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  • Staff photo by COREY PERRINE

    Victor Tallarico, 93, of Nashua, performs on the piano in his assisted living apartment Jan. 13. Tallarico, an accomplished pianist, now only performs to those at his senior living facility during social hour. He is the father of Steven Tyler, lead singer for the rock band Aerosmith.
Monday, January 18, 2010

Senior Class - Week 41. Musical Genes

Corey Perrine

Music has always been a forte for Victor Tallarico, 93, of Nashua. His father Giovanni, an Italian immigrant, was an accomplished cellist. That influence served him well as he would later train to be a professional pianist.

Like most in his era, Tallarico went off to battle, joining the U.S. Army during World War II. He was one of 24 selected to entertain on post at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Instead of a rifle, a piano was his weapon. Instead of bullets, musical notes were his ammunition. Tallarico playfully, and not in disrespect, calls his service time, “The United States Country Club.” “No one else was even in the U.S. Army like I was,” Tallarico said. “I was not in the ‘Army.’ That’s quite a statement to make. Because I went in … as infantry, military police … and became a musician.”

Tallarico met his wife during his time at Fort Dix, and they wed only six months after meeting. “The main reason I enjoyed it (military service) was because I met Sue,” Tallarico said. “She’s been my whole life; we were only married 63 years.” Sue passed a year ago.

Victor went on to establish himself by training at Columbia University and Juilliard. “I never graduated (from either school) because I was making too much money on the side.” Tallarico said he was tutoring up to 30 students at a time while playing at the most prestigious country clubs in the New York area. Weekends provided time to entertain at weddings and the wealthiest parties.

He never scored a famous masterpiece like Beethoven, Bach or Liszt. However, it’s safe to say that his best musical composition went into loving his wife and two children, Lynda and Steven. It’s a score that is inaudible but resonates in the heart.

Like father like son, Steven would go on to join the ranks of the music industry. Unlike his grandfather or father, however, Steven would perform a more popular musical genre and be one of the most accomplished musicians of our generation. Steven Tallarico, better known as Steven Tyler, would form Aerosmith, a rock band with a household name that has been a multiplatinum machine since 1970. “My favorite song of his?” Victor responded, ‘Dream On.’ Because it’s not really a rock song,” Tallarico said. “Of course, I’m proud of him. (He’s) number one in the rock field. There is none like him. There will never be. He, as far as I’m concerned, is a genius.”

View multimedia at nashuatelegraph.com/multimedia. If you have a senior story or issue to tell or that needs to be told other than the subject above, contact Corey at cperrine@nashua telegraph.com or 594-6466.