Spotlight Artist: Street Survivors

On Sunday, September 12, nine bands will perform at JDRF-Jam to raise funds to help find a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. RSVP via facebook
noon – 9pm at:
Mr. Beery’s
4019 Hempstead Turnpike
Bethpage, NY
(516) 579-7049

One of the nine bands will be the well known Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band, Street Survivors. Willie Stranger, singer & guitarist for the band, provided the information for this piece.
Spotlight Artists: Street Survivors


Willie Stranger – Guitars and Vocals
Larry Topaz – Bass Guitar
Marty Dick – Drums and Vocals
Anthony Pierro – Guitars
Todd The Guitar Man – Guitars and Vocals
Steve Demieri – Keys

How long have you been performing?
Since the ’70’s. We started this band around in 2001

Past lives (i.e., previous bands, your early years, etc.):
Willie And Todd played in a band called Road Kill that has opened shows for many national bands over the years, including 38 Special, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws, Blackfoot, Georgia Satellites, Night Ranger, Leslie West, Good Rats & Zebra.
Anthony was with Uncle Fester, Larry was with Fat Daddy and Marty played with Vessel.

Musical influences:
Too many to name. The 70’s Rule!!

Favorite venues to play:
Festivals and theaters

Blatant self-promotion: What would you like to plug?
The JDRF benefit at Mr. Beery’s this Sunday. That’s what this is about.

Band website:
facebook: streetsurvivors
Youtube: WillieStranger
Myspace: thelongislandstreetsurvivors

Where can we buy your music?
– Rebel Soul single “Bull By The Horns” was released on Deadline/Cleopatra Records. You can buy at Wal-mart and the album song lists. Also available on I-Tunes or any online store.
– The L.I. Street Survivors contribution (Heard It On The X) on “An All-Star Tribute to ZZ Top” also on Cleopatra Records.
Both of these compilations with greats like Pat Travers, 38 Special, Lynyrd Skynyrd…too many to remember. All classic greats and us. Very cool!!

You are performing in the JDRF Jam, a benefit for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. How did you get involved in this event?
This is especially close to my heart, having diabetes myself. I feel horrible thinking of children spending their lives sticking themselves everyday. Lots of great bands. We just wanted to be there! Hope you can join us.In addition to running a tribute band, you have performed with actual members of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Can you describe how that came about, and share some tidbits from that experience?
We are a salute to Ronnie VanZant’s Lynyrd Skynyrd. There is no other.
“We’re not impersonators, we don’t try to play a part or live someone else’s life. We just pay tribute to the band, and to the men who touched so many lives and whose lives have sadly been taken from us.”
(We’ve played) The Patchogue Theatre L.I. and The Sherman Theater PA, The Spin Magazine Private Party, Snitch NY City, The Shak in Rumford, Maine, Crazy Donkey & Stephens Talkhouse, Long Island. And everywhere in-between.
We appeared on HBO’s “Family Bonds” season 1 finale on HBO. We played on the Aircraft Carrier Intrepid Sea and Air Museum NYC for Artimus Pyle’s after-party for Lynyrd Skynyrd’s induction To The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony, not to mention fairs and festivals all over the northeast. There is no greater accomplishment than playing Skynyrd with Artimus Pyle, the late great Jo Jo Billingsley and Leslie Hawkins, three members that survived the terrible plane crash. Such an honor, it is still hard to believe. is mostly focused on NYC. Do you ever perform in the city? If so, where?
We packed out Club Snitch for Velvet Revolver when they owned the club. We played on board the aircraft carrier Intrepid, and B.B. King’s, not to forget during Fashion Week we played a private party for Spin Magazine!

Tell us a story or anecdote about performing live.
The first theater show with Artimus, Jojo and Leslie we started the show with Artimus riding on stage on a Harley the theater people were freaked out but it had little fuel in it and we got the fire marshall’s OK. He was a big Skynyrd fan. So we are starting the show and Artimus is filling the stage with exhaust fumes. Then he parked it right behind me. I nearly burned my leg on the tail pipe. But doing that packed theater with those legends was the most unforgettable night of my life.

Any advice to someone just starting out?
Stay in school!!! Go to college, even if you go for music get a degree.

Can you recommend any other local act we should feature on MurphGuide?
Schroeder’s Ghost. One of our singers, Pam Dixon, fronts this great band.

Street Survivors are scheduled to perform at 7pm at Sunday’s JDRF benefit concert. Below is a clip of The Street Survivors performing with Lynyrd Skynyrd member Artimus Pyle and Honkette Jo Ho Billingsley:

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