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Frank Marino Illness and Life After The Agora

Mahogany rush songs for beginners

The Agora Goodbye concert was a touching farewell to Frank Marino’s successful career with Mahogany Rush. Unfortunately, a debilitating illness known as adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder, along with other health issues, forced the renowned guitarist to retire from live performances earlier than expected. This was a result of the illness that forced Frank Marino to end his career prematurely.

The announcement of Frank Marino’s retirement from live performances sent shockwaves through the music industry. The mere mention of those five words – “Frank Marino bid farewell to live performances” – was enough to stop conversations in their tracks and spark heated debates about his legacy. As time went on, I began to understand the true significance of his decision and the immense impact it had on the world of guitar music. It was a bittersweet moment, as fans and fellow musicians alike mourned the loss of one of the greatest guitarists of our time, but also celebrated his incredible career and the indelible mark he had left on the music world.

Marino had once been a virtuosic musician, his fingers weaving intricate melodies and unleashing electrifying solos on stage. He had dedicated his life to his art, and his performances were nothing short of awe-inspiring. But now, he was struggling with a debilitating condition that prevented him from playing music as he once had. Unable to perform on stage, Marino found himself adrift, his creative spirit stifled by the limitations of his body. Despite this setback, Marino refused to let his passion for music die. Instead, he channeled his energy into new avenues of expression, exploring the world of composing and producing music. Though he could no longer dazzle audiences with his virtuosity, Marino’s enduring love for music remained undimmed. And in the quiet of his studio, he found a new kind of fulfillment, one that allowed him to continue to create and share his art with the world.

Frank Marino was and still is a guitar virtuoso, whose music continues to inspire and enthrall people, even after his passing. His talent and passion were second to none, and his legacy serves as a reminder that the power of music can overcome adversity. Frank’s story is a testament to the strength of an artist’s spirit, and his music will always be remembered as a symbol of his enduring talent.

Frank Marino’s illness of adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) stopped his playing on stage this was him at the Agora concert before his illness

I am thankful to Frank Marino for allowing me to share this story. Even though he retired unexpectedly due to an undisclosed illness, I approached him for sources, and he was very generous and cooperative. I feel privileged to narrate the account of our journey that led us to 50 years of incredible music.

Frank Marino approached uniquely playing the guitar. Initially, he was interested in playing the drums but during the 1960s, when experimentation was rife, he explored various things. He also experimented with LSD which led to an incident where he took more than he intended and got stuck in an experience that lasted longer than he anticipated. As a result, he had to be hospitalized for a considerable period. He talked about this experience in a 2019 interview.

It so happened that in that facility was a guitar. Why? Well, no one knows for sure but Frank realized it was something grounding to focus on and practically lived with it. It was there to help him, literally find his way back. By the time he was released, he wanted to take it with him but that wasn’t going to fly, so he acquired another in short order and it became his companion.

During all this, he thought of many things, alternative thoughts, and language, part of which was the term, Mahogany Rush. In the time that reoccurring thought became the name of one of the best Bands you could wish to hear. He also carried over the visions from the experience into the artwork for the Bands albums. He could have been a casualty, but he was fortunate and became a Guitar and vocal powerhouse and visionary.

“Frank Marino’s life-changing psychedelic trip inspired the name of his band, Mahogany Rush, and influenced his unique musical style. The band’s early albums, “Maxoom” and “Child of Novelty,” established them as a force in progressive rock. Marino’s virtuosic guitar playing, reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, earned him praise from fellow musicians like Joe Bonamassa, who cited him as a major influence. His tone, described by Guitar Player as “full-spectrum,” blends blues, heavy rock, and jazz fusion elements. Marino’s bandmates have included bassist Paul Harwood, drummer Jimmy Ayoub, and his brother Vince Marino. Known for their marathon live shows, Mahogany Rush exemplified the jam band spirit, blending improvisation within the confines of song structure.”

  • Frank Marino’s psychedelic experience did indeed influence the formation of Mahogany Rush and his musical direction.
  • Mahogany Rush’s early albums, “Maxoom” and “Child of Novelty,” were critically acclaimed and helped to establish the band as a prominent force in progressive rock.
  • Frank Marino was widely regarded as a highly skilled guitarist, often compared to Jimi Hendrix. He was cited as an influence by numerous musicians, including Joe Bonamassa.
  • Marino’s tone was indeed described by Guitar Player as “full-spectrum,” incorporating elements of blues, heavy rock, and jazz fusion.
  • Marino’s bandmates included bassist Paul Harwood, drummer Jimmy Ayoub, and his brother Vince Marino.
  • Mahogany Rush was known for their extended live performances, incorporating improvisation and jam band elements into their music.

