Executives-Turned-Musicians Stake Their Claim at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Eight Corporate Bands Head to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the Finals of the Eighth FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands Competition
Executives at eight FORTUNE 500 companies loosen their neckties and pick up musical instruments for the finals of the Eighth Annual FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands at the legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 3–4, 2008. All finalists are amateur, company-sponsored bands ready to live out their rock ‘n roll fantasies and have a blast making music.
“A new trend has emerged that has created an entirely new pool of musical talent—the company-sponsored band,” said Joe Lamond, president and CEO of NAMM, the trade association for the international music products industry. “Musicians in high-powered positions aren't quitting their day jobs, but they aren't giving up their dreams, either—and companies are proudly supporting them.”
Created in 2001, the FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands contest encourages friendly competition between a diverse collection of companies that recognize that music helps develop teamwork, discipline, creativity, passion, harmony and commitment—all valued skills in business. Recreational music making has been scientifically proven to reduce employee stress and improve employee retention. And with 82 percent of people who don’t currently play an instrument wishing they did, these bands prove it is never too late to start.
The FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands finalists include:
- Enerock (Enernoc / Boston): A lively power rock quartet with classic rock influences that earned their ticket to the Rock Hall on May 17 in New York. Enerock has played company holiday parties for years and is now ready to take its act to the masses.
- D7 (Darwin Professional Underwriters / Farmington, Conn.): Victorious at the regional semi-finals in New York alongside Enerock. The band plays a mix of pop and rock, plus some contemporary material.
- High Definition (NBC / Valencia, Calif.): By day, band members coordinate satellite feeds from around the world for news, sports and entertainment programs, but by night they are rock-and-rollers known for covering high-energy tracks by legends of rock, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and the Foo Fighters.
- 4-Inch Studs (MBH Architects / Alameda, Calif.): Bay Area classic rockers who bring the garage band sound of the ‘60s and ‘70s into the boardroom. The group of architects made the trip south to Los Angeles and came home with a ticket to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
- Strat 5 (Healthways / Nashville): A unique collective of eight members, Strat 5’s breadth of instrumentation reflects its Music City heritage. Electric and acoustic guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, harmonica, mandolin, horns, banjo and plenty of cowbell round out the band's blues- and soul-influenced rock sound.
- Looming Larger (GE Healthcare / Wisconsin): The band earned its performance slot on June 21 along with Strat 5. Looming Larger, which started with two members, now features a rhythm section and is considered a “power quartet.”
- Consumer Republic (Proctor & Gamble / Geneva, Switzerland): The Proctor & Gamble executives earned their rock credentials at the overseas semi-finals event in London. Hailing from Switzerland, the band will make its U.S. debut at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
At each of three U.S. regional competitions, six bands were chosen to play a 20-minute set. In addition to the U.S. competitions, six bands vying for two finalist slots took part in the European regional competition in London. The eight finalists are comprised of the top two finishers in each U.S. regional event, the winner of the London regional competition and one wild card band.
Winners of the competition receive gear from event sponsors and bragging rights until the next year of competition. FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands is a partnership between NAMM, the not-for-profit trade association of the international music products industry, FORTUNE magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and celebrates the positive effects of getting together to make music. Along with FORTUNE, NAMM and The Rock Hall, the Battle of the Corporate Bands is sponsored by Gibson Guitar, KeyBank, Air Products and Sonicbids.
All proceeds from the FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands competition will benefit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's award-winning educational programming, which explores the impact that modern music has on our culture, politics and society. Tens of thousands of students and visitors of all ages are reached annually in Northeast Ohio, the United States and around the world through The Rock Hall's programming.
About The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is the nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs. The Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (open until 9 p.m on Wednesdays). Admission is $22 for adults, $17 for seniors (60+), $13 for children (9–12) and children under 8 and Museum members are free.
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that unifies, leads and strengthens the $17 billion international musical instruments and products industry. NAMM’s activities and programs are designed to promote music making to people of all ages. NAMM is comprised of approximately 9,000 Member companies. For more information about NAMM or the proven benefits of making music, interested parties can visit www.namm.org or call 800.767.NAMM (6266).
FORTUNE, the leading biweekly business magazine, is known for its unrivaled access to industry leaders and decision makers throughout the world. FORTUNE's annual ranking of the 500 largest corporations—the FORTUNE 500—is the ultimate benchmark of business success. Founded in 1930, FORTUNE has grown to a worldwide circulation of more than 1 million and a worldwide readership of nearly 5 million. The Web site, www.fortune.com, which averages 10 million page views per month, keeps visitors ahead of the business curve by providing up-to-the-minute information and analysis of the people and trends driving business innovation. The FORTUNE Conference Division extends the magazine's editorial mission into live settings, hosting a wide range of annual conferences for top-level executives, including the FORTUNE Global Forum, the FORTUNE Innovation Forum, and the Most Powerful Women Summit. FORTUNE, along with FSB: FORTUNE Small Business, Money, Business 2.0, and the Website CNNMoney.com is part of the Time Inc. Business and Finance Network, which is a division of Time Warner, the world's largest media company.