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By Michael Fischer, Writer, @toonsthatrock
Sunday, April 14, 2024 @ 8:44 AM

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I wanted to share a quick update regarding Guitarist Frank Marino from MAHOGANY RUSH. Much like myself, longtime MAHOGANY RUSH fans were shocked and saddened by the news that Frank had an unknown illness and had announced his retirement from touring and the music business. I was a little surprised by the news, he's the reason I picked up a guitar as a kid. He has always been an innovator in rock guitar and one of the original super shredders. He was voted number one unsung hero by fans on Gibson Guitars Website. He was the original dive bar whammy guy. Frank is a big Allman Brothers Fan, he likes to JAM! Back in the day when the other CBS Artists at Cal Jam 2 were more consumed with playing rock star, drinking, drugs and egos. Frank just wanted to jam. We recently lost longtime MAHOGANY RUSH Drummer Jimmy Ayoub. He was very ill, he had all kinds of things wrong with him. He was the perfect drummer for MAHOGANY RUSH.

Frank Marino has been off the radar for a few years between lockdowns led by government clowns. Frank always answers his phone. We would chat often and just talk about hockey, family and silly shit like our freedom to be free. When I read the news of a health issue, I thought Frank had a heart attack or was in an accident or something. He stopped answering his phone. Facebook blew up and rumors began, mainly fans thinking Frank was on his deathbed dying from Covid or something. The mystery drove me beyond any Scooby Doo Where Are You? episode. What's going on with Frank? Frank admits he's running out of track like the rest of us. He'd like to tour, he'd like to play Europe! There's been so much going on in the world, we've all had to adjust and reroute our personal time and our livelihoods as artists. Frank gets into shit around the house. He built a race car once! Since day one he's made his own pedals, amps, and modified his guitars. That's why he sounds the way he does, he's not plugged into a tubed Marshall or processed amps like other blokes. All of his sound comes from his pedal board simply powered by a power amp. His infamous guitar solo "Electric Reflections of War" on the Live Record is his pedal board, a modest power amp, 61 Gibson SG and fingers. Franks a ripper! His latest DVD reflects the beauty, ear candy and power he brings and has brought to the turntable since I discovered can headphones as a kid.

So last year, one day out of the blue I called Frank and he answered the phone. I said "dude I've been so worried about you, how are you?" He sounded good. We usually talk for an hour, I didn't ask what's wrong with him, he didn't say. He cut the conversation a little short. I'm thinking 'fuck, he's gonna die soon or something'. Instead of calling I would email him, and he would begin replying again like he used to. During this time year before last I began writing and illustrating a children's fantasy comic book I self-published. It's about a group of school kids who snowboard into an animated ice hockey world to rescue the cup. Frank being a big hockey fan, I said "would you like to be one of the kid characters?" Frank said "Sure!" His jersey number was #10 as a kid so I made him #10. I said "do you mind if I use your Sad Moon from Mahogany Rush Strange Universe album cover in my book as part of the comic art?" Frank said "Sure!" That's cool. In my soul I was like 'wha'. He even got his name on the cup in my book. Check out Cartoon Frank Marino in my new book The Puckford 7 Ice Hockey Adventure in full color glossy print on my website @ https://www.toonsthatrock.com.

Frank has always been a family guy. Cold bottle of Coke, hot pizza and a hockey game he's all set! We remember him live on stage in smoke, blistering sound and lights. Frank is now the astronomer instead of the astronaut and he takes comfort in that, He can watch the game and work on his new line of guitar pedals. For the last several years he's been creating and developing Frank Marino Pro Audio. He has been wiring, soldering, fabricating and building his own line of his famous sound recipe of guitar pedals. He makes each pedal! They are signed by Frank Marino and numbered inside. He currently has three pedals, The DragonFly, The Juggernaut and Maxoom Pedal. They are made to his specs from his own personal custom hand designed pedals. There is no other pedal on the market like these, and they're limited edition. You can check out Frank's audio clips, vids and availability for his pedal on his new pro Audio website https://www.frankmarinoaudio.com.

In 2024 Frank is in a fantasy children's book and he has a killer new line of guitar pedals. Add his new 6 hour MAHOGANY RUSH Blu-Ray/DVD and you have a party. Now for the good and the bad news regarding Frank's return. Do I think he will ever play again? Yes! Do I think he will ever tour again? It's possible, Frank picks his spots, theaters and no pool tables. He would rather play for six people who care than an arena full of people who don't. All this time, Frank's Achilles heel that made him retire has been a serious hand and finger injury. He has a reverse trigger finger on his left hand first finger. That's the finger you grip the neck and fret with when you shred, everything you play relies on your first finger. This happened when he was on the grinder machine fabricating his guitar pedals. I've heard of trigger finger, but reverse trigger finger, that sounds painful. Frank said "I can't even play a BEATLES song, that's never happened." Recently he's tried to play more hoping it would work itself out, but he's only aggravated his hand trying to do too much. He said "I can play a little, I just can't shred like I want." He's been going to see doctors and hand specialists. It's expensive and I'm sure especially in Canada.

Frank recently mentioned selling his original 1961 Gibson SG he played most of his early career on all his album recordings, tours, California Jam 2 and his television appearances like Midnight Special and Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. Not modified with the original case. He asked me what I thought. I said "Hey, you can't take it with you. You have your modified SG you play now." He said "I wish I could find a guitar collector." I've expressed I'd like to hear a new MAHOGANY RUSH record. He has hundreds of unreleased songs in the can. Just imagine what those would sound like. Send Father Frank some healing vibes and MAHOGANY RUSH Mojo on his return to good health and shredding. When I was growing up discovering music and playing guitar as a kid, it all wouldn't have been the same without those MAHOGANY RUSH Records. Despite his injury, Frank's in good spirits and always quick on a joke. Years ago I joked and asked Frank what he thought about Madonna being inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame? He replied "Well, you might as well put McDonalds Hamburgers in The Hall of Fame, they sell!"

Official Frank Marino DVD/Blu-Ray Video Trailer - Mahogany Rush Live @ The Agora Theater, Ohio - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVt0i_3sp-I

Official Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush Website - https://www.mahoganyrush.com

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