Mario Cipollina is the younger brother of the late guitarist John Cipollina. Although John is the most famous of the two brothers, the business has probably been kinder to Mario who after a variety of bands in San Francisco - including Stoneground, Montrose, Freelight, Rocky Sullivan, Sound Hole, San Francisco AllStars - hit it big with Huey Lewis and the News - one of the biggest acts in the middle of the 80s. With all that stardom Mario never lost his friendly and caring attitude though.

When Mario was seven years old he started to play upright bass in school - basically he chose the instrument because he was fascinated by the sound of the instrument (and the fat man who played it). With 13 years he started to play electric bass. Although beginning with classical music - which he still prefers to listen to today - he started to like rock music more and more. Together with Bill Gibson (early school-mate) he used to practise lots of Frank Zappa, Chick Corea, Led Zeppelin, Captain Beefheart or Miles Davis. Over the years Mario got better and his reputation as a good bass player grew - read the Terry and the Pirates article where John also talks about Mario.

John and Mario Cipollina - although both of them being very busy always - had the chance to play together many times. Due to John's connections Mario got the chance to play with several bands and get better as a bass player. Bands like Quicksilver Messenger Service, Cooperhead, The Novato Frank Band ... some of these sessions being recorded.As mentioned above Mario played in several bands - Sound Hole being the back-up band for Van Morrison for quite some time and with Tony Williams he even toured Japan before he would join what was to become Huey Lewis and the News. The rest is history as they say.

Mario Cipollina
article on Mario's Musical Family.

 Mario left Huey Lewis and the News sometime during the 90s. The reason(s) for him leaving were unclear for a long time, because no official statement helped to explain. In 2002 Mario was quoted in the San Jose Mercury News, that his passion in life is to play music. At some point in time Huey Lewis and the News were heading in a different direction, i.e. play less and still make a living with it. Which is no secret because even Huey Lewis said this in recent interviews.

Anyhow, Mario left the News and started playing with various bands from the Bay Area. Bands like Fence, Steve Bachall Band/Jerry Garcia Band, René Solis and the Persuaders. Mario also played quite some time in Quicksilver Gold - a tribute band to the original Quicksilver Messenger Service. Quicksilver Gold released two CDs at the end of 2003 but disbanded in 2004 - please take a look at their entry and learn more.

Mario added some bass to various albums as well. The latest being Melvin Seals' album "Melting Pot" and W. Dire Wolff's "Princess of the Rodeo" - see discography for further information.

After some legal troubles Mario is back on track again. In 2007 he joined Huey Lewis and the News for a few songs at the California State Fair (this is no return to the News though), played with friends at the Summer of Love concert at the Golden Gate Park and is currently working on his first solo album. More details can be found on Mario's new website.


The discography underneath features recordings on which Mario Cipollina plays bass. Those entries listed on top are the last known recordings. With Huey Lewis and the News only the albums are listed. The blue colour indicates on which songs Mario plays bass.

W. Dire WolffW. Dire Wolff
Princess Of The Rodeo

(W. Dire Wolff 2006)
Princess Of The Rodeo -- Sometimes A Good Love Goes Bad -- New Day Coming -- Pretty Nice Girl (Part One) -- Blind Man's Stick -- When Will She? -- No Time For Running -- Thank God I Am In Cody -- Letters In My Pocket -- Whisper In The Wind -- Nothing Really Works Out So Bad -- Old Gravel Roads

Musicians: W. Dire Wolf, Mario Cipollina, Neal Carson, Kurt Huget, Phil Richardson, Ed Michaels

Album produced by W. Dire Wolff and Mario Cipollina. Further info can be found here.

