I first met Frank in 2018. He sent me a message over Facebook asking if I could video record the Edge of the West show at Monterey Court. He said he booked the show but he was unable to go. We didn’t know each other in “real life” but I was happy to help out another music fan!
About a year later, I saw Frank at a Kevin Pakulis show at Borderlands. He was recording the show but what I did not realize at the time is how much he loves the Tucson music community. Did you know that he has a YouTube channel that currently has 1272 video uploads of his recordings, most of them from local Tucson music shows?
I thought it would be fun to get to know Frank a little bit more and he kindly agreed to an interview for this website.
Full Name: Frank J Sanzo
Where were you born? Hartford Connecticut
Have you ever played in a band (including school)?
No. Early report cards said, “Does not play well with others!”
If so, What instrument(s) did you play, or what is your favorite instrument?
I do play some guitar, bass, and mandolin, for my own amusement. Luckily, I’m easily amused!
What brought you to Tucson, AZ?
UHaul truck, in 1993. Met my wife in Charlotte, NC. Said she wanted to work in St. Paul and then retire to Tucson. My thought was, it’s too cold in Minnesota. Let’s just retire to Tucson!
Do you remember your first live music show? If so, tell us about it.
The early ‘60s was probably my first actual concert. I’m thinking Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, with Spider John Koerner, and one other act that I can no longer recall. Mitch Ryder made a major impression.
What is your favorite part about local live music?
Love the interaction, and mutual respect, of local Tucson Musicians.
In what ways are you involved in the Tucson Music Community? (Current and past)
I Ran 17th Street Music for my buddy, Harvey Brooks. Currently doing some booking for local acts. Lucky enough that Rhythm & Roots concert promoter, Susan Holden-Bieg, suggested David Slutes allow me to do some low-key promotions at Hotel Congress. Also, Monterey Court, House Of Bards, and Borderlands Brewing have let me present a few shows.
How did you first get started with bringing national touring shows to Tucson?
Started working with Tucson Folk Festival in the mid-’90s, Was instrumental in bringing in Richie Havens, Eric Andersen, Todd Snider, Chris Hillman & Herb Pederson, among others. Also brought Commander Cody to Monterey Court a few times.
What is your most memorable moment while attending a Tucson Local Band show?
Every Sunday Session, with Kevin Pakulis, at Borderlands Brewing.
If you could attend any live musical performance, past or present, who would it be?
One more show with Rick Danko, Buddy Cage, and Sredni Vollmer!
What is your favorite Tucson local venue?
Hotel Congress Plaza Stage.
What advice do you have for aspiring Tucson local musicians?
Keep your day job. Play what pleases you! You are NOT primarily an alcohol salesperson!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thanks to Tucson music fans for your generous tipping support of local musicians. Most local venues are still using a 1970s pay scale, so the tips are greatly appreciated and needed.