Mahogany Rush,(live) 1975, Talkin’ ’bout a Feeling

1975’s “Strange Universe” marked a turning point for Mahogany Rush, solidifying their position as a force to be reckoned with in the progressive rock scene. The album showcased Marino’s unparalleled guitar prowess, his ability to seamlessly blend blues, rock, and jazz fusion elements, and his knack for crafting intricate and captivating melodies.

Their relentless touring schedule only fueled their momentum. They tirelessly traversed the globe, captivating audiences with their marathon live shows, showcasing their mastery of extended improvisation and creating a unique synergy with their fans.

Their performance at Cal Jam II in 1978, a massive three-day rock festival that attracted over 350,000 attendees, served as a testament to their prowess. Their electrifying set, delivered before a sea of eager rock enthusiasts, cemented their status as true giants of the genre.

Marino’s signature Gibson SG guitar, with its deep, resonant tone, became an extension of his soul, as he wielded it with both technical brilliance and emotional depth. His improvisational passages were like liquid fire, weaving through complex patterns and soaring to the heights of musical ecstasy.

The rhythm section of bassist Paul Harwood and drummer Jimmy Ayoub provided an unwavering foundation, anchoring Marino’s virtuosity and driving the band’s energy forward. Their interplay was seamless, their timing impeccable, and their passion infectious.

Mahogany Rush’s live performances were not mere concerts; they were immersive experiences, transporting audiences to a realm where music transcended boundaries and emotions ran high.

Marino’s guitar became the conductor of this sonic orchestra, leading the band through a labyrinth of musical landscapes, from the gentle lullabies of “The Answer” to the fiery intensity of “Dragonfly” and the psychedelic exploration of “Electric Reflections of War.”

Each performance was a unique odyssey, shaped by the shared energy between the band and their audience. Marino’s guitar became a conduit for the collective spirit of the moment, channeling the emotions and aspirations of the crowd.

Mahogany Rush’s performance at Cal Jam II was a defining moment, a coronation of their status as one of progressive rock’s most revered acts. They stood tall among the giants of the genre, not as mere imitators, but as innovators, trailblazers, and true masters of their craft.

Their legacy endures, a testament to their unwavering commitment to musical excellence and their ability to connect with audiences on a profound level. Mahogany Rush’s music continues to inspire and amaze, their name echoing through the halls of rock history as a symbol of virtuosity, passion, and enduring artistry.

Frank is well-spoken, well-studied, and Driven even now in his Battles. He never let the troubles Canadian bands had stop him and has expressed his satisfaction that even “Cult Status” is an achievement. He has never needed millions of dollars or to be the Media Darling to be happy. He has always wanted to just make music and oh what music he made.

Dozens of albums and countless concerts with other Legends, Television programs, and the Grind of Hard work over decades right up to the age of COVID-19. He still had bookings that he intended on doing as many other Musical acts but the world stopped. Then he had to follow up with this statement that shocked the Guitar community.

Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush – Eye of the Storm (EPK)

Frank Marino Illness and The Agora Being His Final Performance

“With sorrow, I am forced to announce my immediate retirement from touring, and possibly all things related to continuing my career, due to an unexpected and debilitating medical condition which makes it impossible for me to tour. I want to thank all the people who supported me all of the last half-centuries. I know that many were looking forward to seeing us play this fall and I was looking forward to getting out again and doing more shows, but it now appears that in the absence of a miraculous recovery, my Concert DVD (Live at the Agora) will constitute the last show I will ever have played. I ask any that are believers to include me in their prayers.”

Frank Marino announcing his retirement due to illness

I personally as well as many others urge you to order the “Agora” DVD. It’s roughly six hours of Masterwork by a Guitarist who covered the best of his life’s songs and a comprehensive study of awesome learn more here at the Frank Marino website and Mahogany Rush. Until the Illness of Frank Marino caused his retirement from touring and album recording.

Frank Marino live at the Agora theatre – Official Trailer

We at Guitardoor, along with millions of other guitarists, pray for the miracle you have mentioned.

We also thank you from the bottom of our hearts for what you have given us. We know when you walk on a stage, you give it all you have and then some. Your positivity in your career and as a man is as inspiring as the music we treasure although guitar great Frank Marino’s illness may have forced him to stop doing live shows we still have the pleasure to relive the golden days of Frank Marino guitarist extraordinaire.

13 Comment on this post

  1. Frank I hope this comment reaches you I’m very sorry to hear about your retirement I just today was doing some surfing and found this on the web here. After listening to It’s begun to rain on your Agora tour which was awesome. Frank I just want to say that you have been such a huge influence on my guitar playing in my career and your music transcended all walks of life blacks whites Asians Hispanics and that just tells you that you are loved by everybody who ever heard you I was fortunate to hear you in 2006 in Cleveland Ohio. Thank you very much for all of your music my brother and God bless you “Talkin bout a feelin” I’m Diego

  2. The radio stations should wake up and ay this great music. They would only gain listeners. Frank , hope your feeling better and can play some. STRANGE DREAMS takes me away and the tone and arrangement is welcoming. Thanks for the music. Hope to see you back out there soon. AP .

