The Fifth Beatle
Vinnie’s lectures and courses go beyond interest and information. His knowledge of the Beatles, the ‘60s, and beyond is limitless. When we attend a lecture or class, Vinnie opens up a treasure chest of information. Living through the period is one thing, but being able to present it with such passion in a most entertaining and educational way is simply amazing. Many have claimed to be “the 5th Beatle,” but after attending one of Vinnie’s presentations, there is no doubt Vinnie is the 5th Beatle.
Union County College
Continuing Education Programs
A Diamond in our own backyard.
Love watching Vinnie groove to the tunes!
Totally amazing guy!
Thank you so much, loved all the backstories.
I didn’t know much about The Rolling Stones now I do!
Thanks so much! Learned so much, but your interactivity and group participation were tops and so much fun!!!
Another wonderful and excellent class on The Beatles solo careers. Your personal stories bring the content to another level!
This was so much fun! Thanks for the awesome memoires.
I really, REALLY enjoyed it!
Excellent talk from a great speaker!
Great Energy! And I loved the photos and album covers.
Best talk on The Beatles I’ve ever heard!
Love your enthusiasm!
Thanks for the great program - I truly enjoyed it!
You are EXCELLENT virtually!
Second time we’ve come to your class on the Beatles! Wonderful information and presentation! We will be back again!
I was bopping along with you I actually got up and danced!
Excellent presentation! Thanks Vinnie!
I think the real 5th Beatle is you … it wasn’t Scott Muni.
We follow all your shows!
You have great energy we would love to see you in person.
OLLI-RU has a great gem in the classes you teach!
You were better than the Wrecking Crew show I saw on TV
This was fabulous! I'll be at anything you do, anywhere!
You are a wealth of knowledge, I could listen to you all night!
This was an excellent overview of the Bee Gees amazing career. I have not listened to their music in a while, and I forgot just how great their music was and remains. I enjoyed learning how many of their songs began - fascinating.
Thanks for taking us out of our COVID misery for a wonderful, fun, uplifting evening.
The Making of Billy Joel (10/6/22)
Rock and Roll historian Vinnie Bruno consistently gives a great in-person show, and over the past two years he has added to his repertoire the Zoom class venue. During the pandemic, I watched upwards of 150 Zoom classes, and NONE were better than Vinnie’s always-interactive, always-on-target online rock and roll history presentations. On Thursday night at the Seaford Library in Seaford, NY they ran a two-hour program of Vinnie Bruno’s excellent and informative “The Making of Billy Joel” program. The icing on the cake turned out to be that Billy Joel’s long-time drummer, Liberty Devitto, joined Vinnie on the Zoom “stage”. Liberty handled the Q & A portion of the program, and it was – what else can I say? – SUPER!! If you were there, you were wowed by the duo and the excellent FUN program they provided. If you were not there – I’m so sorry! You missed the best online presentation in the history of rock and roll Zoom classes!
Rutgers University Student Evaluations
The Baroque Pop/Raga Rock Era (Virtual Program)
"Vinnie is an excellent instructor. I have taken several classes with him and thoroughly enjoyed
"Vinnie Bruno is outstanding. His subject matter expertise is second to none. His delivery is
great. He is well prepared. His classes are interesting and fun. His personal anecdotes really
make the class engaging. His classes are treasures. OlliRU needs to figure out how to clone
Vinnie so more classes on classic rock and 60s music are offered. Overall the class was
"Excellent instructor Excellent course."
"Vinnie is the best! I'm never disappointed"
"Instructor was very passionate about the topic and showed much enthusiasm."
"Vinny is a wonderful instructor. He is extremely knowledgeable and thoroughly loves the
subjects he teaches! His enthusiasm is contagious!"
"Enjoyed the class very much. Vinnie always does a very good class. Looking forward to the
"A great combination of learning & entertainment!"
"Vinnie is terrific. He is high energy. His enthusiasm is wonderful to watch. He knows his
subject matter and tells great stories about how the music was made. I will be taking another
course with him in the fall."
"Vinnie was always prepared for class. His enthusiasm is infectious. Looked forward to each
"Vinnie always does a great job with his courses. I'll be taking another one of his in the Fall."
"always enjoyable and informative with Vinnie at the helm."
"Vinnie does a great job keeping the content relevant and entertaining. Appreciate being
exposed to new artists and songs."
"All instructors should be as knowledgeable & enthusiastic as Vinnie is. He makes the class
very enjoyable as well as informative."
The Beatles: The Classic Albums (Virtual Program)
"I was so impressed with Vinnie's knowledge and wealth of information about more than just the
classic albums that were covered. He did an excellent job of conveying that to us. Loved his
selection of photos and illustrations used during the course (as well as his explanation of what
we were looking at)!!!!!"
