B i o g r a p h y
George John Simonovich Jr. was born Nov 2nd 1957 in Elizabeth, New Jersey to George J. Simonovich Sr., a boiler and machine operator from Larksville PA, and Concetta Gullo, a factory worker from Elizabeth NJ. The family then moved to the adjacent Linden in 1959 where he went to grade school, junior high school, and high school, graduating in 1975.
At the age of 13 he purchased a drum set from his paper route money and played drums for about a year before taking up guitar, finding it easier to write songs on guitar. In June of 1971 he played guitar and harmonica and sang two of his original songs at the Soehl Jr. High School talent show.
Early musical influences were Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and then later, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers and John Mayall . Later came John Coltrane and a Jazz phase, and then ultimately, and to this day, Classical.
His first concert attended was Grand Funk with Humble Pie at Shea Stadium in 1971 and attended Watkins Glen in 1973. His first band was called Hogwash and in 1974 they won 2nd place at a Linden High School battle of the bands. Around 1973 he began taking guitar lessons at Iorio's Music in Linden from Gary Olesinski and met Gary's younger brother Wayne, and formed Fog on the Oregon Coast around 1975, a country rock band that covered Grateful Dead, Cmdr. Cody, New Riders and originals written by Wayne and George. The band had some limited local success packing in some of the lesser New Jersey clubs.
Fog on the Oregon Coast at Union County College, Cranford NJ. Around 1976.
From left to right: Paul D'Antico, Wayne Olesinski, George Simonovich (Danny Shulhafer seated in backround) and Ronnie Hopson.
From the late 80s to the late 90s George played with Chuck Guy from (NJ Club scene giant) Salvation in a classic-rock party band called Lost Weekend with fellow Lindenite and collaborator Harry Kopy.
In early 2000's he withdrew from the band scene to concentrate on work and family and began recording sporadically at home under the tutorship of Harry Kopy. A sequence of CD's began to be released in 2006.
In 2008, at the request of friend and owner of The Portuguese Fisherman in South River, NJ, the late Manny Silva, George began playing classical guitar for the restaurant patrons.
The Portuguese Fisherman, South River NJ.
At the "old' Portuguese Fisherman (pre-Sandy).
He is currently working on a classical guitar CD, an Italian Classics on Mandolin CD (as Georgio Fabio) and also with "Guitar Guy" Paul Unkert and Gary Olyear on a 1920's guitar and mandolin CD under the auspices of "The Stool Pigeons."