macs McAree), MROZINSKI signed a management contract with D.U.O. (Do Unto Others) Communications, which later became Maximum Communications when Mr. Smythe left the industry for greener pastures. Under Michael and Macs' management, MROZINSKI's rockstar career began and flourished as MROZINSKI recorded his first demo in 1977 including songs like "Oh, My Little Schoolgirl", "I Wish I Were a Boy Again", "Drivin' Me Crazy", "Competition" and "Rambler Gambler". Appearing on that demo, produced by Matt Kaplowitz, were Tom Morrongiello on guitar, Michael Visceglia on bass, Joe Stefko on drums, and Tish and Snooky on backing vocals.

Beginning in 1978, MROZINSKI performed several solo showcases (at Scene One on Hudson on April 16 and Reno Sweeney on May 15) while rehearsing with his first band, MROZINSKI's MEAN MACHINE :

MROZINSKI (vocals, keyboards)
Jimmy Fria (guitar)
Larry Rigatti (bass)
Jody Schilling (drums)
Backup vocals: the Magnetics (Lisa Rampulla and Linda Baffi)

MROZINSKI'S MEAN MACHINE performed their first gig at Max's Kansas City on May 24, 1978, where they reappeared as headliners on June 12 (and again on 7/12, 9/19 and 12/2). Other gigs that year included solo performances at Scene One on May 25 and August 24, and band performances at Rockbottom (formerly Electric Ladyland) 6/1, 6/16-17, Hurrah 6/19, 6/26 and 9/14, Artemis (Philadelphia) 6/20, Scene One 7/8, and the Side Door in Staten Island 8/16-18-19

MROZINSKI resigned his church organist position to play fulltime on the NYC circuit and continued performing throughout the year. MROZINSKI was featured with a full-page portrait by Bruce Weber in Andy Warhol's Interview Magazine in October, and in the same month was the cover feature of the premiere issue of Omega One magazine.

In 1979, MROZINSKI'S MEAN MACHINE became MROZINSKI: The Man and The Band with a new lineup featuring:
MROZINSKI (vocals, keyboards)
William deFrancisco (bass)
Christian Osborne (guitar)
Stephen David Kent (keyboards)
(briefly joined by electronic keyboardist Man Parrish)
Nick Berretta (drums)

MROZINSKI was named "Best New Rock Artist" by Where It's At magazine in January, and garnered rave press in Variety, Show Business, Disco World, The Aquarian, The East Village Eye and After Dark. Performances in 1979 included Scene One 2/14, Grand Finale 3/8, Starlite Roller Rink (SI) 3/9, TRAX 5/15, Max's Kansas City 4/28 and 7/8, and Hurrah 7/3.

MROZINSKI also performed at the Hot Club in Philadelphia and the Atlantis in DC (as well as singing at his sister Arlene's wedding in California in June).

A city-wide search for the best guitarist in New York resulted in the fortuitous acquistion of John Altyn, formerly of VD, and also fortuitously from Brooklyn. John was an energizing force and signaled a renaissance for MROZINSKI music. He and keyboardist John Street were brought on (Street was later replaced by TK Hastings and then Vinny Sanchez from Sniper) and in 1979, MROZINSKI hit Sound Heights studio in Brooklyn to record the EP "Hey, Brooklyn!" b/w "Give it up, Kid" and "You’re The Only One". "Give It Up, Kid" hit the top ten on Radio Milano and on August 18, 1979, MROZINSKI: The Man and The Band became the first new age rock band to play the legendary Copacabana in NYC.

In 1980, the band became MROZINSKImusic with the following lineup:
MROZINSKI (vocals, keyboards)
William deFrancisco (bass) deceased
John Altyn (guitar) Where's John Now?
(briefly replaced in 1980 by Jeff McLaughlin)
Niels Schaumann (drums) Where's Niels Now?
Vinny Sanchez (keyboards)
(briefly joined by additional keyboardist TK Hastings)


In 1980, MROZINSKI performed solo at Studio 54 for the release of the EP; MROZINSKImusic performed an epic show at The Ritz, with backing vocals by the Holdouts: Blanche Napoleon (of Dan Hartman fame), Isabel (Ardigo) Lanza (Penthouse Pet Of The Year) and Tinkerbelle (from Warhol's Interview). MROZINSKImusic was named by the Aquarian as one of The Best Unsigned Bands on the NY Circuit, and MROZINSKI appeared on the cover of About Town. Performances continued throughout the early 80s at CBGB, Max's Kansas City, TRAX, s.n.a.f.u., Bang, Danceteria, Interferon, RT Firefly, Brothers (Monroe NY), Utica (NY) College, The Stone Pony (Asbury Park NJ) and Zappa 's (Brooklyn NY). A new demo of "A New Song" b/w "I Wonder" was produced by Broadway's "Godfather of Sound Design" Abe Jacob.

After a successful breach of contract lawsuit against Macs "Rippough" McAree and a change in management in 1982, the band continued to perform throughout the New York area, until disbanded by MROZINSKI in 1983, as the NY club circuit declined and MROZINSKI left NY to be with family on the West Coast. Since then, MROZINSKI has travelled extensively and penned thousands of songs, soundtracks, web projects, editorials and concept suites, reaching a global audience. Baptized and ordained in Las Vegas ("Salvation in Sin City"), "Reverend Mike" Mrozinski has turned his attention to the advancement and enrichment of the lives of others, while still writing words and music. Today, PROVIDE FOUNDATION brings a message of peace and possibilities.


For vintage photographs from this era, visit The Online Gallery.

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Now available: MROZINSKImusic, the comprehensive retrospective of a long and varied career.
From the early days as a Brooklyn writer/rockstar in New York through now and today,
this collection consists of studio and home demos and commercial releases spanning 35 years.


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