Viecelli was born in Livonia, Michigan, the fourth son
in a family of eight. Drawn to music at the age of
nine, he sang Silent Night in German on a tape recording
for a family friend. He knew he wanted to be a
singer/guitar player when at the age of ten he watched
as all the girls in the house cried when Elvis was shot
in “Love Me Tender.” That same night he taught
himself how to play the theme song from Bonanza on a
six-string acoustic guitar that had only three strings,
E, A and D.
His first band in 1967 consisted
of four local musicians: lead guitar/singer (Arlen), bass player/singer
(Denny Leatum), keyboard player (Terry Emery), and drummer (Jim). The band
lasted about two years and played all the LYI dances and Sock Hops.
1968 Arlen joined a band called
That band consisted of five musicians: lead
guitar/vocals (Arlen), rhythm guitar/vocals (Rick
Pringle), bass guitar/vocals (Larry Winger), keyboards
(Mike Mijal), and drummer/vocals (Jim [Mouth] Purol).
The Coming Generation played throughout Lower Michigan
including the Cavern and Cobo Hall. Management was
by Marge Lombardi "she was a lifesaver".
In 1969 Arlen, playing lead
guitar and vocals, formed a duo with drummer/vocalist Darrell Ferraiuolo.
The duo, believe it or not, was pretty interesting. They did songs from
the Who (like Tommy), Cream, and a whole host of musical arrangements. I
guess they were ahead of their time (White Stripes).
In 1970, Arlen joined a band
called Salem Witchcraft.
They had a van, P.A. system, and a manager (Bob Drake). Soon after Arlen
joined the band, they hired their first of three keyboard players (Dave Hall).
The four-piece band hit the
ground running. They quickly outgrew their manager, the van, and the P.A.
system. The band lasted the first time until October of 1979. During
the nine years they were together they became incorporated, bought a 23-foot
equipment truck, 16-channel P.A. system, an eight-channel side monitor board,
full light show (including two Super Trooper thousand-watt follow spots), hired
an attorney and CPA (on retainer), a road manager (Chris Best), five full-time
roadies, a national booking agency, a national management company, and purchased
a house on Ford Road (in Garden City) where the road crew lived.
The band released five records and two videos, and
Canned Heat on a 45-day
international tour. It was quite an accomplishment
for the four young men. The highlight of the Salem
years was the addition of Kurt Schreitmueller on the
keyboards from 1976 to 1979. During that time the
band opened for REO Speedwagon, Kiss, Ted Nugent,
Aerosmith, Foreigner, Bob Seger, STYX, and a host of
other national acts.
In the winter
of 1979 Arlen and Kurt formed a new band called
Poison. It was
killer rock and roll.
In the spring of 1980
Arlen recorded a dozen songs with Robyn Robbins (Silver
Bullet Band). Shortly after that, Arlen did sessions with
Henri Weck (Brownsville Station) and live shows with Charlie
Huhn (Ted Nugent and currently with Foghat). (Check
out Charlie Huhn at
Throughout the fall of 1980
until the spring of 1981, Arlen put a band together called
Baseline to entertain
the troops overseas. The group consisted of four musicians and two Las
Vegas showgirls. This was an opportunity for Arlen to travel and perform
in Japan, Okinawa, the Philippines, Diego Garcia, Hawaii, and Las Vegas.
“That was a wonderful time in my life".
From the fall of 1981 until the spring of 1983, Arlen
recorded and performed with
He was completely flattered and humbled by the opportunities
that continued to present themselves
In 1983, Arlen rejoined Salem
to see if the magic was still there. He wrote two new
songs entitled “Please Come Back” and “Don’t Leave Me Alone
Tonight,” which the band recorded without much success.
In 1984, Arlen decided to hang it up for good with Salem, as
the bar scene was a little too much to handle
Spring of 2004,
Arlen records tracks with Kurt Schreitmueller, who owns and operates his own
recording studio. Together they produce Arlen's Christmas CD entitled “Holy
Knight.” We will see where this