On April 27, Charlene Lain, a friend of local soundman/roadie Carlo Dimaggio, used Dimaggio’s email address to relay a message to several contacts: “For those of you that have not heard and were close to Carlo, he passed away in his sleep early this morning, by heart attack as they are saying at the moment.”
No one seems to have been aware of any preexisting heart condition. Lain says, “Carlo did live hard and ride hard. He was an extreme music buff! For his birthday I gave him a shirt that said, ‘Will work for music.’”
“There will be a big hole at the next show,” says Mississippi Mudshark Scottie Blinn. “I didn’t see Carlo as a ‘roadie.’ Sure, he was almost always there, carrying amps and drums and taking videos. But he was a true friend. Once when he was away he sent a letter with a gem of a song he’d penned, ‘Triple Digit Outlaw.’ We arranged it in Slim Crowbar, my band with Tom Essa and Joey Harris. Both the Mudsharks and Joey’s band played it — it was a crowd favorite on the Mudsharks’ last European tour.”
“He was a large part of our shows — I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like without him,” comments Harris. “Carlo’s positive attitude, the love he brought, lifted everyone’s spirit. We met years ago, at a Beat Farmer show he was working as a stagehand. Carlo’d had a steady job at 4th&B. When the place changed ownership, he was suddenly out of a job.”
Keyboardist “Mighty” Joe Longa remembers being “at Winstons about five years ago when Carlo approached me. I hadn’t seen him since I met him at the Bacchanal in the late ’80s. I told him to come and hear my band with Joey, so he started showing up and helping with my gear.”
“Carlo was comin’ to our shows regularly and just took on the role of assistant to Mighty Joe,” adds Harris. “He’d set up and tear down the stage, and when our wives were there he looked after them. When our son Will was two or three, he had his own giant to keep an eye on him.”
Dimaggio became integral to Gary Wilson’s complex presentations. Says Wilson, “Joe Longa introduced Carlo to me. Joe uses a very heavy Leslie speaker with his organ — Carlo helped Joe with it, along with the other Blind Dates’ equipment. This turned into Carlo helping me on and off the stage. He turned into our roadie and bodyguard. Every now and then I’d send Carlo for our pay — I knew the club owner wouldn’t give him a hard time.”
You can hear Dimaggio’s Road King burning out at the end of the song “Little Boy” by Joey Harris and the Mentals. He was involved with motorcycle clubs the Diablos and Boozefighters.
Memorial services will take place April 10 at 11 a.m. in Pioneer Park. Dimaggio is survived by a sister, Marie, and a son, Sam.