Fran Capitanelli 

The Police. Nirvana. Sportscasters Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. All great trios. Now add Atlanta's own the Tom Collins, celebrating their latest CD, Daylight Tonight, at the Earl on Fri., Oct. 14. Check 'em out and you'll recognize three musicians who take crunky riffs and rhythmic thunder very seriously. Yet guitarist/vocalist Fran Capitanelli was good-natured enough to subject himself to CL's silly questions in the band's brand-spanking new practice space.

Having worked at Criminal Records off and on since 1998, Capitanelli has seen plenty of questionable purchases. If he could suggest five records to any kid considering the newest Korn "tape," he would recommend instead David Bowie's Bowie at the Beeb, John Coltrane's A Love Supreme, Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, Miles Davis' In a Silent Way and Van Halen's Fair Warning.

Not only playing music locally for a decade but also teaching guitar lessons for the past three years, Capitanelli has had to hear countless newbies of all ages play the main riff from Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water." Instead, he proposes "Hey Joe," (Hey) "Mr. Tambourine Man" or some other "Hey" song.

Saddled with an indelible comparison to Led Zeppelin, the Tom Collins appreciates the mystical blues quartet's ability to get the Led out before 70,000 people on a diet of nothing but heroin and banana daiquiris. Without personal oxygen tanks and female masseuses, however, the Tom Collins has especially enjoyed playing Corndogorama and different International Hits tribute shows.

Capitanelli feels the Tom Collins' influences few people pick up on are those of funk (Sly and the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield), especially expressed through how drummer Kyle Spence "stirs the soup."

Despite the group being named after a sour cocktail, the Tom Collins' poisons of choice don't include gin but are Maker's Mark, beer and iced coffee with a shot of espresso.

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