Dominic Troiano Canadian Rock/Jazz Guitarist



You know the internet is really the greatest tool of the 21st century. You can search for literally anything or anybody at the click of a computer button.

Unfortunately some of the greatest things to look for that are Canadian are often over looked. For example, the great Rock/Jazz guitarist, our own Dominic Troiano. He actually lived around 17 houses away at 356 Sammon Ave., East York, from where we live now! He also created a song called 356 Sammon Ave. on his solo debut in 1972 called “Dominic Troiano”.

While in our back yard a couple of years ago, our little old neighbour Sofie’s son and I were doing some work in her garden for her. After we had finished, I brought up Dominic’s name. He looked at me with this puzzled look on his face. I asked him if he knew anything about him and he told me that he hung out with his younger brother and played cards with them. He also said that Dominic was trying to learn guitar all the time. I said ” Trying to learn guitar you say?”.

I’ve looked him up on line to only find little bits and pieces of him and his successes. Youtube has no Bush videos and there is no official Dominic Troiano site. I looked for his death, after realizing that he passed away 6 months after the fact, only to find small little blurbs here and there. Come on now, this guy was a guitar god!

He helped create the Toronto Sound in the 60’s thru 70’s. He replaced Robbie Robertson of the Band, while Robbie was with Ronnie Hawkins. Dominic started the band Mandala and Bush in 1970. He also was with the James Gang Band with Troiano replacing the guitarist Joe Walsh. Mr. Troiano also joined The Guess Who as Randy Bachman’s replacement.

Can you imagine playing with other artists such as Joe Cocker, Donald Fagen, Diana Ross, David Clayton-Thomas, Etta James, and produce albums for bands/singers, including his ex-wife Shawne Jackson. Well Dominic did! Now to top things off he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1996. Not a bad resume to have hanging around your neck. I think that if I was playing a guitar in the 12th Fret and he walked in the store I would more then likely put it down and try to be a fly on the wall, wouldn’t you?

Think about it, this is the guy who replaced a guitarist called Joe Walsh. Then this guy named Joe Walsh gave his Gibson ’59 Les Paul to non-other then Mr. Jimmy Page. This gift gave Mr. Page his signature Les Paul look! Imagine giving Jimmy your guitar and have him actually use it, regularly!

I found the bassist, Prakash John, from Mr. Troiano’s band Bush and found some real neat little stories about him and his band’s adventures. Prakash John’s son, Jordan John, is quite the musician in his own right. I guess apples really don’t fall to far from the tree.

I researched some more and found the best tribute to this giant of guitar at the 12th Fret site and it was very nicely done. Hats off to you folks!

Domenic Troiano sadly passed away on unfortunately, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He succumbed on May 25, 2005. He was 59. Once again, this is another great one that I didn’t get to see live.

Dominic Troiano RIP

Keep on Jammin’

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  1. gene berry says

    I was listening to flavors from the guess who started looking for dominic triano your site is almost the only site out their he did add a lot to the guess who ,he replaced don mcdougle and kurt winter who both replaced randy bachman he played on flavors and power in the music both in 1975 thanks for his tribute he deserves it gene from maine

  2. says

    Gene, it’s great to finally hear someone out there that admires Domenic Troiano like you do! This was a monster on guitar. I too can’t find that much about the man and he used use to about 25 houses down from where I live!

    Thanks for your comment Gene!

  3. Dave says

    Came out rooting around for Dom like I do from time to time.
    Loved him when I was a kid and saw him everywhere in almost every band he made or passed through except the Guess Who. I always liked his solo shows better anyhow.

    Because of my serious internet addiction I may have been slightly more aware than some of the absolute lack of decent material about on Dom back in the late 90s and early 00s.

    This seems to have been remedied to some extent. Your little contribution is like most, Chris, kinda folksy, kinda open and straight up. No coincidence that this is the way I perceived Domenic anytime I encountered him in a Toronto club, or anywhere else in public, over the course of his years in the trenches.

    He stopped EVERY time and had a word with me or with me and my buddies. We knew who he was allright. He was $%^^-ing great.

    He was just a class act from stem to stern.

  4. HMan says


    Thank you for so well expressing the genious Domenic Troiano was. I was very fortunate to have caught him during the Toronto Western NY Rock Swap Era. He was phenomenal each time. First saw him in a two set gig with “The joke’s on me” band at the Red Creek Cabaret in Rochester, NY in 1977. Then travelled North to catch him open for TOP at The Queen Elizabeth Theatre c. 1978. Shortly thereafter I saw him for the last time at the El Mocambo where he really opened up and did his earlier blues stuff like “Fannie Mae” and the whole side of the “Tricky” LP. Every time I saw him he was phenomenal. I had the chance to interview him live during a radio show I used to host and he was the most pleasant person to be around; a family man and a bit of a Mama’s boy. During the interview somebody lit a joint and he at first said “I probably shouldn’t” and when he saw everyone else partaking joined in, shortly exclaiming: “Mom I hope your not listening…I’m a bit stoned.” The entire studio errupted in laughter. A great Radio moment at WSAY Rochester, NY.
    I have Tricky, The Joke’s on Me and Burnin at the stake in vinyl, will try to digitize and post on Youtube

  5. says

    Wow, nice comment HMan. I’m really happy that you found this post about my favorite guitar player who lived right down the street from me! Do you have any pic’s of him during your radio show? I’d look to take a look at them for sure HMan.

    During your radio show did he play guitar on it? If so, what did he play?
    The El Mocambo is still up and running but it has been scaled down some. They rented out the 2nd floor for some dance company believe it or not, BASTARDS!!!

    Check out a link that I have for my other blog, guitarlicks, and see what the Queen Elizabeth Theatre looks like today! Does it look pretty much the same way now as it did when you saw Domenic back in the day?

    I hope that you keep on coming and checking out both my sites in the future HMan and …

    Keep on Jammin’

  6. says

    Thank you for the vote of confidence on this post Dave … I think?

    Everyone that I met that met him says the same thing about him that you have said in your comment.

    I never had the chance to see him perform so I envy you being able to witness him play live. You lucky SOB!!!

    Keep on Jammin’ Dave!

  7. gene from maine says

    check out the guess who live electrick lady land on youtube its 1975 with mr toriano its incredible to hear him with burton cummings vocals . Canada should be proud .and thank you to all the folks posting the forgotten stuff on you tube showing new this amazing talented people every day