Charlie Dominici is an American singer, guitarist and songwriter, mostly known for being a former member of Dream Theater. Dominici left the music industry for a long period of time following his departure from Dream Theater, however he currently fronts his own band, Dominici.
Early Life and career[edit | edit source]
Dominici was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1951, where from a very young age he became attracted to rock music and the rock and roll lifestyle. A fast talking, funny troublemaker, Dominici gained local prominence in his youth as a guitarist for several bands and notoriety for his wild ways. One notable incident had him inciting a riot in a hotel that caused several thousand dollars worth of damage, and then dodging out on having to pay for it.
Dominici gained the attention of Frank and the Knockouts and was brought in as a backing vocalist and guitarist for their first album, though Dominici felt that they didn't give him enough credit. The band found touring without his parts difficult, and invited him to tour with them for support of their second album, which he did not appear on. Charlie was eventually kicked off the tour due to his rambunctiousness and returned to New York.
Dream Theater[edit | edit source]
Charlie later came across the "vocalist wanted" ad that Dream Theater, then called "Majesty", had placed and decided to check out the band before responding. Dominici was suitably impressed by their demo, but stymied by Mike Portnoy's request to bring a PA system to the audition. Dominici, however, ran into John Myung at the music store he worked at and introduced himself by singing the song Your Majesty, which perplexed Myung.
Dominici's attempts to get an audition with Majesty were eventually successful, much to the chagrin of Myung, who found his constant attempts to be irritating. His audition was for the most part unsuccessful, as he fell into the same trap most vocalists did and tried to do an impression of the band's previous singer, Chris Collins, which was well out of his range. He managed to finally impress the band with his improvisation skills, singing The Killing Hand without having heard it before, and was offered the position.
Charlie's role in Dream Theater is under debate, as he gives a different account than his former bandmates. Dominici was said to have been arrogant, with an attitude that he knew all about the music industry already. Dominici's account claims he did try to steer the band, but in an attempt to help them cross over into the mainstream, much like Rush did. Dominici wrote music and lyrics for the band, and even played guitar live in some cases, such as the intro to The Killing Hand.
After appearing on the band's first album, When Dream and Day Unite Dream Theater decided to let Dominici go, citing creative and personal differences, and his poor on-stage persona. This was a difficult decision for the band, as Dominici had just gotten The Majesty Symbol tattooed on his arm, and had indeed contributed much to the band. Dominici took the news well. In previous (unreleased) documentary footage, he had acknowledged that he saw himself eventually being kicked out of the band, stating that they were meant for great things.
Afterwards[edit | edit source]
Dominici remained on good terms with Dream Theater, keeping in contact with them throughout the years, and even playing one last show with them as a favor, though he left the public spotlight and the music industry for the most part. Dominici sang at Portnoy's wedding upon his request and attempted work on a solo album along with his brother, Kane Daily, a blues guitarist, though this never materialized. Dominici worked for an insurance company and kept up with fans through his website, which was mostly centered around his time with Franke And The Knockouts and Dream Theater, and the phantom solo album. At one point he put up an original song And Now the Time Has Come up on his website, claiming it was from the album, however the song had no guitar on it, being a piano and vocals only song, and it soon after disappeared from the website.
Dominici was invited once again to sing with Dream Theater for the 15th anniversary of When Dream and Day Unite. Dominici joined the band onstage for the encore, singing To Live Forever and Metropolis along with James LaBrie. Dominici claimed the experience gave him "the music bug" and he started more serious work towards getting back into the music industry.
Dominici[edit | edit source]
Soon after, the long awaited album of lies, Dominici recorded and released his first solo album O3: A Trilogy, Part One, an album where he sang, played acoustic guitar and harmonica, doing the entire album in a live take. The album, whose concept promised a tribute, was fairly successful, despite it only being online, and in limited quantities. Dominici gladly autographed copies of the album bought directly through his website, going so far as to personalize the autographs. Dominici claimed his original intention was to lead the band, and have the style be progressive metal like Dream Theater, but was so excited about the concept he recorded the album on his own before getting a band together.
Dominici did eventually get his band, in the form of "Solid Vision", an Italian progressive metal band. The band renamed themselves as Dominici and released the followup O3: A Trilogy, Part Two, which was this time released through Inside Out Music, making it available in stores unlike the first album. The album was successful, and got good reviews, mostly for Dominici himself, though the band was criticized for sounding too much like Dream Theater.
Dominici eventually released the third and final part, O3: A Trilogy, Part Three, seen by many as being the best of the three musically, though the science-fiction slant the story took had many people surprised. Dominici toured in support of the album, even opening for Dream Theater at select European shows. Dominici states that the band will continue, though not with concept albums, though nothing solid has been announced yet.
Relationship with other musicians and fans[edit | edit source]
In his youth, Dominici was seen as an arrogant, wild party person, who would drum up trouble wherever he could, leading to a lot of musicians not being able to deal with him. In adulthood, Dominici mellowed considerably, being well known as a funny, considerate and compassionate person. Dominici's relationship with Dream Theater was good, despite their misgivings about his approach to his position, and they remained friends even after he was let go. Dominici is also on good terms with James LaBrie, despite joking "that bastard took my job!".
When it comes to his fans, Dominici is extremely accommodating, answering emails and conversing at length about any subject. Dominici is known for autographing his albums as well as copies of When Dream and Day Unite, going so far as to personalize the signatures on request.
Discography[edit | edit source]
With Franke And The Knockouts[edit | edit source]
- 1981 - Franke and the Knockouts
With Dream Theater[edit | edit source]
Studio Albums[edit | edit source]
- 1989 - When Dream and Day Unite
Offical Bootlegs[edit | edit source]
Demo Series[edit | edit source]
Live Series[edit | edit source]
- 2005 - When Dream and Day Reunite