"Vinnie Bruno is an expert on the Beatles, extremely knowledgeable as well as entertaining. He
laces his facts with anecdotes and personal stories that make his classes a true delight!"
"Vinnie's enthusiasm for the course material is infectious! Always enjoy taking his courses and
have signed up for his Spring course too."
"Vinny is great- very knowledgeable and enthusiastic."
"Our instructor is obsessed with all things Beatles, and is a world class expert on his subject.
There's nothing you can ask about them that he doesn't know in unbelievable detail. Amazing!"
"Vinnie is a perfect combination of scholar, instructor, fan and just so enthusiastic about
anything he speaks about! Great class. Will take more from him."
"Vinnie and his in depth knowledge are exceptional and it's a pleasure to be in his courses!"
"Vinnie Bruno is professional, knowledgeable, friendly, devoted to the subject matter...and any
other superlatives you might add! He could make reading the phone book fun!"
"Vinnie does a masterful job sharing the stories behind the music. Well done!"
The Seventies: Under the Influence of the 60s (Virtual Program)
"Vinnie is a treasure! He has a wealth of knowledge and a passion for his subject."
"Vinnie Bruno is THE BEST INSTRUCTOR I have had in all the many courses I have enjoyed
at many senior geared courses. Amazingly, he has been able to transfer his energy and
unbelievable knowledge of his subject matter to Zoom."
"Vinnie was a joy. His enthusiasm was contagious! Thoroughly enjoyed the classes."
"The best instructor & choice of subject......and I have taken many courses at OLLIRU!"
"Vinnie’s classes are always upbeat and fun!"
"Vinnie did a great job with the course. Just an outstanding experience."
"Vinnie is a great instructor. I’ve taken several of his courses and enjoyed them all. Would likely
sign up for any of his future courses."
"Vinnie is always well prepared with great material and has some great background stories to go
along with the musical artists he talks about. Always a lot of fun!"
"V.B. is an outstanding instructor who knows his subject well and whose classes are always
informative and fun. Looking forward to his next class."
The Beatles: From Liverpool to Abbey Road (Virtual Program)
"Mr. Bruno is a treasure."
"Vinnie did a great job with the Zoom format."
"Don't let Vinnie go back to Arizona even when the pandemic ends!! He's great live and just as
good on Zoom."
"This was the first course I have ever taken. I was a gift and I enjoyed it much more than I
thought I would. I do love the Beatles. I will definitely be looking into more courses through
your virtual Continuing Studies program."
"Vinnie did a great job. His knowledge and enthusiasm are awesome. I am looking forward to
taking more of his courses."
"Hope we can get back to in person classes in the fall!"
The Beatles: From Liverpool to Abbey Road (In Person)
"Vincent Bruno was an AMAZING instructor. He has such passion. Enjoyed this course immensely! Plan to take a course with Vincent Bruno again!"
"Vinnie Bruno is so personable, and loves his subject so much, that the class was one of the best I have taken at OlliRu."
"Mr. Bruno was very knowledgeable on the subject, and made every session interesting."
"The instructor was incredibly knowledgeable of the subject and highly entertaining. Every aspect of this course was wonderful. I look forward to taking other courses with this instructor."
"Vincent Bruno was an excellent instructor. He made every class fun and interesting. I hope to take another class with him in the fall. He is definitely an asset to the program."
"Vinnie was the best teacher we ever had at OlliRu. I look forward to taking his other course in the fall."
"This class EXCEEDED my expectations! Vinnie was super! He is personable, charming, prepared, knowledgeable, entertaining, AND MORE. The course was well structured, thorough and informative. I plan to take whatever courses given by this instructor."
"Clearly the BEST instructor i’ve ever had at Olli-Ru!"
"His enthusiasm for the subject matter was transmitted to the entire class."
The Beatles Next: The Solo Years (In Person)
"Vinny is maybe the funniest, best prepared, most energetic, most interactive & knowledgeable
of any instructor at OLLIRU! My #1."
"Mr. Bruno enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject makes for a great presentation."
"Vinnie Bruno brings excitement and joy to any of the classes I have taken with him. This man
loves his subject matter and his enthusiasm becomes contagious! I will continue to sign up for
his courses and I hope he continues to present new music subjects and eras."
"Vinny Bruno is the most knowledgeable instructor I have enjoyed every course I have taken
given by him."
"Vinnie presented a terrific class. He was lively, knowledgeable, well prepared, and shared great
stories around his passion for music."
"Loved this course. Vinnie’s classes are always the best and I enjoy them so much. He is an
excellent instructor. Looking forward to taking more courses with Vinny."
