Why We Rock
All eight of us were jammed into the cramped, steamy rehearsal space, and nothing was going right. We couldn’t remember the words to the Jack White duet. All the transitions were off. And the scent of old sweat, stale smoke, and weak air freshener wasn’t doing anything to calm our nerves.
It was three days until the show, and everything was falling apart.
For Those About to Rock
If you haven’t heard of us, let me introduce you to Hard to Swallow (yes, that’s still our name after all these years, what’re you gonna do?). We are AbelsonTaylor’s go-to band of merry musicians, and we play rock & roll.
Like a Spinal Tap-ian cast of rotating characters, this year’s group features some mainstays and some new faces:
- Theo Hild: plays guitar with his eyes closed, so you know he believes it
- Matt Slaughter: will kill you with the kindness of his guitar fills
- Rob Enos: bass and keyboards, and whatever else he feels like playing
- Robert Williams: believes that people love five minute drum solos
- Michelle Rivas: who knew the electric violin goes with everything?
- Amy Wenrich: will hit the high notes and melt your face and not think twice about it
- Nicole Stachura: her voice will make you jump out of your seat and dance, willingly or unwillingly
- Larry Koplow: I guess you could call what he does “singing”
Feelings. Nothing More Than Feelings.
So why do we do it? Why do we play in a band that only books two gigs a year? Why do we put ourselves through the grinding process of debating song choices, and then rehearse and rework those songs for months on end?
Well, it’s fun, for one thing. And we enjoy each other’s company. But mostly it’s for the kids. Seriously, the honor and sense of community we feel each time we take part in one of the charity events is what really keeps us going.
The Kids Are Alright
For the past nine years, pharmaceutical advertising agency bands have been battling it out at Pharmapalooza, all to support The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore (CHAM). In fact, all of the funds raised go directly to CHAM’s Creative Arts Therapy Program. When you become a sponsor or pledge a donation, you help secure some of the best care in the world for children who need it.
And since 2013, local Chicago ad agencies have been duking it out at the Battle for Hope in support of Off The Street Club. Founded in 1900, Off The Street Club is a safe place in West Garfield Park where more than 3,000 kids can learn, laugh, and play without worry.
The next Battle for Hope is Thursday, June 15th at the Cubby Bear in Wrigleyville. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, Nicole would be happy to help you out, or you can purchase them directly. Hope to see y’all there!