At 9:45 PM Sunday, 20 March, 2011, the world lost a true giant -- and I, one of my best friends. Peter Dintino passed away in Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY.
Many of you have been following Pete's battles since early 2008. In his honour, I am reprinting -- and, sadly, updating -- segments from posts in which I introduced him to you all (for a complete list, just go to our sister site, Rock, Rhythm and Rimshots, and type in "Pete Dintino" to the search box on your right).
This was the dynamic drummer, resilient rocker, partaker of prime pizza -- and fantastic friend -- who optimistically fought against a formidable foe called "leukemia".
I remember Spring of 2008, when talking with Pete just before he went into the hospital (songwriting legend Ron Ryan was also on the line in the conference call), he was his usual, cheerful self: regaling us with humorous stories of rock, bragging on his lovely daughter Lyn (and, considering her undying love for her dad, I can understand!), and playing musical segments for us to enjoy.
Then he told us he was "going in", and wouldn't "be out" for a couple, maybe three weeks ... or maybe "not at all!" But the way he said it had so much hope, so much "I will be back" in it, that you just knew he wasn't worried about that last part ... he knew he would make it back!
Here ... read the first part of his little "bio" from the CaringBridge site:
"My name is Peter A. Dintino and I was diagnosed in 2003 with Chronic Lymphocyctic Leukemia (CLL). I am a 55 year male with four daughters. I have a large Italian/Irish family that I love with all my heart. I came to Stong Memorial in 2007 to have a Stem Cell Transplant. I love Jesus and can't wait for his soon return!
I have been struggling with this disease for awhile, not only do I have CLL but I have a co-morbidity, diabetes. Other than those two ailments I am a healthy 55 yr old. I have undergone several chemo and biological therapies for my cancer. In 2006 I was recommended for a Stem Cell Transplant. We found a non-related donor that was a 9 out of 10 match. I saw my chance at a cure and I took it! I was admitted for my transplant Feb 8th and received my Stem Cells Feb 12th. I have had an acute reaction to the transplant and now have to be on artificial life support. I have not given up though, I am fighting and will continue to.
The kind of cancer I have affects my blood but manifests it self in my lymph nodes, so when you see me I may look swollen but its really all my enlarged lymph nodes. This cancer is strong and aggressive, I only have a 30% chance of making it through the Stem Cell Transplant. The cancer is strong but with your prayers and help from The Almighty I am stronger than it, so bring it on!!"
Now, here's where I've gotta stop for a moment: He just told-it-like-it-was, shrugged those big shoulders, smiled and moved on. He knew that what was within his soul was mightier than that which was trying to stop him! As I remember Pete's life, his battles -- and his
tremendously optimistic spirit -- I can't help wondering why I ever complained about a little arthritis, or a headache or whatever.
But I also toldja this amazingly-strong rock-n-roll warrior was a fab songwriter as well as drummer, 'oldies' rock authority (me, Rock Relic, humbled by strong man! Him good!) and dynamite parent!
Gettin' back to the songwriter: He did a piece awhile back called Criminal Intent -- a gritty-but-fun blues song that has lyrics that even the masters of the genre would envy! So, in honor of the man whom the Relic considers one of his true heroes, and with permission of the publisher (see below), I'm including a link where YOU, the faithful Rockaholic, can hear this awesome song!
It's recorded by John Hesterman of The Offbeats -- a superb band in its own right -- and a good friend of Pete, Ron and myself. I appreciate John sharing this piece so all my readers can enjoy it ... and hear the wonder of musician/songwriter/miracle extraordinaire Peter Dintino.
So, without further adieux -- well, after the following copyright information -- here's the link to Criminal Intent:
NOTE: This song is © 2008 RHM Music. Used by permission of the publisher. Any reproduction is expressly prohibited without prior consent from RHM Music, 9841 Mission Vega Rd. Unit 1, Santee, CA 92071
21 March 2011 addendum:
In the annals of history -- rock or otherwise -- you'd be hard-pressed to find a more courageous, optimistic fighter than Pete was. His legacy will live forever in the hearts and souls of those who were closest to him -- and in the ones whom, through this post, forums and by word-of-mouth, he had reached with his story.
(An aside for Mousers: When I first received the word of Uncle Lloyd's passing, Peter was the first person I called. He was there to console, to share, to care -- and to dare me to the heights that LL had so wonderfully challenged me to climb.
As the credits begin to roll at the end of this lifetime saga of Peter A. Dintino, you'd see the names of literally thousands who were touched by his life.
Whilst he will be sadly and sorely missed, we realise that this is only the first installment of the saga. One day, a sequel will come out -- one that's never-ending -- as we meet up with him again on the eternal ... flip side!
Requiescat In Pacem, Pete ... "Shadow" ... Friend ...
Your spirit will live forever within us ...