Order CD!!!
Melvin SealsMelvin Seals
Melting Pot

(Rainman Records 2005)
Close Call -- Celebrate -- Travellin' Man -- I'm Not Going To Cry Anymore -- I Don't Know Why -- It's Samba Night -- Woman With An Attitude -- Love Is In The Air -- Hands -- Reggae World -- When You Love Someone

Musicians: Melvin Seals, Mario Cipollina, Steve Allen, Joel Smith, Adrian Isabell, Joe White, Dallas Colt, Chris Haugen, Scott Law, Dean Johnson, Marty Holland, Larry Batiste, Tony Lensey, Judh gold, Lauren Lebren, Elvin Bishop, Joe Goldmark, Derrek Organ, John "Jubu" Smith, Richard Heally, Jennie Tracy, Annie Stocking, Anthony Whigham, Ray White, Dennis Smith, Kevin Stensil, Kirk Perking, Benny Henderson & Family, Steve Kimock, Vernan Black, Kenneth Nash

Live at the Little FoxQuicksilver Gold
Live At The Little Fox

Mona -- Gold and Silver -- Scarecrow -- Subway -- Bittersweet Love -- Fresh Air

Musicians: Joli Valente, Mario Cipollina, Greg Anton, Barry Flast, Gail Muldrow, Peter Harris

Recorded at the Little Fox Theatre, Redwood City, California, Friday, June 13, 2003

Out of print.
Live At The Avalon BallroomQuicksilver Gold
Live At The Avalon Ballroom

Mojo -- Fresh Air -- Subway -- Gold and Silver -- Mona -- Cowboy On The Run -- Dino's Song -- Pride Of Man -- Get Together

Musicians: Joli Valente, Mario Cipollina, Barry Flast, Gail Muldrow, Ed Michaels, David Freiberg

Recorded at the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, October 11, 2003

Out of print.
Steve LanzaAncestral Songs
Steve Lanza

(Ancestral Songs 2002)
Terra Nova -- Lighthouse -- Family Tree -- Signal Hill -- Conception Bay -- The Adams Cove Mystery -- Fisherfolk -- Norman Jesse Franks -- Sicily

Musicians: Steve Lanza, Mario Cipollina, James Nash; plus: Peter Dominguez, Tim Barney, David Freiberg, Linda Imperial, Karen Lanza, Michael Lanza, Peter Walsh, Joe White

Buy It!
Johnny Be WellJohnny Be Well
Johnny Nitro

( 2002)
Open House at My House -- Trouble -- Stoop Down Mama -- Dimples -- Big Legged Woman -- Stone Crazy -- Six Feet -- Lovin' You On Credit

Musicians: Johnny Nitro, Don Bassey, Daniel Castro, Tommy Castro, Mario Cipollina, Steve DuBois, Chris Ford, Dean Johnson, A.J. Kelly, Michael Locke, T. Moran, Silvia Newton, Tony Perez-Banuet, Rich Piellisch, Freddie Roulette, Brad Russell, Kevin Russell, Chris Sandoval, Mike Vanderhule, Kevin White, Burton Winn

Out of print.
Sibling RivalrySibling Rivalry
Doobie Brothers

(Eagle Records 2000)
People Gotta Love Again -- Leave My Heartache Behind -- Ordinary Man -- Jericho -- On Every Corner -- Angels Of Madness -- 45th Floor -- Can't Stand To Lose -- Higher Ground -- Gates Of Eden -- Don't Be Afraid -- Rocking Horse -- Five Corners

Musicians: Michael Hossack, Tom Johnston, Keith Knudsen, John McFee, Patrick Simmons

Mario Cipollina guest artist on People Gotta Love Again and Higher Ground

Ozzie Ahlers

(Higher Octave Music 1997)
Fingerpainting -- Bourbon Street -- Love's Embrace -- Night On The Town -- Prelude To Love -- Dance 'Til Dawn -- Victoria's Song -- City Strut -- Morningstar

Musicians: Ozzie Ahlers, Peter White, Jimmy Dillon, Mario Cipollina, Wade Olson, Jim Reitzel, Kevin Palladini, G.G. Gonoway, Darius Russo, Derrick Brave Elk

Mario plays bass on all songs except 'City Strut'.

