Clown were a pure symphonic rock band from the city Genk, with a sound that referred to the German Kraut-rock. Centred around keyboard-player Pino Guarraci, these young musicians started this group already in 1977 to play their favourite music.
Pino (b. 1956 march 18) was born almost blind and went to a school for people with a visual handicap. It was there that he succeeded to go to music classes (piano, percussion and music-theory) for five years. Unfortunately he wasn’t allowed to study more music as the school and therefore also his parents didn’t saw it as a real profession. He was really fond about music so when he was eighteen he started playing keyboards in local bands until he finally founded his own band.
The major event in Clown existence was their entry into a new contest for rock-bands named “Rock Rally” already a year after they started. On April 8th 1978, Clown did play the finals at Brussels Beursschouwburg and won a third price right after Stagebeast and Once More. The actual price was a gig at the Bilzen rock festival, but a lot of other venues now asked Clown for concerts as well.
The very first song they finally got on record was a live-recording from that Bilzen festival. Being the major Belgian rock festival spread over three days it was quite a good idea to release an album with upcoming talents who played there. It was released by EMI Belgium and as many of the Belgian recordings those days, it was Jan D’Haese who produced this whole affair.
A second sign of life came when they joined the LOF festival. This was another event that wanted to promote local talents. Every year an album with bands from the festival was released and early 1981 “LOF 1980-1981” was released including two songs from Clown. Both songs “I’ve Got Love” and “Gambler” were recorded at the Swan Studio in Buizingen and stayed true to the music they were playing for years now.
A year later, the band thought it was time to immortalise some more of their music on vinyl and so they came up with a self financed single. Recorded at the old Reward Studio in Schelle, both “Carousel” and “Invitation” had a sound that would be made more famous the following years by Canadian rockers Saga. The line up back then in 1982 was: Pino on keyboards and vocals, Angelo Bisceglia on guitar, Loreto Gruarin on bass and vocals, Tano Tavormina on drums and vocals and Hedwig Baens on lead vocals.
It’s not really clear how long Clown continued but probably they stayed -although low profile- together until 1984.
In 1983 Pino produced the compilation album “Melange” with bands from his region while two years later he finally started his own recording studio named Studio 8 in Zwartberg. One of the first who used Pino’s knowledge to record their album over there, was heavy metal band Breathless. He started building his studio from there until he decided that it was time for a totally new recording facility. His new Crescendo studio in Waterschei is operational since 1993 and is one of the best known recording studios in Belgium.
Angelo Bisceglia continued playing guitar mostly on a freelance base or as session player for popular Belgian acts. In 2003 he joined bluesrock cover-band Crossroads with Walter Janiszewski (guitar & vocals), and both his ex-Clown colleges Gaetano Tavormina (drums) and Loreto Gruarin (bass).
The legacy from Clown is with five released songs rather small. People who saw the band on stage are convinced that their best songs never got released. Maybe one day the originators will give these hidden treasures a second life to share them with an old and/or future audience.
Lp JAZZ BILZEN (EMI 4C054-61495 — 1978)
-As Rich As A Song Can Be
Lp LOF 1980-1981 (MIT 01986 — 1981)
-I’ve Got Love
7” Carousel / Invitation (Rainbow R.583 — 1982)