Joe Petruzzelli, known to most as just "Pet" has branched out from sitting behind his drum stack to owning "A Beat Away Entertainment" and then winning Best Wedding DJ by WGBH the Boston A List 2013 as well as the couples choice award on Wedding Wire 2014.
Berklee College of Music is where Pet honed his skills on the drums but Burdett College of Business is where he learned everything else.
Examiner sat down with Pet to talk about his long career thus far, in the music and entertainment industry.
Examiner: How did you wind up in the music business?
Pet: " In first grade we had these brand new desks that were empty at the beginning of the school year. I always loved drumming so I would put my head sideways on the top of the desk and tap my fingers on the metal bottom and create beats until the nun sent a note home to my mom saying that I was sleeping in class."
Examiner: How did Joe Perry find you for his band The Joe Perry Project?
Pet: "I had been in Luna /The Berlin Airlift for five years trying to move out of the local music scene to the National Scene. We had major deals that just disintegrated in front of our eyes and I couldn’t take it any longer. I got a call from an old friend Steve Borasso who was managing Joe Perry with Tim Collins at the time. He said that Perry was looking for a drummer and wanted me to play in his band. Needless to say, I was excited but didn’t want to let on to anyone in case things didn’t work out. One day Perry and Mark Belle showed up at a gig that Berlin was doing in Salem, MA. Everyone in the band was wondering what Perry was doing at our gig. After I agreed to tour and record with The Joe Perry Project, I still hadn’t yet told the band that I was leaving. One night we were doing a gig at the Paradise Club on Commonwealth Ave and during sound check the Band started playing "Train Kept a Rollin" and the cat was out of the bag so to speak. I felt relieved and sad at the same time. I loved that band and all the people in it but I felt it went as far as it could and I needed a change."
Examiner: Who are some of the artists that you have performed with?
Pet: " Aside from the Joe Perry Project, I have also worked with Steven Tyler, Buddy Guy, Boston, Huey Lewis, Gary Cherone, J Geils, Fred Lipsius (Grammy Award winner with Blood, Sweat & Tears), Ralph Tresvant to name a few."
Examiner: What was a WOW moment for you?
Pet: "Back in the day I got an offer to tour with the band the "Happenings" whose recordings include See You in September, Go Away Little Girl, I’ve Got Rhythm along with a few others. We toured all over the country and my first gig was at Texas A&M in front of 10,000 people. I couldn’t believe I was playing in front of so many people because I had only played small clubs up till that point."
Examiner: Any road warrior stories?
Pet: "I remember a gig I did with Perry that was very memorable. We were playing at Pocono Downs’s Raceway in front of 40,000 people. Other bands that night we're Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, Foghat & Krokus and the stage was in the center of the raceway. The dressing rooms were in the main building of the track so they provided a golf cart to transport the musicians to the stage and back to the dressing rooms. Drummer Bunny Carlos of Cheap Trick was riding in the cart that was transporting all of us back and forth and handing out Quaaludes from his Marlboro pack. I waited to finish our show before indulging but needless to say it was a fiasco afterwards. There was a political convention going on in town that weekend and the politicians and musicians were staying at the same hotel. The last thing I remember was that I was being detained in the hall of the hotel by the police with their dogs. Thank God those days are over!"
Examiner: What are you working on now?
Pet: "After touring with The Joe Perry Project (Aerosmith) I played around the city doing recording projects, filling in on drums with wedding bands and teaching drums.
In 1999, I started an entertainment company, "Abeataway Entertainment" which provides DJ’s, subcontracting photography, videography, photo booths and everything else to make your party the place to be. We've expanded it from there. The WGBH Boston A List for 2013 was a nice honor and now we are recieving the Couples Choice Award on wedding wire for 2014 that goes to the top 5% of all wedding vendors. Needless to say, I am very happy that my company is starting to be recognized and doing well."
For more information: www.abeataway.com