"There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.”
- Federico Fellini
In the June 2006 issue of Rochester, New York's Italian American Community Newspaper, we published an article about the homegrown Italian-American musician, Joe Lana. It is with profound sadness that 13 years later, we are publishing his obituary. Joe Lana suffered a massive heart attack on February 7, 2019. He was 56-years-old.
Joe was a musician and music instructor in Rochester for four decades, performing with his bands Iron Cross, Highwire, East Coast Connection, Uncle Plum, Heaviest Thing and Significant Other. He collaborated in the studio and on stage with fellow Italian-American musicians Don Mancuso, Phil Naro, Lou Gramm and many others. He was a mentor to young musicians including his son who is also a drummer. In 2009, he wrote a book titled “Organized Time,” which consists of graphs illustrating a method that he came up with to keep time. He used this method as a guide when teaching his students.
A proud Italian-American, family was very important to Joe. He adored his children, Jenny and Joe Jr. and remained close to his siblings and parents. One of nine children, Joe and his siblings often met on the weekends for golf and Sunday sauce. His siblings were enthusiastic and supportive of his music. He often collaborated with his twin brother, Lucien.
Joe was doing what he loved right up until the end. He played two local shows during the week of his death and was practicing with one of his first bands, Highwire, for a reunion show. Although he had a demanding day job, he never faltered in his dedication to playing music in his hometown.
Beyond Joe’s music legacy, he left an everlasting love, which was celebrated in a tribute show at the Rochester Dome Arena. Uncle Plum headlined the event with Joe’s son filling in on the drums. The event brought together family, friends and fans for one last farewell to a larger than life person who will never be forgotten.