Sandy J. Onodi - Drums / Vocals
I started drum lessons at the age of 10 at Hewitt’s Music in Melvindale Michigan. Between the ages of 13 – 15, I began full Drum Kit lessons at A. Weaver Music in Allen Park Michigan. I got my first set of drums as a Christmas gift from my grandparents in 1975. I could hardly wait to play in a band with my guitar playing grade school buddies.
I would practice seven days a week; to any Rock song I heard on the radio (98.7 WLLZ) or (101.1 WRIF), If it wasn’t on the radio, I would rehearse to vinyl, eight track or cassette. I was highly influenced by the bands Aerosmith, Montrose and Foghat. I would practice to these and many other bands, until I could play their songs note by note.
Then came 1980, I just graduated from High School and registered with a place called Musicians Referral Service. I was put on a list for sit-in drummer positions with local bands in the area. It opened up a door of opportunities for me, for playing with bands that played the local club scenes in the early 80’s.
Bitter Sweet Alley, Toby Redd, Almighty Strut, Steve King & The Dittilie’s amongst others. The venues mostly took place at clubs: New York – New York / Septembers, The Main Act, Center Stage and The Token Lounge. …The Main Act is where I eventually met my wife.
My next focus was on new influence’s of the most popular groups and their songs were taking over the early to mid 1980’s. AC/DC, Motley Crue, Poison, Def Leppard, Cinderella, Van Halen and Guns N Rose’s… on and on and on!!!
In the early spring of 1981, I got a call to audition for a band called “Straight Up”. I remember the agent on the phone told me to bring a current picture of myself, that they could keep. That seemed a bit odd to me… I asked him why? He answered…listen kid I need just two things from you…You gotta be able to play and you gotta have the look we want!
After several months have passed, I got a call on a Sunday morning. The person on the other end said, we have finished with all auditions and we have made a decision…”You’re our drummer”!!! He said be prepared to be on the road for at least 6 – 8 months. We are going to be a warm-up band for the Romantics and then in the future; possibly sharing the stage with Journey, Tom Petty, Loverboy and the Greg Kihn Band.
I sat down with my parents to give them the big news; I already had a job out of high school working in my dad’s manufacturing company. He had started the business in June of 1974, and I worked there during High School Co-Op programs and through the summers. My options were; Pack-up and go on the road to play music, or stay and try to grow with the family business. When your 20 years old that’s a really tough decision! …. Well, I decided to stay home and continue to work and play music on the weekends.
I continued to practice my drumming for the remaining years, I had studio’s set-up in the basements of my homes and always…Practice, Practice, Practice! I got seriously involved again in 2010, when I seen a television commercial while watching a Red Wing’s game, for FOX SPORTS Detroit TV Promo campaign; called April In The D. I sat down and wrote the promotional ditty and played along with it, I needed a band to make it complete. It was the late winter of 2010 and I was watching a Sunday morning broadcast of FOX 2 News on TV and there was my answer. It was a gentleman by the name of Jason Gittinger, the founder of the Detroit School Of Rock And Pop Music. I went to my computer found his contact information and proceeded to tell him what I was looking for. I needed a producer who could help me with the music and someone to record it in audio / video format. We scheduled a meeting to discuss my recording and production needs. We talked for hours and came up with a game plan to move forward with the April in the D Project.
Jason was able to hook me up with a great singer, guitar and bass player. We decided to call the band “Monday Night Crew”… we arrived at that name because the studio was only available on Monday nights. We rehearsed for a couple of months and then filmed and recorded the “April In the D” promo package and submitted it to WRIF Radio in the early spring of 2010. We were notified about two weeks after submitting the package and found that we were in the top five, but only the first place recipient would be honored by having there music video played during televised Tigers and Red Wings games. We still got a small spot on a one hour special FOX Sports TV show that was based on the top entry music videos. We were all pretty honored and pleased with our attempt at stardom.
That opened up a window of opportunity for me becoming the drummer for 3 great bands, from 2010 – 2015. The first; being a band that I am proud to have named and been a part of … since its humble beginnings RELIC.