The illusion, one of long island’s greatest bands that lasted from 1965-1972 which some say were the greatest years of rock & roll. The illusion will always be remembered for their incredible harmonies, insane light shows, raw energy, intense mind-expanding sound effects, & great musicianship. But what was going on before the illusion?
- John Vinci (lead vocals) was into doo wop during the early 60’s. “During that time (early 60’s) Johnny had that greasier look” says Lance Folger (illusion roadie). “We used to call Johnny the walking stick” says Chuck. “He was about 6 ft. & very thin”. “Johnny was always very creative (says Lance) & had a lot of ideas that he would incorporate in to the show”. This creativity would make the illusion different from all the other New York bands.
- Mike Maniscalco was the most versatile member of the illusion. Mike always enjoyed music, “He could pick up anything & play it” says Lance.
- Rich Cerniglia (lead guitar) started playing guitar when he was about 10. By the time he was 15 he was backing up the likes of the Shirelles, The Ronettes, Gladys Knight, The Temptations, & many others.
- Chuck Alder (bass) was playing guitar by age 12, when he was about 15 he switched to bass. Some of the groups Chuck was in during the early 60’s were: The Uncalled Four, The Arrivals, The Dell Sonics (where he met Mike Maniscalco), & The Creations (where he met Mike Ricciardella).
- Mike Ricciardella was banging on drums since before he could remember, at about age 16 he competed in a New York State drum competition & won (he was officially the best drummer in New York). Mike would later meet Chuck Alder in “The Creations”.