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Albert DiBonaventura

North Dighton

Albert Anthony DiBonaventura had it all figured out. The 18-year-old was going to leave North Dighton and journey to sunny southern California, where he would be a college student by day and an aspiring rock star by night.

"We were talking just before the show," said DiBonaventura's older brother, John Ring, "and he was saying how he wanted to go to school in California for computer graphics and play in a band near LA. We were going to fill out the financial aid forms the next day."

Those forms -- like DiBonaventura's California dream -- remain incomplete, resting on the kitchen table of Albert Carlo and Eileen DiBonaventura's Wheeler Street home.

A self-taught guitar player, DiBonaventura left Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School after his junior year and got his GED certificate from Bristol Community College when he was 17. He had been bored with school, except for music and computers, his two main creative outlets, which often crossed paths.

He "was just born real creative," said Ring, who was 17 when his younger brother was born. DiBonaventura wrote his own music and penned all the lyrics on a CD by his band, 18 Stars. He also created the cover art for the CD.

It was another band, Shryne, in search of a new guitar player that brought the young musician to The Station last Thursday night. They had heard him play at a Providence nightclub dubbed The Call and invited him to come to the concert. DiBonaventura went with Shryne members last Wednesday to pick up the tickets for the show and ended up meeting Great White's lead singer, Jack Russell.

"Albert was real excited about it," said Ring. "He said they hung out and played pool with him and some of the band."

Ring said DiBonaventura was sure he was going to make it in the music business, and was eager to spread his wings.

"His whole plan was to go out and try to make it in music. He wanted to live where it was warm and sunny, where all the rock stars are from."