By Corey Monsewicz
Every high school kid dreams of being a rock star. Singing to an audience, creating music videos, making the music that they love…
We have our very own rock stars walking the halls of Lake High School. They're not kids, and their true identities may surprise you.
Rick Friedline, whom may appear to be just another English or Journalism teacher, is the lead guitarist in the U2 tribute band known on the local music circuit as “One.” The band’s name is taken from the name of a famous song the actual U2 band plays.
Mr. Friedline’s musical career started more than 10 years ago when he played for the band Ockham’s Razor.
The band split and then, six years ago, a friend of Mr. Friedline’s offered him a position as lead guitarist in a U2 tribute band called One.
Mr. Friedline became the third of two members of Ockham’s Razor to join the band One. Most bands perform multiple songs made famous by multiple artists. One is solely a U2 cover band with a play list of close to 60 songs.
He saw it as was a chance to play music he had enjoyed for a long time.
“I have been listening to U2 since I was a junior in High School,” said Mr. Friedline.
Mr. Friedline was particularly interested in the playing style of the real U2s lead guitarist, more famously known as “The Edge.” The Edge got his name from the sound of his guitar - an edgey sound - or, as Mr. Friedline puts it, “possibly because of the shape of his head..”
The Edge is primarily the rhythm of the band. He leads the sound.
Since then, Mr. Friedline has played in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and New York. Over this past summer alone, One performed 15 shows, and the band has already performed twice this month, something tough to do on such a busy teacher’s schedule.
Mr. Friedline sings backup and helps create and record music videos.
And sometimes, he thinks about what he would ask Edge should he get the opportunity to meet the renowned member of the world-famous U2.
His question: “How did he manage to keep his sanity while being successful?”
Another Lake teacher has also made a music video with a band that performs in a whole different genre than rock and roll.
Ms. Shanna Delaney also teaches speech and English during the school year. But, like Mr. Friedline, she brings music to life with her band. Her band, however, plays Indie and folk music and goes by the name of Bethesda, named for the “pool of healing” in the Old Testament.
Ms. Delaney is the band’s vocalist. One of six members that make up Bethesda, Ms. Delaney is married to the lead guitarist and songwriter. While he creates the music and sets it down on paper, she helps prepare it, putting her own touch on songs by rearranging some sections and adding a few chords.
The band is three years old, and all of its members formerly attended the same church. The church is no longer open, but Bethesda plays on. The band practices at least once a week. Its members have already created two albums: “Love in the Time of Tra La La” and "Dreamtiger."
Ms. Delaney and her band also have already signed 13 contracts, including a few with MTV, the Discovery Channel and TLC. These networks were talking about using some of Bethesda’s songs on shows such as reality TV’s Kardashian shows.
The band already created a video for one of their songs, “DreamTiger.”
Filming locations included a wooded area behind a baseball field and a beach along Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ms. Delaney said. It took three days to film, and like most works of art, two months to edit.
Another Lake teacher-slash-musician performs a different genre of music.
History teacher Mike Hooper plays drums in a church praise band at Trinity Church of the Nazarene. The band features about a dozen musicians, including Mr. Hooper and he has been performing with the band for about 10 years.
Of course, Mr. Hooper has been playing drums for much longer - “Oh, gosh, …35 years,” he said. And after high school, he played with many college bands.
Mr. Hooper recalled that as a child, he was always very fond of drums and his interest really began to soar when he got his own set as a gift.
When he became a high school junior, he traded in the old set for a larger, more professional set of drums.
Mr. Hooper’s favorite drummers are Bonham from Led Zeppelin and Roger Taylor of Queen, rock bands that found heavy success in the 1970s and 80s. Queen and Led Zeppelin are still even popular today although they are now called Classic Rock bands. Mr. Hooper's style of music is greatly influenced by the fact that he likes music and, he said, his love of Led Zeppelin.
Mr. Hooper said that he has never dreamed of fame for himself.
“I just wanted to be a teacher,” he said.
Mr. Chris Wise, who teaches creative writing and English, got his start in a high school band. He started with an accoustic guitar at the age of 16.
But, he said, since everyone else was playing accoustic or electric guitar, he wanted to try something a little different. So Mr. Wise gravitated toward something with a deeper sound, the bass guitar. And it's still his instrument of choice. Mr. Wise plays a Fender P bass.
Mr. Wise has played in a few high school bands, but also helped fill in for other bands. Currently, he’s playing in the band “Whisper Signal.”
Then he met Canton resident Ashley Toussant , a well-known singer in the area. Toussant was recently featured in a Kent State University newspaper in a review of her performance, which was part of the Folk Festival Round Town series.
She has professionally recorded 10 songs on a recent album, and Mr. Wise plays on eight or nine of them.
But Mr. Wise is not just a performer.
“I enjoy playing and writing music,” he said.
Mr. Wise has “20 half-written songs,” he said.
So hopefully, we can look forward to hearing of them one day soon.
Wouldn't it be cool if all of these teachers could get together and
play us a song during the next Pep Rally?