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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jul. 22, 2013 5 years ago

Middle-aged and still rocking: Local band does it "for the love of music'

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Joe LaTorre, Steve Farmer and David Ascik perform monthly as Every Other Thursday, at local beach bars.

BY WAYNE GRANT | CONTRIBUTING WRITER

When Ormond Beach residents Joe LaTorre, Steve Farmer and David Ascik first formed their band, they went by the name Mid-Life Crisis. And although they eventually rebranded to become Every Other Thursday, the sentiment still applies.

Covering Led Zeppelin on acoustic guitars last week at the Beach Bucket Bar and Grill, 867 S. Atlantic Ave., the three friends were obviously having a good time. They play this venue and others monthly, in addition to several charity events.

Two amplified acoustic guitars and a singer, the trio plays music from The Beatles to Pearl Jam, and they have a loyal following, according to Megan Ross, bar manager at the Beach Bucket.

“People come out to hear them and there is a lot of interaction with the crowd,” she said.

Resident Richard Brown, who was watching in the crowd, agreed.

“They’re a good band,” he said. “They’re fun. It’s the perfect vibe for a beachside watering hole.”

LaTorre, the band’s singer, works by day as a human resources consultant, and before joining the band, he had only previously sung in the shower. But now, he said, the band keeps him connected to music and provides a way of blowing off steam.

Playing rock music on acoustic guitars works, he added, because a good song can be interpreted many different ways.

“The acoustic sound is pure,” he said. “The ‘(MTV) Unplugged’ TV show was our inspiration.”

Farmer, guitarist and senior vice president at Brown and Brown Insurance, said that prior to joining the band, he had only played guitar in his bedroom.

“We don’t do this for the money,” he said. “We do this for the love of music.”

LaTorre and Farmer formed the band about 10 years ago after playing at a party. Someone in the crowd told them they sounded good enough to perform in public, so they started practicing.

Their current name sprang from their habit of practicing every other Thursday, LaTorre said, where they “write songs, learn new stuff and just have a good time.” They dropped the Mid-Life Crisis moniker after finding out it was owned by another band.

Ascik, the group's token 23 years old, joined the band when guitarist Todd Graff quit a few years back. Ascik knew LaTorre and Farmer and had even played with them on occasion, the two being friends of his parents.

“We figured since he was working in a real day job, he could join our band,” Farmer said.

But Ascik, who works as a financial analyst at Halifax Media Group, doesn't see the age difference as a problem in selecting songs to play.

“I probably like older stuff than they do,” he said. “I like to go back to the '60s and '70s.”

He added that being in the band is a good way to make a little extra beer money. And it's fun, he said; none of the band members “take it too seriously.”

Coworkers, friends and family come out, too, to get in on the trio's hobby.

Farmer’s wife, Carol, who stood by the stage with her teenage children, said she enjoys her husband’s involvement with the band.

“I love it,” she said. “Of all the hobbies this is the best one. I get to come out and have fun.”

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