He Started To SingHe Started To Sing
Bill Champlin

(Turnip Music Group 1995)
He Started To Sing -- Love Is Gonna Find You -- It's About Time -- Partytime in DC -- Love Comes And Goes -- Sex Thang -- Southern Serenade -- One Love At A Time -- God Sent Angels -- Someone Else

Musicians: Bill Champlin, Janey Clever, Bruce Gaitsch, Abe Laboriel, Billy Ward, Tamara Champlin, Greg Mathieson, Jerry Lopez, Gregor Hawkins, Gary Grant, Steve Madio, Tom Saviano, Dave Boruff, Brandon Fields, Carmen Grillo, Mario Cipollina, Tracy Gable, Jason Scheff

Jonathan CainBack To The Innocence
Jonathan Cain

(Intersound Records 1995)
Wish That I Was There With You -- Waiting On The Wind -- Something Sacred -- Full Circle -- Back To The Innocence-- Little River -- Faithfully -- Just The Thought Of Losing You -- Women Never Forget -- My Old Man -- Distant Shores -- When The Spirit Comes -- Baptism Day

Musicians: Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon, Lyle Workman, Steve Smith, Mario Cipollina, ...

Rock'N'Roll HeavenRock'N'Roll Heaven
The Novato Frank Band

(Legend Records 1995)
They're Playin' Rock'n'Roll In Heaven -- You're Cheatin' Heart -- Ride Out -- Honky Tonk Jekyll & Hide -- Baby Please Don't Go -- I'd Do It All Again -- Short Time Fever -- Tired Of Giving My Loving All Away -- Searchin' Blues -- Who Do You Love

Musicians: Frank Bonomolo, John Cipollina, Bill Middle John Wilmes, Greg Douglass, Nicky Hopkins, Jim McPherson, Hutch Hutchinson, Greg Anton, Scott Joss, Max Perkoff, Ben Perkoff, Greta Rose, Colene Callahan, Greg Elmore, Barry Melton, Mario Cipollina, Steve Kimok, Linda Howard, Chris Templeton, Ray Isley

Four Chords
Four Chords
And Several Years Ago
Huey Lewis and the News

(Elektra Entertainment 1994)
Shake Rattle and Roll -- Blue Monday -- Searching For My Love -- Some Kind Of Wonderful -- But It's Alright -- If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody -- Mother In Law -- Little Bitty Pretty One -- Good Morning Little School Girl -- Stagger Lee -- She Shot A Hole In My Soul -- You Left The Water Running -- Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash -- Function At The Junktion -- Better To Have And Not Need -- Going Down Slow

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

Live Under The Sky
Live Under the Sky
Tony Williams

(Oh Boy 1992)
Red Alert -- Going Far -- Wild Life -- There Comes A Time -- One Word -- Drums Solo -- Billy Cobham Appears -- Drum duet with Billy Cobham -- Finale

Musicians: Tony Williams, Ronnie Montrose, Mario Cipollina, Brian Auger, Billy Cobham

Performed live at Den-en Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 1978

Out of print.
Hard At Play
Hard At Play
Huey Lewis and the News

(EMI Records 1991)
Build Me Up -- It Hit Me Like A Hammer -- Attitude -- Couple Days Off -- That's Not Me -- We Should Be Making Love -- Best Of Me -- Do You Love Me, Or What? -- Don't Look Back -- Time Ain't Money

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

Small World
Small World
Huey Lewis and the News

(Chrysalis Records 1988)
Small World (Part One) -- Old Antone's -- Perfect World -- Bobo Tempo -- Small World (Part Two) -- Walking With The Kid -- World To Me -- Better Be True -- Give Me The Keys -- Slammin'

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

The Four Tops

(Arista Records 1988)
Indestructible -- Change Of Heart -- If Ever A Love There Was -- The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine -- Next Time -- Loco In Acapulco -- Are You With Me -- I'm Only Wounded -- When You Dance -- Let's Jam

Mario Cipollina plays bass on "Are You With Me" produced by Huey Lewis (backed by the News).

