|Stephen A. Pacelli glories his role as '50s rock & roll purist Stevie Starlite. The Evergreen Park resident's first album is available at local record stores.|
"I thought if I was dead it might sell better," says the 29-year-old singer, songwriter and guitarist.
"Don't You Dare Touch My D.A.," released by Snorko Records two months ago, features a flashbulb snapshot of Starlite on it's shocking "Thunderbird pink" cover. In long hair, mirrored glasses and a white dress jacket with wide, black lapels, Starlite manages to look tough while hugging his electric guitar.
On the back is this message: "To try to somewhat recapture my interpretation of the excitement and good-time music of the '50s, this album was recorded in Mono, with no multiple overdubs, no synthesizers and no hidden meanings. S.S."
Pacelli, a former art student and instrument salesman, wanted his Starlite LP to convey the raw, unspoiled sound of early rock with basic beats and simple guitar solos.
"I thought of putting a tic on the track so it would sound like there was a scratch on the record, but I didn't want people to return it," he says.
No one has returned the album yet, Pacelli adds. "I know when I was a kid, if I bought an album I didn't like, I'd just hold it in front of the old space heater until it looked like a salad bowl," he says. "Then I'd take it back and say, 'Hey man, it's warped.'"
Pacelli says he's been playing '50s rock and roll since he was 9 years old. "D.A." is his tribute to heroes Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. Pacelli wrote all the songs, sang all the vocals, played on all the tracks, designed the cover and produced the album.
"I could't get along with anyone long enough," the bachelor says. "I like a certain type of music. It's hard to find people who have a feel for it."
Pacelli is a polite, energetic conversationalist, but he reacts violently when his back-up musicians start throwing in complicated riffs where they don't belong or beats where they're not supposed to be.
"I like to get it down to a real simple, laid-back sound," Pacelli says. "It's hard to be simple."
Pacelli has developed a local following and hopoes to gain a national reputation. He's selling his album to area stores for $4.70- 40 cents less than cost. One store has sold more than 100 copies.
The album is "not much musically, but it's fun," Pacelli says. "I'm not apologizing. I love it. It sounds real flat. There is no wall of sound. You're going to have to turn up the volume."
"You may like it; you may hate it," he adds. "I haven't found anybody in between."