Marquee/AVARON (RIOT Thundersteel Reunion line up Japan label) released my friends cover story, some of it was published in March’s issue of
Burrn Magazine. It was posted at Marquee/AVARON web site, get the full report from behind the scene of Mark’s service at marquee.co.jp
Here it is in English:
Mr. Mark Reale, founding member of long-standing band RIOT (established in 1975), passed away on January 25th, 2012 at the Methodist Medical
Center in San Antonio, Texas after a long battle and complications from Crohns disease. Damon Di Bari, the band’s production manager, lighting
engineer, tour manager and Mark’s personal assistant since 1988 was at his bedside up to the end.
At the onset of this tragic news, his father, Mr. Anthony Reale, band member Mike Flyntz, who was on tour at the time, were immediately contacted
by phone. At the time, RIOT was on tour with the “7000 Tons of Metal” event. Guitarist Mike Flyntz, who received the news a day after his own
birthday, dropped his cell upon hearing of this tragedy. At the end of the tour, the members first returned to their respective homes.
Mike Flyntz then participated in an interview on New York’s WBAB radio show, “Fingers & Fingers Metal Show”, where he talked about his
memories of Mark.
The day before the viewing, Mike Flyntz and Mark’s father, Anthony Reale arrived in San Antonio. Frank Gilchriest and Mike Dimeo arrived in
Texas the same day. Bobby Jarzombek was unable to attend due to tour responsibilities with Sebastian Bach’s tour. Tony Moore also was unable to
attend, due to prior commitments.
The Viewing for family and friends was held at the Porter Loring Mortuary North at 5:00 pm. The Viewing for general attendees was held from 6:00
pm to 8:00pm. The facility featured a large projection screen on the left side of the venue. The casket, positioned in the center, was surrounded by
flowers. On the right side of the venue was a large picture of Mark in his prime, as well as a gift from his fans in Japan: a “Sen-ba Tsuru” (one
thousand Origami cranes; a traditional Japanese symbol of prayer and hope).
Mark was interred wearing a crucifix necklace, a silver ring, a purple velvet shirt with a black leather vest. A guitar pick was positioned between his
fingers. Also positioned within the casket were a bible and a RIOT tour T-shirt from their 1981 & 1982 “Fire Down Under” tour. These two
items were treasured by Mark, as they were constantly with him. When playing on stage, he always kept these items in a bag near the stage. Until his
passing, this fact was not known, even to his long-time friend and personal assistant, Damon Di Bari.
His viewing was attended by over 80 mourners. Among them, some were wearing T-shirts emblazoned with album titles, “Born In America” and “Fire
Down Under”, indicating the long-term devotion of his fans. During the viewing, a short film shot by Mark’s former guitar technician, Mike Arata was
shown on the large screen. This footage was shot during the recording of “Through The Storm” at Millbrook Studios, featuring Mark and a few other
musicians during a coffee break. Also shown was rehearsal footage of the band performing “Irish Trilogy” during their 1998 Japan tour. During the
coffee break sequence, Mark, who was known to be rather camera-shy, is shown heartily laughing at the jokes made by Mike Arata.
Following the films, Damon Di Bari addressed the congregation. Following that, there were speeches from 8 friends and fans. Among these were local
friends of Mark’s who had been close with him since the seventies; a young fan who professed that his father was also a long-term fan; and a
bartender from a “Chili’s”, a favorite restaurant of Mark’s. One of these speeches featured a humorous story about Mark that brought laughter and a
warm atmosphere to the viewing. Following the viewing, many attendees gathered for dinner at “Chili’s”.
