Tommy DeVito, the lead guitarist and baritone vocalist for The Four Seasons, has died from COVID-19 at 92. He was with the group from its formation in 1960 until 1971.
It is with great sadness that we report that Tommy DeVito, a founding member of The Four Seasons, has passed.
We send our love to his family during this most difficult time.
He will be missed by all who loved him.
– Frankie Valli & Bob Gaudio
According to his friend, Alfredo Nittoli, who broke the news this morning, DeVito died in Las Vegas on Monday. A funeral service will be held in New Jersey.
Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, the surviving Four Seasons members, made a statement via Facebook. “He will be missed by all who loved him,” they concluded. The fourth founding member was Nick Massi, who contributed bass guitar and bass vocals from 1960-1965. He died in 2000.
They started out as a doo wop group and landed four number one hits, “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “Rag Doll.” The group is also known for disco hits “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)” and “Who Loves You” from 1975. Valli’s solo hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” likewise deserves a mention.
The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. They were also portrayed in the 2006 musical Jersey Boys and 2014 musical film directed by Clint Eastwood. DeVito was played by Vincent Piazza, who’s also known for playing Charlie “Lucky” Luciano in Boardwalk Empire.
DeVito was born in Belleville, New Jersey on June 19, 1936. He grew up as the youngest of nine children and started playing guitar at just eight years old and performing at twelve. By sixteen he was playing R&B standards with his own band. According to nj.com, he left the group due to gambling debts and tax problems. He never married. In 2006, he released his last solo album, which included covers of Italian folk songs.