Joe Cilia

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Joe Cilia

Joe Cilia (born 14 December 1947) is a singer from Valletta Malta.

From a young age, Joe loved to listen to music and singing, mostly in the Cafe’ Premier era, listening to bands led by bandmasters such as Vinnie Vella Sr., Oscar Lucas, Jojo, Jimmy Dowling, Val Valente and others. He was also a fervent follower of the international scene, at the time of Elvis Presley, Pat Boone, Little Richard, Kinks and The Animals.

Joe along with teammate Charles Cutajar formed a duo: The Vagabonds and took part in festivals. After a while, they took separate ways and Charles joined The Triffidds.

A few months later, in 1965, Joe had an invitation from a band from Ħal Luqa; The Northbeats, to join them as a main singer. The band was composed of Joe Fiott (bass guitar / vocals), Charles Sacco (lead guitar / vocals), Tony Costa (rhythm guitar) and Emy Said on (drums). Later, they were joined by Victor Schembri(organ/vocals) too.

They played pop group music, with hits by The Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Kinks, The Monkeys, The Animal, The Hollies etc. They even played at weddings, in various British services venues around Malta, in dance halls such as the Phoenicia, Palace, Premier,Sea Breeze and Rocky Vale. They even played in Sicily with such Maltese singers Stella and Carmen Cordina and Carmen Xerri know as Malta's Rita Pavone.

The Northbeats ceased temporarily late in 1971, until later, the band was formed again with a different name: Life. Its members were Joe Cilia, Charles Sacco, Victor Schembri, all ex-The Northbeats, and two new members; Michael Galea and Emy Dingli, ex members of Gogocats. After a few weeks Alfred Scicluna joined on lead guitar. The group changed style again and began to play rock music, in the style of Led Zepplin, Cream, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. The group remained until the end of 1972.

In 1974, Joe joined another group; The Keepers with Saviour Cardona on the organ, Carmel Camilleri on bass, and Horace Caruana on the lead guitar and vocals, the drummer was Lapira. The latter left after a few months. Joe contacted his former school teammate Tony Camilleri, ex-drummer of The Jaywalkers, to join them. By this time, they changed the band's name again to Life.

By this time, Life started publishing 45 rpm discs on the local market. They made an impact with Tony Camilleri's compositions Ftakar Żmien l-Imgħoddi and Imħabba Tagħna. Later they had another local hit, Tony Camilleri compositions again; Qawsalla” as an A-Side and Paċi Vera on the flip side. The band contiuned playing pop cover versions by famous international bands such as Smokie and Hot Chocolate. They were regulars at the Cafè Premier, Brittania and several other dancing halls. The band ceased to exist in 1999.

In his retirement, Joe likes to meet his fellow colleagues occasionally, mostly re-unions organised by Joe Demicoli and teammate Lawrence Magrin. They take each occasion to play their instruments again and revive hits from the 60's, 70's and 80's, reliving their beautiful memories of past.

See also

Category:Joe Cilia Photos