The Last Shades of Dawn

2003 - Band

Members: Tom Marinaro, Gary Marinaro, John Marinaro, Louie Anania, Mike Sitroneto, and Mart Watson


The idea came from Tom Marinaro and Mart Watson, a bass player. Tom had learned to play the guitar and John Marinaro bought him his first electric guitar. Gary Marinaro was in a garage band of his own at the time but soon joined his brothers in the band. John was in the service at that time but joined as soon as he returned from active duty.

Their very first gig was at Tech High School thanks in part to John’s buying the boys a P.A. system. He became their keyboard player. Louie Anania was their first drummer, a career that lasted 12 years. The next drummer was Mike Sitroneto for 13 years.

Last Shades of Dawn played various Battle of the Bands competitions, high school dances and ballrooms such as the Val Air-Des Moines, Surf-Clear Lake, and Laramar in Fort Dodge among others. They played before appreciative crowds at such events at the Italian Festival in Des Moines.

A very fond memory for the band was opening for Tommy James and the Shondells at the Starline Ballroom in Carroll.

The band members credit their manager Dominic Marinaro and his wife Bonnie for their support in organizing and managing their shows. “Without them there wouldn’t have been a band,” they said. Parents of John, Tom and Gary, the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary was the last gig the band ever played.

They will reunite for the honor of being inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame on Aug. 31, 2003.

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