Sound Hole 
Sound Hole
Brian Hogan, Bill Gibson, Brian Marnell, Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, John Farey

First called Wide Hole the band began when Mario Cipollina, Bill Gibson and John Farey were all in high school. Sound Hole, named for the hole in a guitar, really pulled together when Dan Shallack, the band's first leader, was murdered with his parents by a psychotic in Mill Valley. They picked up gifted guitarist Brian Marnell and success on the local club scene was theirs. Besides, John Farey's father, Everett Farey, once played with the Bay City Jazz Band which recorded a couple of albums in 1956-1957.

John Colla joined the band when he moved to Cotati and saw Sound Hole open for the Sons Of Champlin. As a matter of fact Mario was on a holiday with his family in Italy that day and the line-up consisted of John Farey (rhodes), Bill Gibson (drums), Dan Shallack (guitar), Brian Hogan (tenor sax), Bruce Gapinski (bass), Gregg Gavin (rhodes) and a trumpet player that didn't really hit the right notes. John, who didn't like that kind of playing at all, went up to the band and basically said, "What you guys need is me."

In the early 70s Sound Hole became Van Morrison's back-up band. A friend of John Farey who had been painting some covers for Van Morrison introduced the band to Van. Months later Van called the band and Sound Hole went on the road with him, backing him up for several months. One of Sound Hole's concerts with Van Morrison - July 29, 1974 at The Orphanage, San Francisco, CA, was even televised on PBS. To listen to the whole concert at Wolfgang's vault follow the link at the bottom of this page. A video tape of this show was used in 1995 to produce and release the bootleg CD "Live at the Orphanage".

After those S.F. shows they toured the midwest with Greg Douglass on guitar - as a replacement for Sound Hole's original guitarist.

Read this articles (s) on Van Morrison/Sound Hole.

The same year (1974) Sound Hole played the Winterland on a local talent night and luckily the show was recorded and released by Wolfgang's Vault in 2008. Please follow the link at the bottom of this page and also read more about this concert. Enjoy!!!

Sometime later John Colla and John Farey got fired from Sound Hole. Farey who got a call from Sly & The Family Stone two weeks later, convinced Sly that he needed an alto sax too and Colla got the gig. The result can be heard on Sly's album 'Heard Ya Missed Me, Well I Am Back' (1976).

Sound Hole carried on working into 1977 using this name, before changing it to Airplay. Under that name they continued into 1978 when Cipollina (and Colla) joined The Fools and Marnell and Gibson joined Jack Casady in SVT, though Gibson also played in The Fools. It was that latter band which included Sean Hopper and Huey Lewis from Clover that became Huey Lewis and The News.

Sound Hole
Sound Hole in Johnny's brother Dino's living room in Suisun, CA


  • 1975 Single: Everyday/Back To The Summer Of Love (Hole-E-Smoke Records)
  • 1995 CD: Live At The Orphanage - Van Morrison (featuring Sound Hole)

    Sound HoleEveryday/
    Back To The Summer Of Love

    (Hole-E-Smoke Records 1975)
    Side A:
    "Everyday (For The Rest Of My Life)"
    Side B:
    "Back To The Summer Of Love"
    Live At The OrphanageVan Morrison
    Live At The Orphanage

    (Yellow Cat Records 1995)
    Live At The Orphanage San Francisco July 29, 1974 with Sound Hole:

    Introduction by Tom Donahue/Heathrow Shuffle -- Ain't Nothing You Can Do -- Street Choir -- I Believe To My Soul -- Snow In Anselmo -- Moondance -- Into The Mystic -- T For Texas (Foggy Mountain Top)

    Musicians: Van Morrison (vocals), Johnny Colla (saxophone), Mario Cipollina (bass), Bill Gibson (drums), John Farey (keyboards), Brian Hogan (saxophone), Dennis ??? (guitar)

    There are six other songs on this CD which were recorded live at unknown locations. Non of them featuring Sound Hole though.



    Dan ShallackGuitar  
    John FareyTrombone, KeyboardsMuskadine Blues BandSly Stone
    Brain MarnellLead Guitar Airplay, SVT
    Mario CipollinaBassStonegroundAirplay, Huey Lewis and the News
    John CollaSaxophone, GuitarThe Furlanders, CottonmouthSly Stone, Huey Lewis and the News
    Bill GibsonDrums Airplay, SVT, Huey Lewis and the News
    Greg DouglassLead Guitar, VocalsMistressHot Tuna
    Brian HoganSaxophoneMuskadine Blues Band 
    Bill BurgessLead Guitar Spellbound


    Further Links:

  • The complete Van Morrison/Sound Hole concert at Wolfgang's Vault

  • Sound Hole live at the Winterland, 1974


    © 2002-2015 bay-area-bands.comback