AC/DC Meets Sea Ray
A tribute band guitarist really knows how to play—both on stage and onboard his Sea Ray 350 SLX.
“It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll,” or so the song goes. But Maryland-based Sea Ray owner Mike DiMayo is flying high as the rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist for AC/DC tribute band High Voltage.
By night, Mike morphs into his alter ego, Malcom Young. Malcom founded the original AC/DC with his younger brother Angus, a self-proclaimed problem child known for not only his high-pitched stadium-rock lead guitar but also his characteristic school-boy uniform and a duck walk that electrified an already-amped crowd. The now Hall-of-Famer brothers released their first album, High Voltage, 40 years ago. At festivals, biker bars, charity events, casinos, private bookings and more, Mike DiMayo’s band pays homage to the rockers’ well-known songs like “Back in Black” and “T.N.T.”
“Well, you know, who doesn’t love AC/DC?” Mike says. “When we perform, the audience is so cool. There are people who are singing every word to every song. And there are young people who are into the band, too. AC/DC spans generations. Everybody knows ‘You Shook Me All Night Long,’ and who hasn’t heard ‘Thunderstruck’ at a sporting event?”
When he’s not screaming about dirty deeds or the highway to you know where, Mike can be found relaxing at his Tred Avon River home in Easton, Maryland, where he and his wife, Ellen, keep their 350 SLX, their second Sea Ray purchase.
The DiMayos first bought a 270 SLX after doing their research at area boat shows. “When you compare Sea Ray boats to other brands, the fit and finish and the design, in my mind, equate to top quality,” Mike says. Mike, originally from Brooklyn, New York, and Ellen, originally from Windsor Locks, Connecticut, met on the first day of freshmen orientation at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They got married after graduation and have been together ever since.
The couple lives in Monkton, Maryland, but recently bought a new river home, a historical estate in Easton called Lakewood. The home sits directly across the Miles River from St. Michaels, a quaint port of call with boutique shops, restaurants and great views. They are working on renovations to the property over the winter and then will sell their current Easton spot. They used to have a home in Ocean City right on the bay, but after a decade of hanging out in the loud and crazy area—a place where High Voltage performs often—they opted for Maryland’s quieter eastern shores.
The new river home will carry on the tradition of summer gatherings on the shore with their four adult children. “We spend almost every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day in Easton,” Mike says. Next summer, their new—and first—grandchild, McKayla, will join in on the fun.
Right now, because of scheduling constraints, the DiMayos enjoy short trips on the river system rather than heading out onto Chesapeake Bay. “For us, boating on the rivers means smooth water, awesome scenery and great restaurants,” Mike says. “We like to go eat crabs and take our time cruising back watching the sunset.”
Of course, they like to shoot to thrill every now and then, too. “When you throttle that thing up, it really flies,” Mike says. “The SLX line goes fast. They perform so well, and the boat is quiet.” The DiMayos laud the 350’s amenities like the larger head, a refrigerator and a grill for entertaining. Mike also appreciates the fact that he’s never had a problem. “With both of our Sea Rays, when we have our time to use them, they are pretty much flawless. I like that I can just lower the lift, turn the key and start it.”
If his schedule slows down in the future, Mike says he’d love to look into getting a larger Sea Ray model for overnighting, but for right now, the sportier SLX just fits their lifestyle perfectly.
In addition to quality family time, Mike likes to use the boat for chilling out with his band members—some of whom alternate because of the group’s hectic schedule: Greg Kuta, Ross Hancock, Francis Crouse, Eddie Pumphrey, Mike Davis and Mark Boner, Jr. The band came to fruition about seven years ago at a New Year’s Eve party when Mike DiMayo and Greg got to talking about putting a band together. “I said, ‘It’s gotta be AC/DC,’” Mike recalls. The two of them recruited other musicians and then set to work rehearsing the distinct AC/DC sound until their throats hurt and their fingers bled.
“I’ll tell you, every single person in our band is a very accomplished musician,” Mike says. “We would not perform in public for about eight months until we were comfortable we could deliver a sound as true to the band as possible.”
Mike has always been a diehard fan of the original band and has seen them perform numerous times. When it came down to the decision of where to put the AC/DC pinball machine he’d acquired, he immediately moved the conference table and chairs out of his office, found a spot for the game and never looked back.
Mike channels his passion for rock into raising money for good causes. He is the Board Chairman for the Casey Cares Foundation, which provides programs for critically ill children and their families across a five-state region. High Voltage performs at the foundation’s annual Rock & Roll Bash; this year they shared the stage with Night Ranger.
Mike’s high energy and philanthropic efforts are the exact reasons why when High Voltage takes the stage, the audience loves to shout, “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You!” And it’s a spirit that carries over perfectly to the water.