STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Media’s Dead Sea Squirrels can entertain people just with the various squirrel memes on their Facebook page.
It’s almost a bonus that they happen to play music. A lot of it is classic rock songs by Jethro Tull, The Who, Bob Seger, The Doors, The Kinks, Tom Petty, Bad Company, Billy Joel and The Grateful Dead.
“If we know (a requested song), we’ll do it. If you can bop to it and you like it, we’ll give it a shot,” said guitarist/vocalist Bob Succio, who particularly enjoys playing songs by The Beatles and Led Zeppelin.
The five-piece band also has tunes by Maroon 5, INXS, KC and The Sunshine Band, Stone Temple Pilots, Sublime, Rancid, Weezer, Elvis Costello and Social Distortion in its arsenal.
Also in the Dead Sea Squirrels are Tony Straccione (vocals/guitar), Mark Vita (bass/vocals), Dr. Paul Greene (keyboards) and Doug Gramo (drums/percussion). Three of them are educators — a teacher at Springfield Middle School, a professor at Penn State Brandywine and a professor at Delaware County Community College.
The band got its start when Succio caught up with, and started jamming with, his nephew, Gramo.
“It was kind of an accident almost. I hadn’t seen him since he was 10,” Succio said. Gramo is now in his 40s.
Where did that name — a zany spin on the name for a set of ancient Jewish historical and religious parchment/papyrus texts — come from?
“I used to work for a small, independent label in Miami. We’d be stumbling around in a parking lot at 5 in the morning throwing around silly band names. I threw it out there as a joke,” Succio said.