Author: Joshua Durando
Today’s post is the first of a series I will be calling “A Day in the Life”. The motivation for this series came while I was traveling to New York at the end of last semester for Engaging Minds. While speaking with a colleague they mentioned someone’s name who I had never met before. If we are being honest, I wasn’t even sure I had heard their name before. “Who is that?” I asked, half expecting them to start with something like “You wouldn’t know them, but…” That is not what I got, however. This name, the name I thought I had a good reason for never having heard before, belonged to a person at Penn – a colleague in DAR. It struck me then, that even after a year, I had a lot to learn. I still had people to meet and learn about. I spent the rest of the day casually thinking about how I could network more with my colleagues. I thought about going to coffee, maybe grabbing lunch – I started to get excited about who I might meet and what I might learn about them. That was the moment it really hit me. What exactly would I learn about them? How many people that I met with would have a cool hobby or a second life outside of what they do at Penn? Boom. The idea was born. Instead of wondering if these cool hidden gems about their lives would just pop up into my day-to-day conversations with them, I would just start asking. My hope is that through my networking and learning, I’ll be able to give you, our alumni and friends, an inside look at some of the great people who work in DAR.
For my first profile I didn’t have to go too far – his office is right across the hall! Doug Eagar is an IT Support Specialist in DAR. In addition to being the awesome person who sets my computer straight when it decides it wants to get a little sassy with me, or bringing my internet back to life after it decides to say “Bye Josh! See ya! Bye!” Doug also plays in a band. That’s right folks, a rock star who saves the internet. He’s basically a superhero and he’s right here with us at Penn. I hope you enjoy learning more about Doug as much as I did!
Q: When did you first start playing music? Has it always been a hobby of yours?
A: It first became a hobby in the 7th grade and after I graduated high school I officially started playing with other musicians.
Q: What instrument do you play?
A: Drums and most things that are percussion related
Q: What is your band’s name? Any fun stories about how you came up with it?
A: Pulp Groove – the name is more a label of what we are doing. We play covers but we try to keep it upbeat and always have the crowd dancing. We have had much more interesting names in the past such as Four Stories High, Cow Poetry and Toxic Toast.
Q: How did you get involved with the band you are in now? How long have you been playing with them?
A: In 1996 I met a few guys and we had an original band named Mellon’s Mockingbird. We played the Philly scene for a few years before calling it quits. One of the guys in that band is now the guitarist in Pulp Groove so I have been with him for over 15 years. We have a bass player that has been with us for just over two years and we just added a keyboard player as of two days ago.
Q: How many gigs do you play a month?
A: We average one or two, but the summer gets a little busier and we sometimes play three to four a month.
Q: If you could open for any band, play any stadium, play at any event, what would your dream gig be?
A: I’ve always wanted to play Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado. I hear the acoustics are great and it would be so awesome to play in front of thousands of people and be a part of the landscape like that.
Q: If people wanted to catch a show, where could they most likely find you?
A: We only have one place that we have been playing regularly for the past 10 years and that is Duke’s in Springfield. It’s a great local tavern with great music and friendly people. We try to stay with that theme though. We cater to local venues where music is enjoyed and people just go out to have a good time. We also play benefits about two or three times a year as well as a few private parties.
Q: Other than your own band, who are some of your favorites/who are you inspired by?
A: I’m always inspired by bands that have remained a solid unit over a period of time such as U2. One of the hardest things to find are like minded musicians that you can stay with and eventually call family. There are not a lot of bands you can say that about.
Q: Do you have any other interesting hobbies?
A: My other passions are astronomy and reading and once the warm weather hits I ride my motorcycle. Of course my number one love is my family – my daughter and especially my wife. Without the support of her I could not do what I love. Even though music for me is part time it does take up plenty of time and a lot of Saturday nights. It means so much to me that she understands what a huge part of my life this band is. She truly is an amazing woman.
Final Fun Fact: Doug’s wife, Susan, also works at Penn. She is a member of the Programs and Special Events team (along with me and 9 others) and I can confirm that she is pretty great.