Saturday, September 5, 2015


Hey!  Wazzzzzup?!?!?!...
And welcome to THE COURAGE BLOG!!!

In this forum, the members of our New Jersey-based Brutal Hard Funk Trio, LION-HEARTED, will celebrate true acts of courage.

Since this is my first contribution -- I would like to introduce myself as the band's lead singer and bassist, Marc David Gambino.  I am known by the nickname "Bino", but like to refer to myself as "the UN-famous musician with the infamous last name." 

There is no shortage of people who display courage today, and you're probably thinking of a few right now who are worthy of being commended for what they have done...

But I will start by sharing two stories from the past.  

This is the first of them.  

So, I ask you to imagine feeling so compelled to make a drastic life change that you uproot your whole family in a figurative (but almost literal) heartbeat.  

It is the reason I am even writing this blog today.

Imagine you are married with three children all three years old or younger.

Imagine you own a new house in a small town where your whole family lives, but have dreamed of living in a city 75 miles away.  You literally know no one there.

Imagine that your spouse is the homemaker/primary caregiver of your children, and is not employed.

Imagine you have a secure job as a teacher, but your dream is to make your living as an artist...  A musician, to be more specific.

Imagine you don't care for sports at all, having little appreciation for the skills required to perform them because you have avoided involvement in them throughout your life.

Finally, imagine it is the late 1960's, a time of turbulent change in the USA.  Most citizens shied away from adding to the impact of that national unrest on their lives by doing things to complicate their personal situation.

I have asked you to imagine my father...  But I am also asking you to imagine my mother.

This is a story of courage, but no story of courage has the successful result worthy of being written about without the love required to reach that outcome.

So, before moving on to the actual story, I would like to proclaim that (although this blog is called THE COURAGE BLOG), it is really ALL about love.

(You may also read about this and other stories like it by visiting or by reading "Vagabonds: A Musician's Odessey")

Thom Gambino had developed a circle of dear friends who also played instruments over the years.  He enjoyed jamming with them every Sunday afternoon.

On a winter morning, his friends all informed him that they would not be attending their normal jam session because it was Super Bowl Sunday.

It was at that defining moment that my father reached a turning point in his life and decided he would no longer postpone perusing his dream to move from Trenton, New Jersey to New York City, where he was convinced he would find other serious musicians in a scene that was unaffected by such distractions.

He gave notice at his job, put the house up for sale, and began "scouting" potential places to move to.

The dream was to go to Manhattan, but that expensive reality would be put on hold, and a Queens apartment would have to be the destination.  The love and support of Lorry Gambino was, obviously, KEY in this decision being agreed upon and (again) needs to be stressed.  

No dream will survive in a relationship unless both people share a vision and dedication to making it work through the tough times they know will come in its pursuit.

So, the family of five was packed up and moved within weeks...  Leaving behind the only life they knew, all of their friends, and family that included (most importantly) two sets of parents that did NOT AT ALL appreciate having their three new grandchildren "taken away" to an unfamiliar place that was an almost two hour drive.

Persuing this risky dream would not be possible without ruffling feathers.  Again I ask you to imagine.  This time, the heated arguments that occurred before, during and after the transition.  The result was a bitter fallout that lasted for months without a resolution.
There are obviously MANY stories that followed afterwards, some humorous and some not...  But 47 years later, I know my parents have no regrets about what they did.  

They have had a life that they could never imagine would be so rich, and have given me and my younger siblings lives we are all forever grateful for as a result of their courage.

To me, it remains one of the most gutsy adventures anyone in my family has embarked upon, and (make no mistake) there have been many.

The next blog I write will focus on the second of two stories I want to tell at the outset.  It is the story of how my father (again, with the support and love of my mother) took on The U.S. Government.

The aforementioned uprooting of our family along with the next story are the two things I always ask myself if I would have had the courage to undertake...

The consistent answer being doubtful  only adds to the exponential pride felt over the years, and has no affect on personal confidence based on the sheer magnitude of the question posed.



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