Richard Elliot
The Power Of Suggestion
Richard Elliot

(Manhattan/Blue Note 1988)
The Power Of Suggestion -- Oompong -- Just Tell Me If You Want Me To Go -- Buffle -- Judy's Song -- Hearts On Fire -- St. Croix -- Neon Nights -- Love's Not Here Anymore -- Michele -- Spare Time

Featuring Chris Hayes, Sean Hopper, Mario Cipollina and Bill Gibson together with the Tower Of Power Horn Section on the instrumental 'Neon Nights', written by Chris & Sean. Chris also produced the song 'Love's Not Here Anymore'.

Huey Lewis and the News

(Chrysalis Records 1986)
Jacob's Ladder -- Stuck With You -- Wole Lotta Lovin' -- Doin' It (All For My Baby) -- Hip To Be Square -- I Know What I Like -- I Never Walk Alone -- The Power Of Love -- Forest For The Trees -- Naturally -- Simple As That

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

We Are The World
We Are The World
U.S.A. For Afrika

(PolyGram 1985)
We Are The World -- If Only For The Moment Girl -- Just A Little Closer -- Trapped -- Tears Are Not Enough -- 4 The Tears In Your Eyes -- Good For Nothing -- Total Control -- A Little More Love -- Trouble In Paradise

Huey sings some of the lead vocals in "We Are The World" and The News including Mario Cipollina sing some of the backing vocals. The album also contains a life version of the song "Trouble In Paradise" from Huey Lewis and the News' first album.

Back To The Future
Back To The Future
Original Soundtrack

(MCA Records 1985)
The Power Of Love -- Time Bomb Town -- Back To The Future -- Heaven Is One Step Away -- Back In Time -- Back To The Future Overture -- The Wallflower -- Night Train -- Earth Angel -- Johnny B. Goode

Contains "Power Of Love" and "Back In Time". "Power Of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News with Mario Cipollina on bass.

Rose Of England
Rose Of England
Nick Lowe

(Demon Records 1985)
Darlin' Angel Eyes -- She Don't Love Nobody -- 7 Nights To Rock -- Long Walk Back -- The Rose Of England -- Lucky Dog -- I Knew The Bride -- Indoor Fireworks -- (Hope To God) I'm Right -- I Can Be The One You Love -- Everyone Bo Bo Skediddle

Mario Cipollina plays bass with Huey Lewis and the News on "I Knew The Bride".

Huey Lewis and the News

(Chrysalis Records 1983)
The Heart Of Rock & Roll -- Heart And Soul -- Bad Is Bad -- I Want A New Drug -- Walking On A Thin Line -- Finally Found A Home -- If This Is It -- You Crack Me Up -- Honky Tonk Blues

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

Picture This
Picture This
Huey Lewis and the News

(Chrysalis Records 1982)
Change Of Heart -- Tell Me A Little Lie -- Tattoo (Giving It All Up For Love) -- Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do - Workin' For A Livin' -- Do You Believe In Love -- Is It Me -- Whatever Happened To True Love -- The Only One -- Buzz Buzz Buzz

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

Internal AffairsInternal Affairs
Rocky Sullivan

(Rag Baby/Line 1982)
Be My Baby -- One Good Reason -- One Of A Kind -- I Was Wrong -- Love Me Just A Little -- Make Me Shake -- San Francisco Blues Again -- Victim Of Circumstance -- Another Heart -- My Baby

Musicians: Rocky Sullivan, Mike Varney, John Cipollina, Greg Douglass, Jeff Pilson, Mario Cipollina, Micky Shine, Marc Nielsen, Charles Tapp, Mark Robertson, Nicky Hopkins, Trish Robbins, Jill Bergman

Out of print.
Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News
Huey Lewis and the News

(Chrysalis Records 1980)
Some Of My Lies Are True -- Don't Make Me Do It -- Stop Trying -- Now Here's You -- I Want You -- Don't Ever Tell Me That You Love Me -- Hearts -- Trouble In Paradise -- Who Cares? -- If You Really Love Me You Let Me

