My story: I caught the flu for the first time during 2016 and was bedridden for a week. While I laid there helpless, I thought about what I as meant to do on this earth. What did I really want to leave as a legacy for my life and work on this planet?
Personally, I've always given life everything I had, so I had no real regrets there. However, I've always been troubled about the lack of funding for Music and Arts programs.
I was also worried about the future of live music. Great touring gigs were hard to come by and it seemed that musicians (myself included) were becoming complacent, playing either the same songs over and over, or wedding songs that we had to play or jazzy music that wasn't always appreciated, understood or supported, just to make a living. Both musicians and audiences were losing interest. The music business that I so loved was becoming too predictable and was showing signs of creative suffrage. I realized that I was becoming just another spectator, sitting back and watching it drown as it begged us all to do something drastic to save it.
Then, I ran across a quote from Gandhi that essentially said, "Become the change that you wish to see in the world."
So, I decided to create an All-Star band (comprised of 12 of the best musicians/singers in the area, and in the world I believe.) My idea was to unite them all into one "super-group" to play the best music, for the best cause. We'd play to an audience that was starving to hear great music from a great live band again, while championing the need for Arts and Music funding. This could be a win-win for everybody.
I wanted the band to be ethnically diverse and up for the challenge to play ANY style of music. To hook in our audience, I wanted to play our twist on recognizable songs from recognizable artists, but choosing predominantly the popular songs that most bands would never try to play. From Prince to The Beatles, Bob Marley to the horn bands, Old School, New School, Rap to Rock to Jazz to Gospel to Latin and everything in between; if it was good music and it was fun to play, we were gonna play it! I wanted this to be a hard driving band that people would love to go out to see over and over again.
I named the band, "Bill Jolly's Hard Drive All-Stars." Collectively, the musicians and singers in the band have played behind a literal hard drive full of recordings, concert dates and a "Who's Who" of famous artists in the music, film and entertainment industries.
We've come together now for a purpose; to elevate the music and to help raise money and awareness for the Arts and Music programs that we all came up from. "The BEST musicians, playing the BEST music, for the BEST cause!"
See Bill's former Hard Drive Band archives from 2004 below: