Hermie Granati

Hermie Granati began his rock and roll career when his first band The Shad Three recorded their first record in 1963. As a toddler, Hermie began tickling the ivories and soon after, at 5, wrote his first songs. By 12, he was recording with Jeree Reed playing alongside his brother Rickie on drums among others. Hermie graduated to playing keyboards professionally in high school before joining such local bands as Grains of Sand later renamed Phweet Pheew with Rich Engler (drums), Max Kendrick (guitar) and Skinny Bishop (bass). Grains of Sand performed original cuts and enjoyed opening act gigs for national acts such as David Bowie, UFO, YES, King Crimson and Sha Na Na and many others.

In the early 1970s, Hermie played keyboards for bands such as Coconut, The Jaggerz, B. E. Taylor and then alongside fellow Western PA musician Joe Grushecky and the Iron City Houserockers. With the Jaggerz, Granati wrote “The Rapper” alongside Dominic Ierace, better known as Donnie Iris, which became the band’s biggest hit and nearly dethroned Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge over Troubled Waters” in 1970 reaching #2 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Granati, Iris, Jimmie Ross and Benny Faiella, among others, helped The Jaggerz endure two successful and lengthy stints entertaining their loyal fans (1964-1977/1989-present). In 1976, Hermie teamed with brothers Rick, Joey and David and cousin Tony Bonomo to form the Granati Brothers, later billed as G-Force. Hermie’s masterful keyboard and piano sound as well as the band’s familial synchronicity made the Granati Bros. a Western PA favorite and landed them a deal with A&M Records and national recognition with the release of their first album G-Force. Tours soon followed and by 1979, the Granati Brothers was warming up the crowds for the likes of Boston, Heart, Sammy Hagar, J. Geils and Van Halen to name a few. In 1981, G-Force appeared 39 times with Van Halen, arguably one of the biggest bands in the world at the time, for their 81-date Fair Warning Tour playing before more than 500,000 fans in North America.

In 1985, the Granati stepped out of their comfort zone appearing in George Romero’s “Day of the Dead” as murderous zombies ultimately killing the evil villain at the film’s climax. When the brothers split in 1995, Hermie returned to the Jaggerz and produced and arranged their 1998 And the Band Played On album. Rooted in the Western PA music scene, Hermie has shared the stage with fellow Pennsylvanian musicians such as Joe Grushecky, Donnie Iris and the late B. E. Taylor, as well as playing multiple gigs with Grushecky and Bruce Springsteen at the Stone Pony and more notably the 2004 Flood Aid Concert in Pittsburgh. Since learning to play piano by ear way back in 1954, Hermie Granati has been wowing fans from behind his keyboards for more than 65 years and continues going strong.