Musicians: Huey Lewis, Mario Cipollina, Sean Hopper, Chris Hayes, Bill Gibson, Johnny Colla

Illegal EntryIllegal Entry
Rocky Sullivan

(Jupiter/Rag Baby 1980)
Everybody's Got A Price -- Leave It At That -- Jacknife Lover -- Who's Kiddin' Who -- Watcha Get -- You -- Bring Back The Night -- Back Up Girl -- Bigelow 6-5000 -- Roxy -- Fever Dreams

Musicians: Rocky Sullivan, John Cipollina, Greg Douglass, Nicky Hopkins, Mario Cipollina, Mike Varney, Steve Lind, Greg Anton, Scott Matthews, Mac Cridlin, Mark Cummings, Carole Steele, Mark Shaiman, Jeffrey Cohen, Janet Morrison, Jeanette Sartain, Pam Moore

Out of print.
Amityville ConcertAmityville Concert
San Francisco AllStars

(Volume 1, Flying Horse, 1980)
(Volume 2, Flying Horse, 1981)
These are two LPs recorded from a concert at the Pastime, Amityville, N.Y., May 20, 1979. Mario plays bass on all songs and is singing lead vocals (!) on "All Worth The Price". The albums are bootlegs, very rare and high priced.

Musicians: Steve Love, John Cipollina, Joey Covington, Buddy Cage, Mario Cipollina

Out of print.
bab0176.jpg - 10786 Bytes
The Joy Of Flying
Tony Williams

(Sony Music 1979)
Going Far -- Hip Skip -- Hittin' On 6 -- Open Fire -- Tony -- Eris -- Coming Back Home -- Mogran's Motion

Musicians on Open Fire*: Tony Williams, Mario Cipollina, Ronnie Montrose, Brian Auger

* performed live at Den-en Coliseum, Tokyo, Japan, July 27, 1978

Sound Hole
Back To The Summer Of Love
Sound Hole

(Hole-E-Smoke Records 1975)
Side A:
"Everyday (For The Rest Of My Life)"
Side B:
"Back To The Summer Of Love"

Featuring: Mario Cipollina, Johnny Colla, Bill Gibson, Brian Marnell, Bill Burgess

Out of print.
Solid SilverSolid Silver
Quicksilver Messenger Service

(Capitol Records 1975)
Gypsy Lights -- Heebie Jeebies -- Cowboy On The Run -- I Heard You Singing -- Worryin' Shoes -- The Letter -- They Don't Know -- Flames -- Witches' Moon -- Bittersweet Love

Musicains: Gary Duncan, John Cipollina, David Freiberg, Greg Elmore, Dio Valenti, Nicky Hopkins, Pete Sears, Michael Lewis, Skip Olson, Mario Cipollina, Kathi McDonald

Rum RunnersTales Of The Great Rum Runners
Robert Hunter

(Greatful Dead Records 1975)
Lady Simplicity -- That Train -- Dry Dusty Road -- I Heard You Singing -- Rum Runners -- Children's Lament -- Maybe She's A Bluebird -- Boys In The Barrom -- It Must Have Been The Roses -- Arizona Lightning -- Standing At Your Door -- Mad -- Keys To The Rain

Musicians: Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart, Barry Melton, Jerry Garcia, David Freiberg, Peter Albin, Keith Godchaux, Donna Jean Godchaux, Steven Schuster, Snookey Flowers, Mario Cipollina, Bruce Gapinski, John Farey, Milt Farrow, David Kessner, Ray Scott, Jeff Slatery, Randall Smith, Bill Steele, Hadi El Aylett, Buddy Cage, Rick Shubb, Markee Shubb, Robbie Stokes, Jamie Paris, Christie Bourne


Further Links:

  • Official Mario Cipollina website

  • Huey Lewis and the News - HLN Today
       The almost official web site.

  • Mario's Biography on HLN Today
       Mario's biography on the same web site.


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