Group Bios


mercury 2020


Tom2Tom Austin (Drums/Vocals):

Drummer and original founding member of the Royal Teens in 1956 and co-writer of hit songs like Short Shorts and Believe Me along with Bob Gaudio places Tom on the top rung of the early years of rock and roll.  He and his Royal Teens have toured with stars like Buddy Holly, Sam Cook, Frankie Avalon, Jackie Wilson, the Everly Brothers and scores more. He is a recipient of a platinum CD for the Grammy Winning cast album of Jersey Boys.  Tom is also an accomplished writer with 3 books to his credit plus he’s an accomplished painter as well.  His painting of the Jersey Boys theater in NYC is highly prized by many including Frankie Valli.


Diane2Diane Montano (Vocals):

Dynamic Diane, as the band fondly refers to her, is truly an on stage vocal dynamo for the group. Her far ranging contralto voice backed by her nonstop on stage presence comes by way of being a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Prior to joining the Royal Teens Diane was a key member of the Las Vegas show band Roulette.  An experienced backup singer for stars like Aaron Neville plus singing on an album with Steven Tyler of Aerosmith places Diane in the company of the best in the business.


john2John Serio (Sax/Vocals):

Sax man extraordinaire!  Sax, drums and vocals define John as a consummate musician. His sax playing experience performing with the Belmonts, the Brubeck Brothers, The Mello-Kings, The Chiffons, Billy Vera and the East Coast Beaters place him in a category reserved for only a few.




Nick2Nick Sywyk (Keyboard/Vocals):

Bursting onto the music scene at the age of 7, child prodigy Nick Sywyk’s first professional appearance was on the Ed Sullivan show.  He then followed with appearances on Ted Steele’s Bandstand (forerunner of American Bandstand), the Officer Joe Bolton show, Ed Hurlihy’s Children’s Hour and many others.  Nick comes to the Royal Teens after being the accompanist for many noted artists such as Joey Dee and the Starlighters, Al Hibbler, Gary US Bonds and the Belmonts just to name just a few. He also performed on an album for Steven Tyler of Aerosmith.



 Dave Talbot (Guitar/Vocals):

David Talbot has had a presence on New York’s music scene since the sixties. He’s played guitar and sang on many stages from the legendary Metropole Cafe in Manhattan to a flatbed USO truck in South East Asia. He has played on the celebrated PBS TV special “Doo Wop Love Songs” and other Television shows as well. Through the decades, he has performed with many recording acts notably the Strangeloves, Sam the Sham, Joe Villa with the 3 Friends and the seminal “DooWop” group, The Passions. With pleasure he joined the Royal Teens family in the 1990s as a guitarist and vocalist and has since enjoyed performing in countless venues throughout the Northeast and Florida.



Lenny Terri (Bass Guitar/Vocals):

Lenny Terri is a veteran musician who has performed at all of the major east coast venues while playing and singing behind many of the most well-known recording acts of our time including “Little Anthony and the Imperials”, “The Shirelles” and “The Tokens” to name a few.

Additionally, he has performed on two of the nationally acclaimed PBS shows, sung on TV and Radio commercials that included an international commercial for KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and many other TV and radio spots. He has also recorded with renowned artists such as Chubby Checker and Tiny Tim amongst others and he is comfortable playing guitar, bass or saxophone as well as other instruments within classical, jazz, musical theatre or popular music venues.

Lenny is very happy to be reunited with Tom Austin and Royal Teens after first performing with the group in the 1980s.



The Royal Teens

The Royal Teens

Bob Gaudio (Piano): The youngest member of The Royal Teens, Bob Gaudio, began playing piano at age eight. Like most kids, Bob hated to practice, but soon found that the piano presented enough of an interesting challenge and he soon looked forward to his sessions with the keyboard. Throughout his time performing with the group, Bob studied piano privately under the tutelage of famed Sal Mosca. He co-wrote The Royal Teens’ Number Three hit “Short Shorts” with bandmate Tom Austin. Following his success with The Royal Teens, Bob became an original member of The Four Seasons.

Larry Qualiano (Saxophone):
A gifted musician to the extreme, Larry Qualiano held an important berth with the Royal Teens with his amazing versatility: Larry played the tenor, alto and baritone saxophone(s), “legitimate” clarinet and the flute.

Bill Dalton (Guitar): Beginning formal music studies in his early teens, Bill was attracted to the guitar from watching countless cowboy movies. Discovering his grandfather’s old guitar in the cellar of his home, Bill put the dilapidated instrument into playing condition and found that he could strum away to his heart’s content. Besides the guitar, Bill also performed on the bass whenever necessary.

Tom Austin (Drums): Tom’s entry into the music world began as a boy when his uncle, a professional drummer, once left his traps and equipment at the Austin house, and the Tom began playing. He was eventually offered a job to play with a small combo at a local (New Jersey) Police Athletic League (PAL) affair. That started his professional ball rolling, and Tom continued to play with various groups throughout his high school career—while studying under Irwin “Russ” Russo. As a member of The Royal Teens, Tom co-wrote the group’s big hit “Short Shorts” with bandmate Bob Gaudio.

Joe Villa (Vocals):  Joe Villa played a seminal part in the discovery of the Royal Teens. It was his group called the THREE FRIENDS who recognized the Royal Teens talents and convinced them to audition for their manager. The Three Friends had a hit record at the time called Blanche.. After the Royal Teens recorded their hit song SHORT SHORTS and returned from a tour with Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and the Comets, the Everly Brothers and Jerry Lee Lewis; Tom and Bob asked Joe to become their lead singer on a new song they wrote called BELIEVE ME.