By Bob Uphues
Karaoke night Saturdays at Tipster's Village Pub in North Riverside will continue, but something – or, more precisely, someone -- will be missing.
Frank Nadile, the co-owner of the establishment, entertainer, singer and genial host, won't be there. Nadile died suddenly on April 5, 2018 at the age of 61.
"It'll still continue, but it will never be the same," said Robert Davis, a fellow musician who worked alongside Nadile in the R&B band R-Gang, which continues to have a large following in the Chicago area after more than 20 years.
"Frank was one of the biggest reasons people would come [to karaoke night]," Davis said. "It was a great experience. A lot of working musicians would come, and you'd better be on your best form when you came there."
Before he decided to devote his energy to the Village Pub, Nadile was a working musician, a vocalist and drummer who played in a number of bands going back to the 1970s.
"At heart he was a rock 'n' roller, but he was a tremendously versatile vocalist," said Barbara Weygand, manager of R-Gang, which Nadile formed in the 1980s with Weygand's husband, bass player Bill Syniar.
Born on May 15, 1956, Nadile grew up in Elmwood Park and attended Elmwood Park High School, said Weygand. In the 1970s and 1980s, he played drums in Stagger and, later, a band called Ruffians, who were managed by attorney Joe Crispino and which caught the attention of Paul Anka, who served as the band's producer for a time.
At the time, Syniar was playing bass in a band called Tantrum, which was also managed by Crispino. Bands managed by Crispino would rehearse in a garage behind the law office, and Nadile met Syniar through that connection, said Weygand.
Nadile and Syniar formed The Solution, which eventually evolved into R-Gang. While Nadile still played occasional gigs with the band – particularly when the band appeared at the Taste of Melrose Park -- once he and his business partner, Fiore Bucceri, took over ownership of the Village Pub, Nadile dialed back his performing schedule.
Except, of course, on Saturday's at karaoke night, when Nadile would perform to a packed house of fellow singers and regulars who went to enjoy the show.
"He was just a phenomenal voice," said Weygand.
Karaoke night on April 7, packed as usual, was a somber affair immediately following Nadile's death, but a week later, on April 14, it was a different story.
"It was more of a celebration," Davis said.
Nadile was the husband for 12 years of Dee (nee Lio); the stepfather of Timothy and the late Donald Remus; the son of Antonetta (nee Piacenti) and the late Thomas Nadile; the son-in-law of Francine and the late Arthur Lio; the grandfather of Donnie and Rocco; the brother of Carol, Thomas and Noel (Vince) Valente; and an uncle to many.
Service have been held. Burial was at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.