Keith A. Mancini, 34; hoping
to be discovered
As a teenager, Keith A. Mancini
dreamed of being a rock 'n' roll star.
Weaned on Black Sabbath, KISS
and Poison, he grew his blond hair long and played bass in several bands after
leaving West Warwick High School. He even met Joe Jackson in Las Vegas.
The Cranston musician sent his
booming bass lines through an amplifier in his Broad Street apartment and
scribbled lyrics in a notebook.
His first band was called
"He was very passionate about
his music," said Craig Mancini, Keith's older brother. "More than anything he
wanted to be a rock star. He wanted to cut a record."
So when Keith's latest band,
Fathead, grabbed the opening act for Great White, the band members --
including Keith's cousin Steven -- were excited. "They thought they might get
discovered," Craig said.
Keith first embraced the
heavy-metal world of power chords and platform shoes as a teenage boy on the
Cranston-Warwick line. He went to Bishop Hendricken High School for two years,
but switched to West Warwick to graduate with his friends. He played the piano
briefly, but learned to play bass and read music from a Mount Pleasant High
For years, he worked at his
father's store, Continental Bait & Tackle, selling hunting and fishing
equipment. "He was a good salesman," recalled his father, Anthony. "He charmed
Three years ago, Keith got a
warehouse job with the Rhode Island Novelty Co. in Johnston. And he joined the
company softball team as a pitcher. "He was a great guy," said Ralph Tedeschi,
But his first love was music.
He joined the rock band Skyhigh
and played often at The Station. There he met guitarist
Steven R. Mancini, a second cousin. Keith left Skyhigh to join Steven's
All of the band members
contributed to Fathead's sound, a mix of Bad Company, Creed, Jimi Hendrix and
"Keith would come up with a
bass line out of nowhere," said Tom Conte, Fathead's singer. "He added so much
to the band, both in his music and in the show he put on."
"The Station was the only place
we played," Conte said. "It had a nice stage and the sound system was the
best. We always brought in a good crowd. They rushed the stage and it was a
great feeling. It would last for days."
-- Paul Davis