Tribute band with local roots hitting Bar on Oak Saturday

June 27th, 2015 1:20 am

First Posted: 4/5/2013

West Pittston native Mark Wanko is bringing his band The Idol Kings to the Bar on Oak on Saturday, April 13. The Idol Kings are a tribute band for Journey and John Mellencamp. If it sounds like an odd combo, check it out because since its inception in 2011, the band has taken off and is considered the most believable recreation of the Journey and John Mellencamp touring anywhere.

That’s why they’ve been playing casino, festivals, theaters and bars all over the east from Sparks in the Park in Georgia to the Musicfest at the Steel Stacks in Bethlehem to the Grand Casino in Newport, Rhode Island.

Wanko, who graduated from Wyoming Area “lets just say a long time ago” played in high school with Screamin’ Lucy with Jimmy Simko, John Cenera, Bruce Briggs, Joe Dente, and Rich Mattei “brother of the late great Butchie Mattie of the 8th St. Bridge.”

He also played in Scorpio with Ed DeLucca and the late Hal Kitzman and was one of the founding members of Stonebridge with Mike Sperazza, Alfie Koytek, Pete St. James Scavone, Mike Wanyo and Ron Belecki. He also played in Riverside and Daddy-O.

With the Kings he’s a bassist, guitarist and sings the Mellencamp parts. His son Ryan Wanko, is guitar player. The Journey singer is Michael Crow, who was in Giants of Science, and Crow’s daughter Candi Vee plays bass in the Mellencamp set and sings background for Journey songs.

The Keyboard player is Adam DeTroia. The drummer is Kevin Conway, also a Giants of Science alumnus.

Again that’s this Saturday, April 13 at Bar on Oak starting at 9 p.m.

For a taste go to and check out the videos.