Joey Spampinato

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Joey Spampinato
Background information
Birth nameJoseph Nicholas Spampinato
Born (1948-08-16) August 16, 1948 (age 70)
The Bronx, New York, United States
GenresRock, power pop, jazz rock, rockabilly, garage rock, alternative country
Bass guitar
Years active1967-present
LabelsRevolvo Records
Associated actsNRBQ, The Seven of Us, The Spampinato Brothers, The Rip-It-Ups, Keith Richards, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, Skeeter Davis, Kami Lyle

Joseph Nicholas "Joey" Spampinato (born August 16, 1948, Bronx, New York) is a multi-instrumentalist and was a founding member and bass player of NRBQ. He was also one of the band's lead singers and chief songwriters. Before NRBQ he played in several bands, including The Seven of Us, which in 1967 while in Miami, Florida, met another band, The Merseybeats USA. The bands merged to form NRBQ. On the group's first two albums, NRBQ (Columbia, 1969) and Boppin' the Blues (With Carl Perkins, Columbia, 1970) Spampinato is credited as "Jody St. Nicholas."[1]

Spampinato played bass on many albums including Keith Richards' album Talk Is Cheap, Bonnie Raitt's Fundamental, and was one of the bassists on Eric Clapton's 24 Nights in 1991. He appeared in the film Hail, Hail Rock N’ Roll, with rock legends Chuck Berry and Keith Richards. Spampinato's songs have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Shakin' Stevens, Los Lobos, Dave Edmunds and others.[2]

Spampinato lives in Cape Cod, Massachusetts with his wife, Kami Lyle, a singer, songwriter and trumpeter. Spampinato was married to country star and rockabilly icon Skeeter Davis. Spampinato plays in the Spampinato Brothers with his guitarist brother, Johnny Spampinato, who from 1994 to 2008 was a member of NRBQ. They also play in the Cape Cod band the Rip-It-Ups. In February 2011, the Spampinato Brothers released a CD, Pie in the Sky, on Revolvo Records.

Spampinato is known to get an acoustic, stand-up bass sound out of his instrument. In 1986, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones invited Spampinato to play in the band Richards put together to back up Chuck Berry for the rock legend's 60th birthday party concert, which was recorded for the 1987 documentary Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll. Spampinato also played on Richards' first solo album Talk Is Cheap. In 1991 Spampinato was one of the bass players for Eric Clapton's 24 Nights live album (Reprise, 1991).

NRBQ bandmate and co-founder Terry Adams wrote the song "Spampinato" in celebration of his friend's family name; the song appeared on the band's 1994 album Message for the Mess Age. Spampinato's songs have been covered by Bonnie Raitt, Shakin' Stevens and others.

Spampinato appeared with NRBQ in several feature films and television shows. During their tenure with NRBQ, bandmates Joey Spampinato, Johnny Spampinato, Terry Adams and Tom Ardolino were featured in animated form on an episode of The Simpsons. The group served as the unofficial "house band" for The Simpsons for the season 10-12 period in which longtime NRBQ fan Mike Scully was head writer and executive producer. Several of NRBQ's songs were featured on The Simpsons, including "Mayonnaise and Marmalade", which was written specifically for the show. The band also appeared in non-animated form on camera during the end credits to perform the show's theme song during the episode "Take My Wife, Sleaze". NRBQ also recorded a song entitled "Birdman" for an episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast entitled "Pilot". The same lineup also appeared in motion pictures, including Day of the Dead, Shakes the Clown, and 28 Days.

In 2008, Spampinato formed a new group called the Spampinato Brothers with his younger brother Johnny Spampinato, who toured, recorded and played lead guitar with NRBQ from 1994 until 2008. Johnny replaced NRBQ's previous guitarist Al Anderson, who left the group in 1994 to pursue a career as a songwriter, producer and session player in Nashville.[3]

In 2011, the Spampinato Brothers announced the release of their new full-length album, entitled Pie In The Sky, which features eleven songs written by Joey and Johnny. The same year, NRBQ founding member and keyboardist Terry Adams began touring and recording under the name NRBQ, using a group of musicians from his solo projects. Neither Joey nor Johnny are included in the reconstituted version of NRBQ.

During 2012, the Spampinato Brothers embarked on a tour in Japan, showcasing their new material in addition to fan favorites from their years with NRBQ. In 2013, the Spampinato Brothers announced that they were finishing a new EP, Smiles, which was released later that year under the label Revolve Records.

Spampinato continued to perform dozens of concerts each year with the Spampinato Brothers, touring USA, Japan, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Norway, Italy, Spain, Sweden, France, UK and throughout Europe.

In October 2015, Spampinato was diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing a long term treatment.[4]

In 2016, Cape Cod musician Sarah Burrell created a YouCaring fundraiser page to help with the anticipated expenses.[5] While its intended goal was $50,000,[4] it quickly surpassed that raising, as of February 2016, $90,830.[5]


  1. ^ Boehm, Mike (24 May 1994). "You Can't Call Him Al : That's Because He's Johnny Spampinato, Who's Taking the Big Guy's Place in NRBQ". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  2. ^ Goodman, Frank (December 2000). "Interview with Joey Spampinato". Pure Music. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  3. ^ Shanahan, Mark (5 June 2011). "NRBQ returns without Joey Spampinato, leaving fans to wonder". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b Shanahan, Mark (4 November 2015). "NRBQ bass player Joey Spampinato battling cancer". The Boston Globe. Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b Myers, K. C. (4 February 2016). "Spampinato, Lyle share music amid cancer fight". Cape Cod Times. GateHouse Media. Retrieved 15 November 2017.

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