Like father, like daughter

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First Posted: 12/1/2014

The world changed forever on February 9, 1964, when The Beatles performed for the first time on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The world of music; the world of rock and roll; the world of Vince Liparulo of Olyphant.

All of about 10 years old, Liparulo remembers watching John, Paul, Ringo and George perform for the first time in America as they invaded the country and penetrated the minds of the millions who tuned in. While his older sister was going crazy with excitement, he was standstill in awe.

“I wanted to be a Beatle. Everybody wanted to be a Beatle,” reminisced Liparulo.

To emulate his new-found heroes, Liparulo started banging around on household objects before eventually learning to play real instruments such as the drums. He never stopped wanting to be a Beatle. His love for music evolved into a passion that has spanned 50 years and will soon come to a professional end when he retires after performing at Fiorelli’s Holiday Open House in Peckville on Sunday, Dec. 20 and passes the torch to his daughter, Lauren.

Looking back on his experience, playing music and the struggle of never reaching mainstream success, Vince holds no regrets.

“I’d do it all again in a heartbeat,” he said.

After watching the Beatles perform when he was just a kid, Vince remembers banging on trash cans to model Ringo Starr.

“My friends and I took objects we found around the house to play around. We would take an egg carton and put a stick on the top of it to look like we were playing the guitar. We would bang on trash cans to pretend like we were playing the drums. Then I picked up a real instrument and never put one down,” Vince said.

Spending his youth practicing at home or in school talent shows, Vince turned his love for playing music into a career as soon as he graduated high school.

“The local music scene was just different back then. I remember places like Pep O’Brien’s in Old Forge and The Lodge in Clarks Summit, both of which have become other businesses, attracting crowds with live bands playing at least five nights a week,” Vince said.

According to the musician, it was possible to make a living in the local music scene when he started out in the 1970s.

“I feel bad for young musicians today, I really do. They will never experience packed shows a couple times a week unless they are lucky enough to make it big,” Vince said.

As for young people in general, the music vet also shows sympathy.

“Everything was live music when I was growing up. Not only in bars and clubs, but weddings and school dances and proms all featured live bands. Young people today grow up with DJs doing everything electronic. They aren’t going to feel what I felt, that feeling of live music coming at you, the voices coming at your face. They won’t ever get to really feel what music is supposed to mean,” Vince said.

Due to a change in the demand for live bands in the local scene that caters mostly to digital performers, Vince has decided to retire.

“I’ve been a drummer in the local band, Changes, for more than 20 years. I’m tired. I had my time. I played packed concerts in local bars. I’ve toured. Now it’s time for the next generation of musicians to have their time,” Vince said.

The next generation doesn’t fall far from the family tree. Vince’s 21-year old daughter, Lauren, is an aspiring singer and songwriter.

“I’m a very different kind of artist compared to my dad. He’s rock. I’m more R&B, soul and pop. Even though I play the piano, I’m more of a songwriter than an artist who performs with instruments. My voice is my instrument,” Lauren said.

As different as the two are, Vince and Lauren remain close. Vince raised Lauren by himself as a single father.

“He’s my super-dad. It’s always been just the two of us,” Lauren said.

The father and daughter will bring their different styles of music together for the first, and only, time later this month at Vince’s farewell performance with his band.

“If it wasn’t for my father always playing music while I was growing up, I don’t know if I ever would have found out that I could sing. I may have never found my voice, my passion,” Lauren said.

The long-time musician hopes his daughter will be the one to put the Liparulo name in headlines and make it as the next big superstar musician.