Four young musicians from Glen Ellyn took their talent to a famous Hollywood venue in October to bring classic rock to an audience of music-lovers much older than themselves.
Members of REBELMANN — 14-year-old twins Bryce and Johnathon Mann; younger brother Clayton Mann, 12, and friend Grant Mason, 14 — were contacted by a booking agent to perform at Whiskey a Go Go. Since opening in 1964, the West Hollywood concert venue has hosted rock bands such as The Doors, Guns N’ Roses and Led Zeppelin. The venue’s website calls REBELMANN “the youngest band to ever jam at the legendary Whisky.”
The four boys attend Hadley Junior High in Glen Ellyn and also took the stage this year at the Elbo Room in Chicago, state and county fairs, the Taste of Glen Ellyn and other local bars and restaurants.
Celina Denkins, Whisky a Go Go’s national talent buyer and senior booking agent, told the Glen Ellyn News in September that the boys were chosen to perform at the suggestion of an older band called Death and Taxes. The Mann boys’ mom, Julie Mann, sent the lead singer links to YouTube videos.
“There’s no doubt the youngsters have talent... I love giving young bands an opportunity to perform such a legendary venue,” Denkins said. “It’s always great to have Alice Cooper on the Whisky stage one day and a 12-year-old with a dream to be on Alice Cooper’s level the next.”
The young band started in fall 2009 when Johnathon and Grant were paired together by their guitar instructor for a recital.
Julie Mann, the band’s “momager” said the boys haven’t missed school for their gigs, and she sees the band as an extracurricular activity.
Like many local musicians, they hope to someday be on posters on every kid’s wall and own private jets. But for now, they just dream about getting to stay out past 11 p.m.
“I don’t want to be a geek in business,” said Bryce, the group’s drummer. “I want to be a rock star.”
What’s new with REBELMANN
The band has continued practicing and performing to reach their goal of being rock stars.
They recently returned to the Elbo Room, performed at Bobby McGee’s in Chicago, Riley’s American Cafe in Lombard and other events and venues.
In addition, Shawn Campbell, a Grammy-nominated producer and songwriter, came to Chicago for a week in November to work with REBELMANN. He booked the band at Bricktop Recording in Chicago to work on their first two singles — “Up All Night,” and “Kickin’ the Door,” according to Julie Mann.
Mann said the band’s two singles are set to be released on iTunes on New Year’s Eve.
REBELMANN will start the new year on stage — they’ve been invited back to the Whisky a Go Go to perform on Dec. 31.
The band also said good-bye to one member. Grant Mason, the 14-year-old bassist, left the group.
“He is a big skate/snowboarding kind of guy,” Mann said. “That is his first love.”
Instead, Tim Joyce, a 45-year-old musician from Villa Park, will play bass on REBELMANN's first two singles.