The 'GUNBOAT KINGS' is a Southern California based 'Originals' band that has been performing throughout the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas for the last 9 years. The bands history revolves around 'headlining' their own concerts or opening for current and vintage performers at concert venues through-out the Southland.
The group originally was formed back in 2005 under the name of 'The Night Creatures'. The band is now know as 'The GunBoat Kings.'
Consisting of six very experienced and talented musicians, the GBKs are recognized for their solid core musicianship, their creative ideas and the diversity of original music. The GBK offers the creativity of 6 players working together to create music that gets people emotionally involved. Our music has the influences of Rock, Blues, R&B, Latin and Jazz flavors. Combined with blended vocal harmonies the band feels they can touch everyone who hears their music.
Their songs are based on our life experiences and they express them through the language of music. The bands music continues to grow both with diversity and melodies as recently released original music, we are looking for even greater levels with it's new reformulation.
Tom Bellone Vocals, Hammond B3, Keys Boards
Tom was heavily influenced by the British invasion and has been performing in several bands since high school.
He has played in many venues in the U.S, and most noteably at the famous ‘Golden Bear’ in Huntington Beach with the popular band "Let's Eat."
His move to Hammond organ came early and he is best known for the emotion and attitude he brings with his popular 60’s Hammond sound. Tom is one of the founders of the band and has been a driving force for the band since it’s conception.
Elden Lisalda Vocals, Alto - Tenor - Soprano, Guitar
Born and raised in Southern California, Elden was influenced by his father's band at a very young age. His father had a group that kept the Big Band era alive through-out the southland through most of his childhood and way into his adult life.
Elden started playing saxophone in elementary band at age 9 and continued through his school years formally studying music. Heavily influenced by the British invasion, he started playing guitar at age 11 and joined his first rock band at age 14. He continued to play in local rock bands way into his mid-twenties. He stopping for a number of yesar and wrote musi and playe on his own. After starting to perform again in 2004 with multiple blues and classic bands, including a 'Latin Jazz' trio for two years, he was brought in at conception with this band . He introduced his first original to the band which has remained one of their legacy songs..
"I'm honored to be playing with such great guys!!
He shares with fellow musicans to ' always play til you sweat" !!
Nick Calandrino Vocals, Lead Guitar
Born and raised in Santa Cruz California Nick was weaned on the Blues. His favorite artists as a young man included his Mom “Sweet Rita B” who sang with Stan Kenton back in the 40’s also Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddly, Albert King and BB King.
In local Santa Cruz bands like Moses February featuring cousin Frank DiSalvo and schoolmate Carmen Grillo, Nick opened for groups like The Count Five, Moby Grape, Snail and Stained Glass. Nick was most influenced by the artists he’d seen in the 60’s including Cream who performed at the San Jose Civic Auditorium or Jimi Hendrix, Sons of Champlin, Cold Blood, John Sebastian, Buddy Miles, Spirit and The Electric Flag at Winterland in San Francisco. Nick later moved to the LA area and played the local 70’s club scene with The Untouchables. In the 80’s his band G.I. opened for Motley Crue, The Psychedelic Furs, Fear and Black Flag. In the 90’s with partner Bobby Allen he formed Fortress of Solitude who opened for Joe Walsh, Scott Page’s Hang Dynasty, John Entwhistle and Skunk Baxter. Nick has also been a studio session player for Gary Brandt at Alpha Studios in Burbank and Scott Page of Pink Floyd/ Supertramp fame.
In 2006 Nick was asked to join The GUNBOAT KINGS (formally 'The 7th Sons') as song writer / lead guitarist and vocalist and has appeard in almost all the preformances listed above.
John Sleeger Vocals, Bass Guitar
Since High School days John has had a bass in his hand. When not performing with the 'GunBoat Kings' John also plays with local bands and does recording sessions continutally in the LA and surrounding areas. He is best recognized in this band for the great feeling he brings to the music, and his well developed ear for fine tuning the pieces to make them fit will together. John adds a great dimention to the band but not through fancy riffs but by keeping it simple and letting it breath.
Weaned on the Beatles, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, he had evolved to be a multi-facited player that brings a great feel to what ever he plays.
Leo Badger Drums
For decades Drummer Leo Badger has played the Southern California rock and blues circuit at venues including House of Blues, Playboy Mansion, BB Kings, Galaxy aTheater, Belly-up Tavern, and many others. He warmed up bands such as Coco Montoya, Average White Band, Pat Travers, Arthur Adams, Sheena Easton, and others.
Also weaned on the Beatles, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, he moved in his teens to progressive and fusion styles and later to roots rock, funk and blues.
For years Leo has served as host drummer for popular blues jams in the region. He encourages new players and supports some of the legions of super-talented blues artists in the area. His favorite players remain the blues icons who changed America and the world with simplicity and emotion, legends such as Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf, to name a few. He now brings these solid beats and rhythms of the ages on board the rockin' vessel of the Gun Boat Kings!
Stuart Hardy - Synth and Keys
Stuart Hardy's music ranges from compositions that combine evocative and powerful orchestral scores with unique synthesized sounds to America's classic Hammond/Leslie blues to British progressive rock. In addition to composing, Stuart is a sound designer providing textures exclusive to each project.
Stuart Hardy was born and spent his childhood in England. He learned to play piano at an early age. After moving to Southern California, he continued his keyboard studies. Acquiring a British made (Jennings) Vox Continental marked the turning point that would make rock and roll a permanent part of his life. A few years later he acquired his first Hammond and Leslie and has never looked back.
He studied the Moog Modular under Bernie Krause and Dan Wyman. He acquired a rare Chamberlin from Paul Beaver that furthered his interest in sound design.
In 1981 he used a Moog synthesizer to produce music and sound effects for the controversial horror movie Night of the Demon.
He recorded with and appeared on Jason Lazo's (X-Corps TV host) video Crush with Jason, Angelo Marruzzi, Steve O'Boyle and Dave Ohlson. Crush was recorded at Ian Dye's (TV composer/Mike Post Alumni) studio in Los Angeles. His current projects include a 14 episode childrens action cartoon series and feature movie for A.J. Sartell Productions where Stuart is providing character voices, sound design and audio engineering. Stuart is a member of ASCAP.