Monday, September 26, 2016
Old Guys Rock Battle of the Bands at Fox Lane High School
On Friday night, old guys (and a few gals) rocked Fox Lane’s Battle of the Bands for Parents, which raised money for Bedford Central School District's Foundation for Arts, Music, and Education (FAME).
Fox Lane Middle School teachers opened the show with some Doobie Brothers, and their lead singer got the audience to temporarily forget Rock ‘n Roll is a game for the young by playfully feigning a lack of confidence. “We teach your children,” said Matt Vanacoro. “Hopefully after tonight you’ll still want us to do that.”
On the other hand, the band’s acoustic guitar player had no apologies. “We grew up in the age of Classic Rock,” said Sarah Fay. “We know what we’re doing.”
On a serious note, Fay expressed the importance of letting parents and students know that teachers practice what they preach. “Most of us are working musicians. We live our art in the classroom and out,” she said.
Once the teachers gave way, the first parent band took the stage, and the trio did not run for cover. Doing an acoustic set of originals, the Standing Eights, led by Doug Waits, let the kids know that creativity doesn’t end at 40 or in the same 250 songs that typical rock stations play over and over every day.
Still, there was no shame in playing a few classic rock favorites for Dave Wills of Exit 5. However, the chance to play before his two kids was what really got him off his rocker.
But thinking larger than his family, the cause also added up. “The arts are so important when it comes to developing multiple intelligences, and unfortunately when costs need to be cut, the arts are the first to go, lamented Wills, who is an assistant principal at the High School of Computers and Technology in the Bronx.
His daughter Madeline’s take wasn’t quite as scientific but no less insightful. “He rocks because he is the good singer, and my best daddy in the world,” said the eight year old piano player and singer.
Not to be overlooked, Dad’s lead by example seems to be developing some multiple intelligence in its own right. “He teaches me to never give up, and you can make whatever you imagine,” said the Mt. Kisco Elementary School student.
Steven Abrams wasn’t pretending as Ask your Mom’s base player, while believing his ability to still bring it sends a crucial message to the kids. “I think it’s important to show that creativity never goes away,” said Abrams who also doubles as an Emergency Room Doctor in Manhattan.
Of course, the wife of Ask your Mom’s lead guitar player knows that rock stars never waiver when it comes to getting the approval of the ladies – even if a touch of gray prevails among the most devoted followers. “That’s their favorite part,” said Rebecca Cavenagh of her husband Rob and the rest of the band.
But that might not be the case for the Ask your Mom wife whose husband carries Paul McCartney’s old mantle as the cute one. “I don’t think they have a cute one,” joked Rebecca with love.
Whether or not Kathy Davis felt that way about the overgrown boys in her husband’s band, she definitely beamed with pride and gave the Rock ‘n Roll edge to the dads over today’s kids. “Because of all the experience, they really get it,” she said of Exit 5 and husband Lee.
Apparently, though, Butterbee and the Gorilla Orchestra got it the rock hardest and took the prize. Doing Rock versions of rap songs like OPP andMama Said Knock You Out, they brought down the house with Prince's Lets Go Crazy. “They were amazing,” Rob Cavenagh tipped his hat in conclusio