By Keith Sharp
Former Alias/Sheriff guitarist Steve DeMarchi was surprised and a little confused at his selection as one of four people inducted into this year’s Mississauga Music Walk Of Fame. He along with former guitar great Jeff Healey, DMDS digital system inventor, Cliff Hunt and veteran bluesman Bobby Dean Blackburn were honored Sunday September 11th with plaques now displayed along the pathway at Port Credit Memorial Park.
Initiated in 2012 by local councillor Jim Tovey who got tired of local musical stars being tagged as “from Toronto”, the Mississauga Music Walk Of Fame has honored the likes of Ronnie Hawkins, Triumph members Rik Emmett and Gil Moore, the Mama’s And The Papas’ Denny Doherty, Oscar Peterson, Tommy Hunter, Downchilld Blues Band’s, Chuck Jackson, Cameo Blues Band’s John Bride and Canadian Music Week organizer Neil Dixon, all who currently reside or have spent a considerable time in the Mississauga area.
“The strange thing about my star is that I noticed both my plaque and Jeff Healey’s plaque are both turned the wrong way, so they look like some demonic pentagram,” laughed DeMarchi. “It will certainly attract people’s attention.”
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DeMarchi never imagined he qualified for such an honour but once the nominations committee were aware of his impressive Music CV, DeMarchi was informed of his pending induction. It’s a CV that includes featuring as guitarist with Capitol Records’ band Sheriff which enjoyed a Billboard No.1 record with “When I’m With You”. He then joined the band’s lead vocalist, Freddy Curci in Alias which also featured three members of Heart enjoying further U.S success with chart-topping hits “More Than Words Can Say” and “Haunted Heart”.
[styled_box title=”Alias – More Than Words Can Say” color=”black”][/styled_box]
This success led to appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and when Alias disbanded, DeMarchi spent the next 10 years touring the world as guitarist for Irish group, The Cranberries – performing a special Papal Christmas concert at the Vatican.
An effort was made to reform Alias in 2014 when they reunited in Merritt B.C at the Sturgis Music Festival for a one-off performance and although lead vocalist Curci now lives in Los Angeles, there is talk of DeMarchi, brother Denny, original Sheriff bassist Wolf Hassel and drummer Chris Sutherland reforming Alias in 2017. Whether Curci is or is not in the band has yet to be determined.