  3. Everyone likes to make lists, I admit to it as well. Top 10 rock songs…top 10 football players…top 10 restaurants…etc. Often times I cannot choose my number one for a lot of lists, it’s just impossible. But without any hesitation Frank Marino is my favorite guitarist ever. I’m not a musician but definitely a good music fan. I champion Frank’s talent by listing him any time I can as my favorite guitarist. Online, in person, anytime any place, it’s all about Frank and that means something special to me. First of all I love his songs as songs. Their structure, the lyrics, not to mention his underrated voice. I love Frank’s voice! It made me so happy when I listened to an in-depth interview with him where he said he loved pop music. It was always about the song. But when he wanted to pepper those songs with some style, flair, and individualism boy he took those songs to higher levels. I’ve seen Frank perform many times in Austin, Texas as early as 1978 and consider myself very fortunate that way. I wish I’d been able to meet him, really meet him and talk to him because I know I would have cherished it eternally. Nonetheless, I am grateful for my ears to have heard a master craftsman who dedicated his life to putting out the best music he could. Music that came from his heart and his mind. I consider Frank Marino a beautiful soul who was and is a gift for all of us on this earth. Love you Frank. All the best.

  4. I pray and send you the loving light vibrations of healing for you and your loved ones. You do not know what your music has meant to me. It has brought so much comfort to me the last 18 months- especially. I fell in love with my Mikey at one of your concerts in late 70’s early 80’s in a little place called Albuquerque, there are no words to describe a Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush Concert. Mikey passed in July of 2020, but weeks before out of the blue he played Strange Universe and it stumped me for a moment, had not heard it for years. I found my second love, your music and it lives in my heart too.

  5. Thank you Jimmy,

    You did a very nice job with the article. Also, you are right; we are going through very difficult times… you and I physically but, more importantly, the whole earth is groaning. We know what these times represent. All we can do is pray and wait for His return, and I feel it will be sooner than most think.

    God Bless,


    1. I was in awe of your talent as both a performer as well as musician. this business know all to well that its very hard to come by both. But you are and always will be what other guitarists aspire to be. I thank you for you immense contributions to the music industry, as well as the time you took to speak with me before and after I ran your light show at Jaxx night club in Springfield VA. Get well , as.we are ALL PRAYING FOR YOU. God bless and , again thank you for being outstanding..

    2. Dear Frank, I don’t know the specifics of your personal manifestation of this condition. From what I’ve read, it’s quite common to recover, with time and medical treatment/ therapy. Please don’t give up! Much love, Sarah

      1. Correct. Any news about Frank’s condition as a celebrity would help raise awareness for Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder/s) because many people come down with it to varying degrees for various reasons and doctors don’t know ‘why’
        or how to fix it, even though in many cases it is ‘self limiting’ and will run its course to varying degrees ‘like a virus’

        It used to be known in Japan as ‘Old Lady Shoulders’ …and some of the current ideas that pass for therapy are worse than the condition (cortisone shots, manual manipulation under anesthesia, surgery, light therapy, physical therapy, TENs therapy…all of which often either don’t really do much or make it worse)

        I had an excruciating double dose of it in both shoulders at the same time 2016 after a maritime accident, and it ran its course in a year by itself…

        But I was lucky enough that I wasn’t working that year and had family to help me during my extended temporary disability.

        Most people don’t have that luxury.

        Not many western doctors knew of it or were interested and didn’t have much useful therapy available…and some couldn’t even diagnose it properly as it’s not on their radar much

        So I just handled it myself and it took a year to run its course with no meds or official therapy…

        I was simply immobilized for 4 months during the excruciating part…then did limited progressive stretching for 8 months during the aching and loosening part, until I was back to 99%

        But I know of at least one surfer who couldn’t handle the mental/ emotional strain, reclusiveness, limited mobility, resultant weight gain from immobility and depression eating and drinking and ‘ended it’

        So, it would be helpful if non profits were created to offer care giver/personal assistant help to people experiencing this condition because the western medical industry is currently severely lacking in its ability to handle the situation in a cost effective quality of life enhancing manner, and people sometimes lose ability to work or manage their life while experiencing it.

    3. Frank, your melodic phrasing through the chord changes and great stage presence really inspired my young playing when I first saw you on tv in the mid seventies. I hope you heal, you’re still a relatively young man.

  6. Truly sad to learn of the immediate retirement of one of the all-time great rock guitar icons. He and his band have brought us hours of fantastic music spanning several genres and all of which blended perfectly.
    A sad sad loss to our beloved music. I would aspire to have a tenth of his playing talent 🙏🎸🔥🎸🔥

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Jimmy Flemming

Jimmy Flemming

Guitarist, songwriter and former author of articles on guitardoor check out my music on my website.