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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Surf Music General Discussion »

Permalink The Goldentones - 90's band from Detroit MI, USA

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I've made mention of this band here in passing, but am compelled to create a post dedicated to them.

Despite working in a record store in the early 90's and being vaguely aware of Pulp Fiction and seeing early releases from bands like Man ...or Astro-Man and Laika & the Cosmonauts come into the stores inventory, I never actually got into surf at that time. Dischord was more my bag then (Fugazi, Dag Nasty, Nation of Ulysses, etc.) Never the less and for reasons unknown, I picked up a stray 7" by Huevos Rancheros (Cindy with an "S"), and 2 CD's by The Goldentones - 1993's Atmosphere and 1994's Atlantis while working there.

Shortly after getting out of school, I had a job in retail where we could bring our own music in. Lyrical content was always a dicey proposition considering the ages and make up of the staff, so I always had Atlantis and Atmosphere on hand and they got quite a lot of rotation then. (Still not sure what took me so long to find this community - my next gig after retail was high-tech when BBS & news groups were all the rage. Surely I shoulda found Cowabunga or the Yahoo group. Anyhow, here now.)

Fast forward to today... I had some corrupt tracks in my iTunes library recently, including a few tracks from Atlantis, so this morning I took the opportunity to re-import both albums from CD (of course upping the import fidelity this time around!). That piqued my interest about the band again and caused me to do some searching for new information about them. Not much to be found, but I did discover 2 interesting artifacts since my last pondering about them, which I thought I'd document and share here.

First - a pretty great summary of the band in a review on Amazon:

Judith J. Brown wrote on December 22, 2012

Atlantis, The GoldenTones second effort is much more melodic and interesting than their first album, Atmosphere.

Fine maturity in songwriting and melody.

Formed in the front room of a house on the east side of Detroit in 1990, the brothers Zito (Dominic-guitar Joe-bass) teamed up with local rockabilly drummer Chad Lewis to launch The Goldentones.

Chad found Dominic playing a fender stratocaster through a marshall amp with a randy rhoades / ted nugent influence. Recognizing dominics talents chad introduced him to the ventures and quickly dominic was trading in his equiptment for a 1966 fender jaguar a 1970 mosrite and a fender super reverb amp.

The song writing flowed like magic and they quickly became a local favorite playing most of detroits legendary music venues. In a short time they were playing with many of the bands that had influenced them, opening for the Stray Cats, the Breeders, the B-52's , Shadowy men on a Shadowy planet, Laika & The Cosmonauts and their hero Mr. Dick Dale himself.

The surf revival was under way and The Goldentones found themselves at the forefront receiving airplay on hundreds of college radio stations, endless magazine reviews and write ups, fan mail from several countries. Unfortunately their star burned out as fast as it was lit.

While performing at the SXSW music festival in austin texas 1995 they received a phone call 15 minutes after exiting the stage that the zito brothers dad had passed away due to a sudden heart attack. this crippling news sent the band back to detroit leaving their dreams behind.

They left behind 2 full length cd recordings (Atmosphere, Atlantis) and a 7' vinyl ep (in stereo).

I also discovered today that they have a slew of concert dates documented on

concertdatabase wrote:

Event Date Venue City
Gangster Fun 05/16/1992 Saint Andrew's Hall Detroit Michigan USA
The Goldentones 05/26/1992 Blind Pig Ann Arbor Michigan USA
The Goldentones 06/18/1992 3-D Royal Oak Michigan USA
Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet 06/20/1992 Majestic Theater Detroit Michigan USA
Hot Cajun Gig 08/15/1992 Hart Plaza Detroit Michigan USA
The Goldentones 10/17/1992 Lili's Hamtramck Michigan USA
Witch's Ball 10/31/1992 Saint Andrew's Hall Detroit Michigan USA
Mod City New Year's 12/31/1992 State Theater Detroit Michigan USA
Club X 02/27/1993 State Theater Detroit Michigan USA
The Goldentones 03/06/1993 Paycheck's Lounge Hamtramck Michigan USA
2nd Annual Beach Rave 05/30/1993 Industry Pontiac Michigan USA
Gangster Fun 06/19/1993 Saint Andrew's Hall Detroit Michigan USA
Clutch Cargo's 11th Anniversary 06/26/1993 Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater Pontiac Michigan USA
X Fest 09/05/1993 Phoenix Plaza Amphitheater Pontiac Michigan USA
Dick Dale 12/01/1993 Industry Pontiac Michigan USA
11th Annual Detroit Music Awards 12/04/1993 State Theater Detroit Michigan USA
3rd Annual Beach Rave 05/28/1994 Industry Pontiac Michigan USA
The B-52's 07/05/1994 Pine Knob Music Theater Clarkston Michigan USA
Dick Dale 10/15/1994 Majestic Theater Detroit Michigan USA
The Goldentones 09/09/1995 Magic Stick Detroit Michigan USA

I'm still a big fan of these early 90's, lesser known releases by the trio from Michigan. With relatively little information about them out there, and the sticktuitiveness of this community (the people) and internet resource (SG101), I figured I'd take a few minutes to capture it for prosperity. Maybe by an off chance, some of y'all may be geeking out on this info too.

And who knows, maybe one of the brothers Zito (Dominic Zito - guitar, Joseph Zito - bass) or Chad Everet Lewis (drums) may see it and chime in! Here's to hoping anyhow.

To The Goldentones! Cheers


El Mirage @ ReverbNation

I have these 2 cds, have picked them up in bulk buys from people selling there whole collections. I liked them when I listened.
I saw the cds recently when looking for my Xmas music, will have to dig them out and re-listen. And play on my show.

Thank you for posting about them Fady!


Last edited: Jan 10, 2017 11:41:15

That is amazing! I’m in awe off all of the concert dates and praise. Thanks for this, it brought back a ton of memories.

Welcome, cool cds for sure!


Really glad you made this thread, I had never heard of this band. Glad to see one of them has created an account on SG101.

Guitar player for The Driptones surf band.

Thanks! It was a good time and I’m glad there are people that are still listening ... besides myself

WOW!!! This is like my message in a bottle tossed into the ocean and getting a response back from a far away land! So Cool! Thank you for signing up on SG101 and saying hello, Joe!

I'm not sure if you know Judith Brown (writer of that brief bio/back story review from Amazon) - sounds some close to the band wrote it. I would love to hear any stories you care to share about forming the band, recording the 2 albums, show memories or the rest. Where there other influences in forming the band or shaping your sound? How much of the 'first wave' were you guys aware of or influenced by? Have you considered reforming the band to perform or record again?

It's SOOOO Cool you found this site and post and said hello!!! Can't hardly believe it!




El Mirage @ ReverbNation

Based on this thread, I've bought a used CD of "Atlantis" on Amazon. Finding "Atmosphere" is proving to be a little difficult. There is one available on Discogs but apparently my region (US-Maryland) is unavailable to ship to. Does anyone know if "Atmosphere" is available anywhere (via CD or legit download? Unfortunately, the albums are not on iTunes.

World Famous Philistines: 2014 - 2015
K39: 2013 - 2014

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