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For Pros About to Rock


In our November 2009 issue, Tyler Gray explores how the economic downturn has impacted white collar Americans who work in the financial industry and moonlight in rock bands. But Wall Streeters aren’t the only folks who do some weekend axe-wielding. Here are a few more bands that sprouted from various industries.


Lady X and the Positive Eigenvalues (Berkeley, California)
When they’re not writing about computational complexity theory, these engineering geeks cover the Rolling Stones and Violent Femmes.


Mike Roman & the Tellstars (Chicago)
Lead guitarist Roman, a defense attorney, tried to push his demo on R. Kelly during the R&B star’s trial last year and yelled, “I’m a lawyer and a musician!” while being led out.

Mikey Mel and the JDs (Athens, Georgia)
“The Nation’s Premier Law Rock Band” performs experimental-pop originals with titles like “Forbidden Lawyer Love” and “Space Lawyer.”

Bench Bar Boogie Band (Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Formed for a Bar Association party in 1991, the eight-piece band has stuck with it, playing covers of the Stones and “Mustang Sally.”


Suspicious Package (Washington, D.C.)
Washington Post political cartoonist Tom Toles, Bloomberg’s Tim Burger, The Los Angeles Times‘ Josh Meyer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of HUD Bryan Greene, Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Christina Sevilla do Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, and the Stones.

Nobody’s Business (Washington, D.C.)
McClatchy correspondent Jonathan Landay, the Center for Public Integrity’s Gordon Witkin, and The Washington Post‘s Fredrick Kunkle are part of a septet that performs originals and covers, including, of course, “Mustang Sally.”


Transit (Nashville)
Made up of bus system employees, this blues outfit caught the attention of Jack White, who produced the group’s debut seven-inch for his own Third Man Records. Do kids under four listen free?


Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Non-Marching Band (Marin County, California)
Nicknamed the Sewer Band because of their shared sewer district and crossed-plunger logo, they currently have about 75 members, ages 18 to 80, including accountants, scientists, firefighters, lawyers, doctors, secretaries, journalists, and, thankfully, a plumber.