"Always enjoy Vinnie's courses. He's well prepared, has done extensive research of the subject
and has a great presentation style."
The Sixties: The British Invasion (In Person)
Vincent taught with a great passion and knowledge of the subject. He was always well prepared with his slide/music material and also with his discussion points during class. Very good instructor and the topic was one of great interest to me. I plan on taking another course from him next time he offers one.
Vinnie Bruno is always totally involved with his subject matter and provides many anecdotes to enhance his classes.
When the instructor has such knowledge and enthusiasm, you can't go wrong taking the course.
Vinny Bruno was so passionate about his subject matter that it was a pleasure to come to class.
Vinnie could make the telephone book interesting! So even when I was not as interested in some performer he was covering as others, he made the class fun and enjoyable and educational!
You are lucky to have Vinnie Bruno as an instructor.
My instructor was phenomenal. His preparation knowledge of the subject and general love for what he does is so evident. I will definitely do any class that he facilitates.
Vincent Bruno is a terrific instructor and I look forward to taking any course he gives.
The enthusiasm of the instructor & his great knowledge of the subject made for a great learning experience.
The Sixties: The British Invasion (Virtual Program)
"Vinnie is very passionate about the music and very knowledgeable."
"I’ve had this instructor before and I really enjoy his knowledge and enthusiasm. Plan to take
more classes with him."
"Vincent Bruno was exceptional! Outstanding! Knowledgeable, entertaining. First time I took a
class with him. He alone was worth the price of admission."
"Vinnie was great in every aspect. Knowledgeable and fun. Zoom presentation excellent. A
super experience. Excelled my expectations!!!"
"Vinnie is well prepared, extremely passionate and knowledgeable about his subject."
"Vinnie Bruno knows his subject and presents it very effectively."
"Vinnie, with his encyclopedic knowledge of and love of subject matter as well as his sharing of
experiences he’s shared kept me toe tapping and engaged. Great instructor."
"Excellent Instructor and excellent content."
"The musical experience was great. This is my second class with this instructor. His music
knowledge is amazing. I expect to take future classes with him."
"Great presentations of subject matter. Vinnie’s enthusiasm always comes through with each
and every lecture...So enjoyable!"
"Vinnie was a walking encyclopedia. I loved his passion and enthusiasm for this subject!!!"
"I am looking forward to in person OLLI RU. I am adapting to zoom."
The American Pop/Rock Era (In Person)
"I have taken several courses with this instructor, Vinnie Bruno, and he never disappoints.
Although Zoom was relatively new to him, he did an excellent job, and I would highly
"Looking forward to taking another class with Vinnie Bruno in the Fall."
"Vinnie knows his stuff and he makes the class enjoyable."
"Vinnie was very well versed on the subject and interesting. He had a good mix of types of
music and interesting back stories."
"Vinnie's enthusiasm made the class extremely enjoyable. I am looking forward to taking
another class with Vinnie in the fall."
"Vinnie did a great job. The course was a lot of fun. Vinnie is very engaging and has a through
knowledge of his subject. He has great personal stories of concerts he's been to and artists he
has met. I have recommend his courses to many of my friends. It was time well spent. I hope
to see Vinnie again with new material or old material. I am becoming a "Vinnie Groupie"."
"This is the third class I’ve taken with Vinnie and I plan to take another one in the fall."
"As usual Vinnie’s presentations are always wonderful. I will always be interested in his classes
"Great instructor with engaging material."
"I have taken other courses with Vinnie and he is the best! He is an excellent instructor. He is
so well prepared and knowledgeable on the subject matter. Looking forward to taking more
courses from him."
"Great course content, Great instructor and experience over Zoom."
"You need to have the ability to have 2 answers for a question. For example, question 8. I had
two favorites - the Subject Matter and the Instructor. Vinny is always great!"
"Vinnie is terrific. Looking forward to taking classes with him in the fall."
"Vinnie is a gem! LOVE his courses."
"Always enjoy Vinnie’s classes, both in-person and online."
"The instructor had a great deal of energy and enthusiasm for the subject."
"Vinny Bruno is one of the most knowledgeable instructors I have met his presentations always are enlightening and interesting."
"I would highly recommend this class and instructor to anyone who might be interested. I will be signing up for future courses from Mr Bruno as well as other interesting subject matter. Wish I knew about OLLIRU sooner."
"I loved this class. Vinny Bruno has such enthusiasm that coupled with his vast knowledge made this a wonderful course. I even turned down broadway tickets - opted for his class instead!"
"Vinny is a very knowledgeable instructor!!"
"Vinnie is remarkably knowledgeable about he subject. But it is his enthusiasm and sense of humor that make his class so special."
