Monday, May 21, 2012

Rest In Peace - Tony (A.J.) Confessore : C.C. Banana

Just found out this very sad news about a friend of mine. 
Tony was a fixture @ NYCC : New York Comic Con
Rest In Peace Tony
C.C. Banana won't be forgotten !!

Tony was hysterical, and a very fun guy. When I would see him he would always remember me, and we would talk. He would tell me some crazy stories, and we would hang out during the course of the con whatever days he would be there. 
I'm going to miss the Banana Man. 
Rest In Peace Tony

A.J. Confessore: 1969-2012
Wikipedia - C.C. Banana - The home of C.C. Banana, the comedian.

Anthony J. Confessore, better known to legions of heavy metal fans as bizarre fringe character C.C. Banana, died today at his New Jersey home of an apparent suicide. He was forty-three.
According to friends, Confessore had been struggling financially as of late, having invested greatly in a rock tribute album saluting plus-size women. The album, entitled Whole Lotta Love, features an array of ’80s rockers performing songs such as “Baby Got Back” and “Unskinny Bop.”
Whole Lotta Love was not proving as successful as Confessore hoped it would be, leaving him in the red. Matters became more dire when the Garden State native lost the home he shared with his mother; originally reported to be a foreclosure, several people close to the situation have come forward to explain that the house was actually sold without A.J.’s consent by other family members who were concerned for the elder Confessore’s own financial comfort.
Early this morning, Confessore posted a final statement to his Facebook page, which read in part: “Xanadu has been breached, my friends. Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the vultures and jackals. No more past. No more future. Both have been taken away…It took just one year of Hell to undo a lifetime of hope. I am too lost to be found and too broken to be fixed. Let the Monday morning quarterbacking begin…”
Hailing from Nutley, New Jersey, Anthony J. Confessore was a dedicated heavy metal fanatic whose keen sense of humor birthed one of the genre’s most smirk-inducing characters, that of C.C. Banana. Conjured up in 2001 while en route to a Poison concert, the fruit-based mascot was initially created as a mockery of Poison guitarist C.C. DeVille’s decision to start charging fans (via sandwich board) for autographs, pictures, and handshakes.
“At some point [during that car ride] we began discussing the nonsense with C.C.,” Confessore later explained to Metal Sludge. “Apparently C.C. stands for ‘Currency Challenged?’ I looked in the back seat, and saw an enormous yellow fruit staring back at me. ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if I wore the banana suit to the Poison concert?’ Lightbulbs go off over our heads. ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if the banana had a sign, asking people to pay him for his autograph and pictures and stuff?’ Illumination with a brightness equivalent to the entire Poison stage lighting truss fills the car.”
DeVille and Confessore eventually crossed paths that night. Although the guitarist was initially perplexed by his fruit-based counterpart, DeVille eventually gave his blessing, peeking into Confessore’s face hole to say, “You’re pretty smart. I can tell.”

C.C. Banana would become something of a fixture at Tri-State area rock events in the early Aughts, teasing/snagging photo ops with such acts as Kiss, Jani Lane, Quiet Riot, and Twisted Sister. Outside of the hair n’ leather set, Confessore managed to get audiences with such pop culture luminaries as George Lucas and the late Gary Coleman (the Banana engaged Coleman in a lengthy, enlightening conversation about “Robotech”).
A graduate of NYU, A.J. Confessore went by “Tony” with many of his friends and was well-liked for his warmth, humor, and charm. As C.C. Banana, Confessore injected a great sense of mirth into a hoary old scene that otherwise seems to have difficulty laughing at itself. It’s so tragic that such mirth apparently vanished from his own life. The world’s missing someone hilarious now. We’ll never forget him, though, or his thousand-watt grin. Rats off to ya, Banana Man.


Our good friend Tony Confessore, better know as C.C. Banana, passed away today at his home in New Jersey due to an apparent suicide. He was 43.
Tony incorporated his love of KISS into much of his professional comedic work, including the KISS tribute CD “KISS My Ankh“, a Tribute to Vinnie Vincent which he produced and performed on with his own irreverent version of the KISS classic, “Unholy”. One of his more brilliant pieces was his 20 Questions with Eric Singer which was conducted live on-stage at a KISS Expo in 2007. He had many personas, the most well-know among KISS fans being the Ace Peeley banana character as well as a his more elaborate Maul Stanley - an incarnation of Paul Stanley and Darth Maul from the Star Wars Episode 1 movie. More recently, Tony appeared as AJ the Clown at the 2011 New Jersey KISS Expo where he entertained and lent himself to face painting for the younger crowd attending the event.
Tony posted his final goodbye from his Facebook last night:
Xanadu has been breached, my friends. Cry “Havoc!” and let slip the vultures and jackals. No more past. No more future. Both have been taken away…. If only those who knew less didn’t always think they knew better. It took just one year of Hell to undo a lifetime of hope. I am too lost to be found and too broken to be fixed. Let the Monday morning quarterbacking begin. - Anthony John Confessore 
Tony was the victim of long-time financial problems and the stress apparently had taken it’s toll on him. He was loved by many and will be missed as much.

No comments: