Inspirational singer Tommy DeVito passed away on Monday night at the age of 92. DeVito was the co-founder The Four Seasons and ‘Jersey Boys’ and lead guitarist of the famous band The Four Seasons. He was also the inspiration behind the Jersey Boys musical and its 2014 movie adaptation. Recently, DeVito was tested positive for the coronavirus. He lost his life due to complications related to the same in Las Vegas. Actor Alfred Nittoli, who is a friend of the deceased, announced his death on Facebook the next day. Further, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio extended their condolences to his family.
The Four Seasons
At first, Valli joined the group in 1956. In 1960, Nick Massi and Gaudio joined, and the band named themselves The Four Seasons. However, they were initially known as the Four Lovers. Fortunately, the band rose to fame with their debut album Sherry, which topped the charts. Within the next 5 years, they delivered back-to-back hits like Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Rag Doll, and many more. Moreover, they gave some serious competition to the Beatles-led British Invasion.
Tommy DeVito ‘s Exit
In 1970, DeVito left the band. He claimed that he was tired of touring, and thus, he left. However, it was later revealed that he owed huge gambling debts and tax issues. Valli and Gaudio took care of these issues in exchange for buying him out of the group. From then on, the band started to decline. They failed to deliver hits, and unfortunately, all their songs flopped.
DeVito and his rapport with the group became the central storyline for Jersey Boys in the future. The long-running musical premiered in 2005. Gaudio and Crewe wrote the songs for the musical, and Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice turned it into a book. In 2014, it was turned into a film.
Tommy DeVito: Early life and Post Exit
DeVito was a native of Belleville, New Jersey. He was born as Gaetano DeVito on 19th June 1928 and was the youngest of his nine siblings. Additionally, he was exposed to craps and gambling at a very young age. DeVito committed petty crimes and picked up his guitar skills during a spell in prison. At the age of 12, he played guitar for tips as his parents weren’t earing enough. That’s when his music career began.
After quitting the group, DeVito worked as a card dealer in Las Vegas. He befriended Joe Pesci, who inserted his name as a character in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 mob film GoodFellas. In the same year, The Four Seasons secured a prestigious spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.