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Interview:
the Upbeat: Mid Life Crisis
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

Formed: June 2009 in Ray Township

Sound: Classic rock covers

Members: Duane Compton, vocals (Macomb); Brad Pike, guitar and vocals (Roseville); Dennis “Rocky” Farrand, bass (Roseville); Wayne Zawicki, keyboards (Rochester); Tom “The Almighty One” Prokuda, drums (Ray).

Influences: Led Zeppelin, Grand Funk, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath

Day Jobs: Three of Mid Life Crisis’ members are in the auto industry — Pike with Ford Motor Co., Farrand as the body shop manager at Jack Cauley Chevrolet in West Bloomfield Township and Prokuda as a program manager with Chrysler. Compton is a machinist, while Zawicki teaches at Limelight Music in Auburn Hills.

What’s in a Name? Prokuda says the band’s name fits its members, who are between 46-57 years old. “We all realized we’re at a point in life where we’re all doing this to try to be young one more time, so Mid Life Crisis fit. Everybody enjoys the music we’re playing, so we’re just trying to have a good time.”

Band-ing Together: Prokuda says all five members of Mid Life Crisis are “good friends” whose musical paths are intertwined. Farrand, the senior member of the group, was “one of my biggest influences when I was a kid,” Prokuda notes. “He had a band when I was a kid, and I always wanted to play with him but never had the opportunity. When Prokuda left his previous band, THX, he contacted guitarist Pike, who he’d played with in Wicked Wish. They asked Farrand, who was available and in turn brought Compton and Zawicki from his previous band the Toonz. “Basically Wicked Wish and the Toonz got together and formed a band,” Prokuda says. “We each have our own individual audiences, so combined we’re drawing huge crowds.” In their previous bands the musicians have also opened for groups such as Judas Priest, Cheap Trick, Bad Company, Bret Michaels and others.

Repertoire: “Our most popular songs seem to be ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ by Joe Cocker (written by Randy Newman) and ‘Highway Star’ by Deep Purple,” Prokuda says. “That shows the span of our music, also. We play everything from old Beatles and Grand Funk to new Nickelback and Godsmack — a bunch of stuff.”

Hear ’em: Mid Life Crisis has not released an album yet, but Prokuda says that in mid-January “we’re taking a few months off to learn some original material. We’ve worked on a few things but we’ve been so busy because we’ve been playing so much.”

See ’em: Mid Life Crisis plays ushers in 2011 starting at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 31, at Santino’s, 59259 Van Dyke Road, Washington Township. Admission is $25 and includes a buffet, champagne and late-night pizza. Call 586-781-5180 or visit www.santinosbar.com.

Surf ’em: The group is developing its own website but currently promotes itself through Prokuda’s Facebook page.



Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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