Domenico Monardo is best known as Meco (sometimes Meco Monardo). He is an American musician and producer born in Johnsonburg, Pennsylvania November 29, 1939. Building model ships, science fiction, and movies were his childhood hobbies. His dad played the trombone in a small Italian band but young Meco chose the slide trombone.
At 17 he won a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, which provided him with a solid classical and jazz music education. There he formed a Jazz band with Chuck Mangione and Ron Carter. He would enroll at West Point and play in the Cadet band. After serving in the Army he became a studio musician and after hearing Petula Clark’s “Downtown” became enamored with pop music.
Soon he began arranging music for artists like the horns in Tommy James’ “Crystal Blue Persuasion” and the Neil Diamond series of Coca-Cola commercials. He would play trombone for Tommy James and Diana Ross.
In 1973 Meco and Tony Bongiovi were part of a trio that formed the production company Disco Corporation of America and from 1974 to 1976 would work as a record producer. Meco saw Star Wars on its opening day Wednesday, May 25, 1977, and watched it many more times by the weekend.
In a matter of just three weeks, Meco arranged and recorded “Star Wars and Other Galactic Funk.” A band called “Lemon Tree” was formed to tour the US and Canada promoting the record. A single from the album, “Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band”, reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 1, 1977, holding to that position for two weeks. The Album and single were both certified Platinum.
In the fall of 1977, he would release his second album “Encounters of Every Kind” again based on John Williams music, this time from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. The single “Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind” made the US Billboard at #25. Two more singles were released, “Topsy” and “Meco’s Theme”.
Between 1978 and 1984 Meco would release more albums like “Meco Plays The Wizard of Oz”, “Superman & Other Galactic Heroes”, “Meco Plays Music from the Empire Strikes Back”, “Christmas in the Stars: Star Wars Christmas Album”, “Music from Star Trek and Music from the Black Hole”, “Impressions of An American Werewolf in London”, and “Ewok Celebration”.