Eastside grads follow own paths before forming band
John Bishop Park will be rocking June 14 when These Guys Live take the stage to kick of the 2008 concert in the park series.
Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett
These Guys Live will be performing June 14 at John Bishop Park 6-8 p.m. Pictured left to right are Fletch Sears, Mike Keller, Brian Leinheuser, Michael Doctor and Joe Holton. Each grew up on the east side of Columbus. Sears, Keller and Holton graduated from Whitehall Yearling High School, Doctor from Walnut Ridge and Leinheuser from Bishop Hartley.
The band's versatile play list includes sounds of AC/DC, Aerosmith, Journey, Bon Jovi, Foreigner, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, to name a few.
The group consists of five seasoned and versatile musicians who all hail from Whitehall and east Columbus.
Mike Keller, Fletch Sears and Joe Holton graduated from Whitehall Yearling High School in 1972, 1974 and 1976, respectively. They have known each other since they were kids. Michael Doctor graduated from Walnut Ridge High School in 1971 and Brian Leinheuser graduated from Bishop Hartley High School in 1976.
Doctor is lead vocalist, and has been performing for 40 years. He spent over ten years as lead singer for Columbus-based rock band Felony before retiring from singing in 1982.
He returned to performing in 2003 to sing with soprano Stephanie Iannarino on her CD, Debut, which she recorded at 16 years old.
He has also performed in clubs all over Ohio, and several Mrs. Ohio pageants. Doctor is retired from the City of Westerville where he was a construction manager. He now is a part-time consultant for EMH&T engineers.
Joe Holton, on drums and vocals, is a professional piano technician, and has been tuning, repairing and rebuilding pianos for 28 years. He owns and operates Holton Piano Service, founded by his dad, John, almost 40 years ago.
He's been a musician since the early 1980s. Holton lived in New York for 10 years, and had the privilege of working for a company that tuned pianos for the stars when they performed in large venues such as Carnegie Hall.
He said that it was exciting, and an honor when musical icons requested his services. He worked with Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Elton John, and many others.
He recalled one time being backstage with GQ magazine and Phil Collins. He shared that he got to see the best performances when the stars were practicing and getting angry with themselves when they made mistakes.
He returned to Whitehall in 1997 to take over the family business when his dad died.
Mike Keller, lead guitarist, began playing with local bands in the mid 1970s. Much of the past 20 years has been spent playing all original music with local singer-songwriters Bill Canonico and Alison Kitchen. He is on Kitchen's CD, Mercy Dancing.
He played in the band Collection at high school and fraternity parties. After high school everyone went their separate ways. He is an accountant and does graphic design for an engineering support service firm.
Brian Leinheuser, keyboards and vocals, has played in bands since the mid 1980s. He was with Paydirt from 1986-1991. He then joined a duo that turned into a trio called Remnants.
He was invited to jam with Sears and Holton for about four years. He played with Holiday Parker Band for another year, and then reunited with his friends to form Guys. He also played in another band, Working Stiffs. He is a project manager for Nationwide Insurance.
Fletch Sears, bass guitar and vocals, started playing in bands as a kid in the 1960s He spent about a year on the road in the 1980s traveling around the southern United States.
He, too, lived for awhile in New York. He works in industrial electrical maintenance, specifically, power measurement equipment.
All five said that when they got together, they just clicked, and truly enjoy performing together at clubs, parks and private parties.
They joked that being in this band is their mid-life crisis, and they are loving it.
Prior to the Whitehall show, they will also be appearing at Gatsby's in Gahanna June 6, and Alum Creek Amphitheater in Westerville on June 8.
They are also scheduled on June 20 at Signatures in Gahanna and July 2 at Quaker Steak and Lube Bike Night.
To check out more performance dates, or to contact them, log on to www.theseguyslive.com.
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