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USTís 60s Rock Band ĎDave Starky Ví Reunites

A rock band that originated in 1965 at University of St. Thomas and had a personal connection to The Beatles is enjoying a rebirth. Their comeback began after the Dave Starky V reunited in 2007 to perform at a reunion of the class of ’67 and realized they still have their musical chops.

Since then, the group, which experienced notable success in its heyday, has met annually to renew old friendships, play the music they love, and most recently, record a new CD with six songs.

Original members who participate today are electrical supply businessman Joe Muscanere ’68, athletics/gymnastics businessman Beau Biron ’68, Hollywood TV/film and stage actor/singer Kevin Cooney ’67, and adult education administrator Pete Bas who is connected to St. Thomas through the band.

The story of the band’s return is no less remarkable than the way they began more than 40 years ago. It was the 60s, and British invasion bands dominated the rock ‘n’ roll music scene. So when Ringo Star’s British guitarist cousin Dave Starky made Houston news as a student at University of St. Thomas, fellow student musician Muscanere saw an opportunity to form a marketable band.

“We were separate musicians who had played together once for a campus event and sounded good,” Muscanere said. “So I thought, ‘Why don’t we start a band with this guy Starky who’s related to Ringo and call it the Dave Starky V?’ With the media attention he’d already received, we got in easy with KNUZ radio and got lots of publicity.”

During the first 8 months, the Dave Starky V performed at high-level events.

“We were the lead-up band for the Righteous Brothers, and we played in Garner State Park at one of the very first large outdoor rock concerts, pre-dating Woodstock,” Muscanere said.

In less than a year, the group’s namesake left the band to return to England, and there was some shuffling of members along the way, but their fan club hung in there, and the group recorded a couple of original songs written by Bas: “Hey Everybody” and “Stand There.”

“The records didn’t sell back then, but somehow, 30 years later, they were picked up by a record company in Germany and placed on a garage band CD," Biron said. “And today, oldies stations around the world play them. We get a big kick out of that.”

Mostly, they get a kick out of a continued camaraderie that started on the St. Thomas campus so many years ago.

"It is wonderful to get together with the guys every year,” Cooney said, “not only for the music, but for the friendships we have rekindled from such a long time ago. The fact that we sound good is a bonus.”