The music that was playing at the viewing was chosen especially for this, Mark’s “final show”, by Damon Di Bari. The list of songs used are as follows:
４．Army Of One
１０．Racing With The Devil On A Spanish Highway
１３．Swords and Tequila
The funeral was held at St. Mark The Evangelist Catholic Church on February first, the following day. Following the ceremony, the mourners then
transported to Holy Cross Cemetery for the burial. Current and former band members Mike Flyntz, Don Van Stavern, Mike Dimeo, Pete Perez,
Frank Gilchriest, along with their families were among those attending the burial. Ron Jarzombek and Buster Grant (former bandmate of Bobby and
Don, and currently vocalist for “Age Of Reason”, a San Antonio band), as well as Ligaya Perkins (former back-up vocalist for RIOT) were also in
Prior to the funeral, the casket, Mark’s portrait and the Origami crane display was positioned under a large stained glass window in the
entranceway to the church. Mourners paid their last respects as they passed the casket and proceeded into the main worship hall. As Mark’s father,
Mr. Anthony Reale lingered by the casket, he and many other mourners were overcome with tears. The casket was then closed for the last time and
carried to the front of the cathedral. Then the funeral mass began and lasted for approximately an hour. Then 5 band members, along with Damon
Di Bari, silently carried the casket outside to the hearse. The funeral procession, along with the police escort, consisted of over 20 vehicles.
Although a native New Yorker, Mark loved San Antonio and often visited for long periods of time. There was a lot of talk of his desire to live
permanently in San Antonio. He was fond of the warm weather and the many close friends he had that live there. There were solid plans for both
Mark and his father to move to San Antonio, but unfortunately, these plans never came to fruition. His father, aware of his son’s love for San Antonio,
insisted that this be Mark’s final resting place.
The burial was held on a stunningly beautiful day. After a few words from the priest, the song, “Here Comes The Sun” (a Beatles cover off of RIOT’s
“Through The Storm” album) was played as four doves were released into the sky. The doves hovered over the mourners for a while before flying off
into the distance.
Following the burial, Mr. Reale, along with 20 attendees gathered at the “Little Italy” restaurant for a memorial dinner. Among the attendees were
current and former band members, along with a few long-term friends of Mark’s.
Mark was apparently on the verge of creating a blues project with Mike Dimeo and Bobby Rondinelli. Undoubtedly, his many fans would have loved
to hear a different side of Mark’s talent that differed from his work on “Thundersteel”. Tragically, they will forever be deprived of this opportunity.
The name Reale, according to Mark’s father, means “royal”, in Italian. To Mark’s friends, and to the many RIOT fans around the world, Mark Reale
was, indeed, and will continue to be rock royalty.
R.I.P. Mark, Shine On!
Written by:Hiromi Oshima
Translated by: Hiromi Oshima & Bob Dyer
On March 10th 2012 I attended a small MASS service at Holy Cross Cemetery where Mark rest. Family members and friends from those who
where laid to rest in the month of February 2012 attended this special service. I called Mr. Reale before the service started and informed him that I
was there. It was a simple Catholic traditional service, a nice way to reflect on our loved one’s we had to depart with here on earth but being assured
they are at rest and have peace with GOD
Mark’s a great friend and my brother in Christ who gave me a chance (at 20) to see the world and help him in his time of needs throughout our
25 year special friendship. I learned a lot from that man, traveling with him around the would was tricky but I had such a blast. I could see what he
saw in the fan, it was always about the fan and nothing else, I thank him for allowing me to meet so many great fans along the way. I’ll never forget
you and how kind you are! He love that the most I think! Shine On Warriors!
I'm working on the new site that will have many new features for all of us to share in Mark’s great work. One thing I’m setting up is a prayer light that
will burn for as long as I and you the fans keep the account up to date at Holy Cross Cemetery. More details on this coming very soon.
And finally, my good friend who attended Mark's service and dinner just released there new video POWER HOUSE from his new project
[Age Of Reason], check them out if you want!
Wanted to let you all know that a special Mass service will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery on March 10th 2012 for those who past away and where
buried at Holy Cross in February. This includes our friend and brother in Christ Mark Reale, GOD continues to reassure us that Mark’s in a great
place and is at rest. All who would like to attend this service are encourage to do so, I will be attending this for Mr. Reale and myself.
Also, my source confirms that Burrn Magazine in Japan will be doing a tribute to Mark in next months issue, it will be on sale March 5th 2012 in
Japan. This is sure to be a hot item, pick one up if you can!