Aug 26, 2018
by Robert Feuer
“I feel great entertaining,” says Rudy Colombini, who will be performing with his band, the Unauthorized Rolling Stones,Sept. 20 at Santa Rosa’s Montgomery Village. Colombini, in a recent interview, tells me he’s the son of Italian farmers who migrated to San Francisco where he was born in 1954.
During a mid -‘60s to mid -‘80s period he refers to as “a very hot mecca of musical activity,” Columbini had a multitude of bands. His first, the Stragglers, played local clubs in North Beach. Later came Kicks and The Twist. The latter’s recordings include one used in the film, Rumblefish. Colombini has five albums, which he wrote, recorded, and arranged.
He describes a chance meeting in 1972 with John Lennon on a San Francisco St. as being influential. “I was blown away,” Colombini says. He asked Lennon how he writes his great songs. Lennon replied “They’ve all been written. You just steal a little here and a little there.”
For several years, Colombini studied Business Administration, and as a real estate broker amassed a large sum. When Lennon got shot in 1980, Colombini understood his life needed to be in music.
In 2001, without a platform with which to entertain, he formed the Unauthorized Rolling Stones, handling the vocals and occasionally adding some rhythm guitar and harp. The use of the word “unauthorized” protects him from legal difficulties over using the legendary band’s name. “It’s a name for which you can name the Rolling Stones without actually naming the Rolling Stones.”
Colombini is determined to give his audience “a good Mick.” Stones’ lead singer, Mick Jagger, has been one of his favorites since Colombini’s youth, and through a trial and error process including watching Jagger’s films over and over, he studied the rock star’s singing and mannerisms for a few years.
Colombini claims there’s a lot of sexuality in Stones’ songs. “The more you can revel in that the better job you do,” he says, adding, “I’m usually a better Mick when I’m polyamorous. When I’m in a monogamous relationship I withhold that energy because I’m supposed to.”
Comparing himself to Jagger, he says, “I’m younger and better-looking.”
Colombini’s biggest current project, slated to open in early 2019, is Music City Rehearsals, which he calls a “music farm,” funded by $25 million of his own money.
He calls it “the most adventurous music project in the United States,” a modern-day version of Stax, Sun, and Motown Records.
Colombini believes he’s “creating a situation where we’re incubating thousands of musicians that come for educational and rehearsal reasons, also to play the venue. “We’ll be coming up with some real talent.” There’ll also be three recording studios, a Hall of Fame including 90 exhibits, a radio station (which is already broadcasting online), and an affordable hotel upstairs catering to musicians, artists, and travelers.
“It’ll be a piece of history,” Colombini says.
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