Turkuaz’s Mikey Carubba On How His Tribute To Tom Petty’s Music Became A Celebration Of His Life

first_imgWhen he’s not on tour with Turkuaz, drummer Michelangelo Carubba tends to keep busy by playing the music that he loves with his various talented friends. From his annual birthday super jam in Brooklyn, to his all-star tribute to Alanis Morissette‘s Jagged Little Pill benefitting Planned Parenthood, Carubba has established himself in the New York live music scene as a dedicated and passionate bandleader and organizer for a wide array of special performances.Turkuaz’s Michelangelo Carubba Hosts All-Star Birthday Bash [Full Audio/Photo]On November 17th, Carubba will return to American Beauty NYC for a tribute to the legendary Tom Petty featuring Turkuaz bandmates Dave Brandwein and Taylor Shell, Kung Fu keyboardist Beau Sasser, and Twiddle guitarist Mihali Savoulidis, and more. While the show had been on the books for weeks prior to Petty’s sudden passing earlier this month, the performance will now take on an added emotional weight as Carubba and company pay their respects to the fallen rock and roll icon.Below, you can read Michelangelo Carubba’s thoughts on performing the music of the late, great Tom Petty:When I booked this show in July with American Beauty, I had been on a Tom Petty kick for a month or so. My uncle Dave had given me ‘Full Moon Fever’ when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and that album changed my life. I played it non-stop for about a year. I didn’t know what it was then, but there was this appeal to his sound that just spoke to me.We were on tour last month, and I woke up to hearing my band members on the bus saying Tom Petty had suffered a heart attack and was on the verge. I was just so shocked. At the time, it didn’t compute that I even had this show to put on. I just didn’t want to lose another hero. Between 2016 and 2017, we lost a lot of legendary artists, but none of them really hit me that hard. I had what I considered a really close and personal relationship with Petty’s music. It’s sentimental to me. And as that day went on, it was confirmed that he had, in fact, passed on.Back in the summer, I had tapped my band mates Taylor Shell and Dave Brandwein to fill out the rhythm section for this show. We as Turkuaz have done special tribute sets for artists like The Talking Heads, Sly and the Family Stone, and Joe Cocker. I know Taylor and Dave always do their homework and respect the source material, and always do it justice. Knowing their personal styles as well, it was a no brainer.With all the keys work on Tom Petty’s stuff–between organ, Rhodes, and piano–my big bro Beau Sasser from Kung Fu was an obvious choice. Sasha Brown will be special guest guitarist with us, and Sasha is a damn gunslinger on the guitar, not to mention one of my best friends, so I was stoked when he was available too. Danny Mayer from Eric Krasno’s band was around that night as well, so he’s gonna play with us too.But when it came to who was going to be my Tom Petty, there was a day or two where I was kind of blanking. I knew I wanted someone who, at their artistic core, represented the same sort of values that I felt Tom had. A real story teller. Someone who could resonate with the universal message that Tom put out. Love, life, heartbreak, sadness, happiness, a sense of wonder, determination. Someone who won’t back down from living life, so to speak. Then a picture of Mihali Savoulidis popped up on my Instagram feed, and I just went, “Oh, he’s it.” I texted him right away. His response?“I have just the right hat for this occasion.”I couldn’t have been more excited to play this show when I booked it 3 months ago. His music means so much to me, as it does to the rest of the band. And now, with his sudden passing, it really turned into something special, where we could really take a look at this music, at Tom Petty’s entire body of work, and really get inside of it and play the living hell out it. Even better to do it with your best friends.Tickets for Michelangelo Carubba & Friends’ “Don’t Do Me Like That” Tom Petty tribute are moving quickly. Grab yours today and join in this emotional celebration of one of rock and roll’s greatest talents.***Tickets are available here***[Cover Photo by Capacity Images]last_img read more