Resolution J5638-2013

Commending Liberty DeVitto upon the occasion of his selection as a 2014 Italian-American Day honoree



  • Jun 3, 2014: ADOPTED
  • May 30, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE


LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  commending Liberty DeVitto upon the occasion of
his selection as a 2014 Italian-American Day honoree

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative  Body  to  pay  tribute  to
those  individuals  of true purpose and worthy accomplishment who foster
ethnic pride and strive to preserve  their  cultural  heritage,  thereby
enhancing the profile of cultural diversity which strengthens the fabric
of community throughout this great Empire State; and
  WHEREAS,  Attendant to such concern, and in full accord with its long-
standing traditions, this Legislative Body is justly  proud  to  commend
Liberty DeVitto upon the occasion of his selection as a 2014 Italian-Am-
erican Day Honoree; and
  WHEREAS,  Affectionately known as the songwriter's drummer, throughout
his illustrious career, Liberty DeVitto has played with Paul  McCartney,
Stevie  Nicks, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Ronnie Spector, Karen Carpen-
ter, Phoebe Snow, Elton John, Meatloaf, and many more; and
  WHEREAS, In 2013,  Liberty  DeVitto  was  inducted  into  The  Classic
Drummer's Hall of Fame, and for more than 40 years he has been repeated-
ly  featured  in  articles,  documentaries and educational publications,
most recently in the documentary "A  Matter  of  Trust:  The  Bridge  to
Russia"; and
  WHEREAS, Born to Sicilian immigrants, Vincent and Josephine (Sardisco)
DeVitto, Liberatori (Liberty) DeVitto was born in Brooklyn, New York, on
August 8, 1950, a second generation Italian-American; and
  WHEREAS, Life for Liberty DeVitto began in a one room furnished apart-
ment, where his mother would empty a dresser drawer, line it with a baby
blanket,  and  use that for his bed; his Mother says it was the radio on
top of the dresser, which she kept on at all times,  that  gave  Liberty
his love for music; and
  WHEREAS,  After Liberty DeVitto's father became a New York City Police
Officer in the 77th  Precinct  in  Brooklyn,  he  decided  to  join  the
migration  to  the  suburbs,  and moved his new family to Long Island in
1951; and
  WHEREAS, On February 9, 1964  Liberty  DeVitto's  family,  like  every
other  family  in America, had the TV tuned to the Ed Sullivan show, and
there they were, in black and white, "The Beatles"; since  that  moment,
Liberty's life would change, forever; and
  WHEREAS,  In June of 1968, Liberty DeVitto graduated from Seaford High
School, and by November he was on the road  with  Detroit  rocker  Mitch
Ryder banging out Mitch's hits, "Jenny Takes a Ride," "Devil with a Blue
Dress" and "Sock It To Me Baby"; and
  WHEREAS,  Right  after  Mitch Ryder, Liberty DeVitto landed a gig with
Long Island alumni, Richie Supa, and had his first recording experience;
the album, "Supa's Jamboree" was recorded in Atlanta in 1969-70, and was
produced by Buddy Buie of the Classics  4  and  Atlanta  Rhythm  Section
Fame; and
  WHEREAS,  The album was released on Paramount Records and a tour imme-
diately followed; during this time, Liberty was driving the band  equip-
ment  van  from  Cleveland,  Ohio,  back home to Long Island when he was
involved in an accident, sustaining serious injuries; and
  WHEREAS, Subsequently, Liberty DeVitto took a year  off  from  playing
the  drums;  to ease back in, he took a steady gig at a catering hall on
Long Island; during those years, the group,  "Topper"  was  formed,  and
eventually,  the group became Billy Joel's band, going on to create such
legendary songs as, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant"  and  "New  York
State of Mind"; and

  WHEREAS, After 30 years with Billy Joel, and countless other projects,
Liberty  DeVitto  is still going strong; he is proud to have been a part
of the 9-11 recovery efforts, visiting Ground Zero  and  supporting  the
first  responders  with  Billy  Joel  a  few  days after the tragedy and
performing to raise funds to rebuild his city; and
  WHEREAS,  In  addition, he has played for supporters at "The Tunnel to
Towers Run" commemorating Stephen Sills' heroic effort  to  save  fellow
New Yorkers on September 11, 2001; and
  WHEREAS,  Today,  Liberty  DeVitto can be seen live with his Brooklyn,
New York based rock and blues band, "The Slim Kings," who are working on
their sophomore  album,  following  their  successful  first  album  and
single,  "Waterloo,"  which  was released on charity CD "Songs For Sandy
II" along with releases from Paul McCartney and Dave Stewart; and
  WHEREAS, Liberty DeVitto is an Honorary Board Member  of  Little  Kids
Rock,  a  non-profit  organization  which  puts  instruments  and  music
programs in underserved public schools worldwide; each year, he is  also
the  house  drummer  for  the yearly LKR Gala, driving the beat for such
performers as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Elvis Costello,  and  many
others; and
  WHEREAS,  This  exemplary  man  remains a band member for The Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, lectures globally for  Sticks  and  Skins,
and  is  a  founding  member of The NYC Hitsquad; he is also a member of
"The Recovery Squad," a band and program dedicated to rock 'n' roll  and
sober living; and
  WHEREAS,  Liberty  DeVitto  resides  in Brooklyn with his loving wife,
Anna; he continues to lecture, interview and play  music  all  over  the
world; and
  WHEREAS, Liberty DeVitto has truly distinguished himself in his career
and community involvement, and the Italian-American community and all of
New  York  State  have profited greatly from his talent, dedication, and
service; now, therefore, be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
commend  Liberty  DeVitto  upon the occasion of being selected as a 2014
Italian-American Day Honoree; and be it further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Liberty DeVitto.


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