Bath contractor forms 11-piece rock band

by Laura Bednar                          

When it came out in conversation that Bath resident John Troike plays the drums and his friend plays the trombone, their initial response was typical of musicians: Let’s start a band. What started as a chat between two friends on a golf course evolved into a classic rock cover band called “Old Daze.”

Troike, owner of Troike Building Corporation in Bath, said his parents saw his interest in playing drums when he was 10. He took lessons and played in the school band but performing slowed when he had children. The drums went into basement storage for 15 years until Troike’s son showed an interest in playing. Over the past 10 years, Troike has gotten back into playing.

During a golf game with his friend Don Albainy, Troike said  they found out about each other’s musical abilities. “We both always wanted to start a band,” Troike said.

The first few recruits were friends, who reached out to their musician friends and so on. This resulted in an 11-piece band consisting of two guitars, one bass guitar, a trumpet, trombone, tenor saxophone, keyboard, drummer, a lead vocalist and two female backup singers.

“People know each other in the music business better than I thought,” said Troike.

Members come from cities across Northeast Ohio, including North Canton, Brecksville, Avon, Cuyahoga Falls, Seven Hills and Northfield.

Putting the band together has been a three-year process: choosing songs and practicing, according to Troike. He said rehearsals are sporadic but typically occur once or twice a week in his basement, which he soundproofed. Some sections practice independently before coming together as a whole.

Old Daze had its first performance on July 17 at Conrad Botzum Farm in Akron, open only to friends and family. The band played in an 1800s-style barn to dozens of people sitting in the wings or on the covered porch.

The 22-song set list included “My Old School” by Steely Dan, “Long Train Running” by the Doobie Brothers, “Don’t Ask me No Questions” by Lynyrd Skynyrd, and the group ended the concert with “25 or 6 to 4” by Chicago.

Concert attendee Dan Hanlan said, “It’s nice having the horns. It was a good debut.”

Troike said the band wanted to control the first concert by choosing the venue and organizing the performance details.

“We couldn’t ask to play at a venue because no one ever heard of us,” said Troike.

A videographer recorded the performance as a demo tape to send as an audition tape. Troike said the band is interested in playing four or five times a year, maybe more depending on the size of venue and distance.

Troike said he’d like to see the band play at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron. ∞