Fran Cosmo feat. Anthony Cosmo
Saturday, December 12, 7:30pm at the Castle Theater, MACC, Kahului
$25-$85; 242-SHOW or mauiarts.org
It figures that when I get to interview someone as famous as Fran Cosmo, I’d have a cold. It’s tough to sound charming and elegant when you can only speak in vowels. When I asked if he had any favorite cold remedies that he’d like to share, he just laughed and said, “I knew you had a cold! You sound like ‘Mwah mwah mwah!’” Fran, on the other hand, sounded impeccable, his New York accent as smooth as budda. (It took all my tact to keep from asking him to say, “Fuggedaboutit!”)
If you’re at all familiar with classic rock you know about Fran Cosmo. In case you’re not: Cosmo is the former lead singer of the band Boston, which he performed with for more than a decade beginning in the early ’90s. He’s also toured with Orion the Hunter and WCR (World Classic Rockers). Currently, he’s touring with his son, Anthony Cosmo, also formerly of Boston. He’s just released a Boston greatest hits compilation, and will be dropping another album in time for Christmas. And, with an assist from Tammy Miranda Productions, he’s coming to Maui to play the MACC this weekend.
As you can tell, Fran Cosmo is pretty freakin’ rock star. So it was strange to hear someone of his status tell me that he hadn’t finished his Christmas shopping. “Yeah, when you’ve got an 8-year-old daughter, you’ve got a lot of Christmas shopping to do,” he said.
Exactly how does it feel to be a rock star? According to Fran, “It’s like being anything else. It doesn’t feel any different to me. It doesn’t affect me. It’s just what I am.”
Of course, it may be what he is, but it’s not what he’s always been. Once upon a time, he was just a kid listening to the Beatles. “When I was younger, I looked up to the Beatles,” he said. “But I first became really interested in music when I saw my older cousin play in a band. I wanted to be just like him.”
The rest is history. Young Francis went on to become Fran Cosmo and tour the world. “My favorite venue was playing with WCR in China,” he remembers. “The people, the culture, it was so different from here.” Of course, his story could have had a different ending. I asked Fran what he would be doing if he hadn’t become a rock star. “Maybe I woulda been an artist. I wanted to go to college for art. Or maybe I’d be building homes. Maybe theater. Who knows?”
Perhaps you’re wondering if Cosmo is his real last name. It is—sort of. “I was born with the name,” Fran confirmed. “It’s my middle name. I was named after two saints, St. Francis and St. Cosmo. In the ’80s, I took Cosmo as my last name. People are always saying it’s ’cause I’m outta this world, but it’s my real name.” (His given last name, if you’re wondering, is Migliaccio.) Even so, Fran definitely is out of this world, as are his performances. He sums it up simply: “Basically, I want people to feel like they had a good show. I want them to feel like the show was intense.”
Fran’s favorite song to perform is “Livin’ For You.” “It’s the only live song on the [greatest hits] album we just finished,” he said. “When I was playing with Boston, the audience would hold a huge Italian flag—I’m Italian—so it’s a big song for me.”
So Maui—if The Cosmo Band plays “Livin’ For You” at their MACC performance (and it’s a safe bet they will) you know what to do. MauiTime, Ynez Tongson