"Instructor was exceptionally knowledgeable and a great presenter."
Bob Dylan Revisited (In Person)
"Bruno is an excellent instructor and incredibly knowledgeable on topic. His energetic personality adds to the whole outstanding experience."
Yavapai College Student Evaluations
The Beatles: The Making of Abbey Road
"Great, fun class with lots more info than what I was aware of."
"Wonderfully enthusiastic! Well prepared! Thank you!"
"This class far exceeded my expectations and then some, considering my experience with a different music related class. It held my interest minute by minute, along with the videos used on the screen which were relevant, adding to the depth of the subject matter. The videos and pictures of the Beatles took me back to a time that I now appreciate so much more than when I was living them. They were an integral part of my teen years but all of this information provided an added level well beyond what I could have learned from just articles in the media or even books on them."
"Mr Bruno has a hugely extensive repertoire of information, stories, facts and musical knowledge. He was expressive, engaging and very prepared with his subject. No matter what anyone asked, he was able to answer and discuss. Great job, very impressive and I would definitely take any class that he taught in the future. In fact, I'm highly looking forward to it!"
"What an excellent program on the Beatles!! Wish we had more like this. I learned so much about the details of their music, how they made it, and about their lives at that time. Everything went well even with the mysterious, unsolicited music/video selections. Enjoyed every minute of the class! Bravo!"
"Vinnie is a great facilitator! He is passionate about the Beatles subject and provides details and insights that are phenomenal. His passion spills over to the entire class. Vinnie prepares well in advance to have the slides and music of each segment ready to go. He encourages participation, and has such a great sense of humor that all feel welcome in his class."
Utah State University Student Evaluations
The Beatles: From Liverpool to Abbey Road
"Vinnie Bruno is an excellent speaker and very entertaining. The time spent in class was well worth it and I learned a lot."
"Vinnie is very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the Beatles. I appreciated that he had personal stories that brought to light how the songs came about. I can't believe how much knowledge he has."
"He was so versed on the Beatles! Every class just made you want more! We will take the class again and again, yes that’s how great he was!"
"Instructor's knowledge and enthusiasm for subject. Good classroom management skills - didn't let anyone steamroll him. Kept to his syllabus and didn't waste any time. Good command of the technical classroom aids, unlike so many SC instructors. Great visuals."
"This is one of the best courses I've taken in the past six years. "Yesterday is here today." Vinnie brings "The Magical Mystery Tour" of the Beatles to life in the classroom. It is entertaining, educational and mesmerizing. Vinnie brings vitality and energy to each session. It's a never ending musical journey. It covers 1957-1969 with 12 studio albums, 22 singles and 211 songs. Students would have continued another two weeks if given the opportunity. "If you want it, come and get it." Take this class."
"I so appreciated his organizational skills; there were a few in the class who were (I think) hoping for a little more "National Inquirer" personal gossip on the Beatles. He was very good about touching on this very lightly and sticking to his class plan which was much more musical in nature. LOVED this class and hope to enroll in another by this instructor."
Maricopa County Library System
Backstage with Vinnie Bruno
On July 20, 2020 the Maricopa County Library District/Northwest Regional Branch in Surprise, AZ streamed a 60-minute online interview with Beatles Scholar and Rock and Roll Historian, Vinnie Bruno. The interview was streamed under the title “Backstage with Vinnie Bruno.” John (Johnny) Faser, Library Paraprofessional and a key player in development of adult programming for the Surprise branch, produced and conducted the interview. Mr. Faser solicited questions for the interview in advance from the mailing list of people who had previously attended Vinnie’s wildly popular rock and roll programs at the Northwest Regional library. In addition, Johnny posed questions on a variety of subjects related to Mr. Bruno’s vast knowledge of 60s rock and roll history as well as his wonderfully entertaining stories about his own experiences based on decades of attending rock and roll concerts and venues. Johnny’s line of questioning was excellent and direct and effectively drew out Vinnie’s effusive personality and near-perfect memory base. (Participants sometimes challenge Vinnie’s rock and roll knowledge –they’ve lost the challenge each time I’ve seen it happen.) If you have had the privilege of attending a Vinnie Bruno program, you know that the man is a quintessential live-act performer. Vinnie did not disappoint in this interview. His humor and friendliness were on large display. His responses to Johnny’s questions were immediate, fully informative and – just plain fun – just as we all experience when seeing Vinnie’s programs live. Sadly, the Maricopa County Library District considers these streamed Summer Reading Program presentations to be live performances and, therefore, removes them from their video archives just a few short days after the live stream airs. So if you missed this one, you missed a really great interview!
- Ginger Swartz, Surprise, AZ