Taken from LIHerald (December 23, 2014)
Live and in Living Colour
Musicians rock RVC School of Rock
by Alex Costello
Michael Rubin, left, played guitar for a live version of the 1988 hit song
“Cult of Personality” with Living Colour bassist Doug Wimbish.
Last Saturday, Wil Calhoun and Doug Wimbish — better known as the drummer and bassist for the band Living Colour — came to the School of Rock, in Rockville Centre, and, well, they rocked.
The pair came to the village because Monica Rubin, the music school’s owner, was dedicating two practice rooms to them.
Calhoun and Wimbish are both accomplished musicians in their own right. In addition to his work with Living Colour, Calhoun has recorded several jazz albums and has played with many other well-known musicians, including B.B. King. Wimbish has played bass for Mick Jagger, Madonna, Billy Idol, Jeff Beck and many more.
The two musicians are friends with Rubin, and were happy to come to the three-month-old school and promote it. “You guys have never forgotten what it’s like to be a kid with an instrument and a dream,” Rubin told them at the dedication.
School of Rock turned the dedication into an event: local bands played, some of them joined by Calhoun and Wimbish. The band Troy opened the show, followed by the Inoculated Canaries — a group that Rubin’s 16-year-old son, Michael, started when he was 13 and attending a different School of Rock. The Inoculated Canaries — all teens — played some covers and original songs before they were joined on stage by Calhoun and Wimbish to play Living Colour’s 1988 hit “Cult of Personality.”
School of Rock owner Monica Rubin introduced Living Colour
drummer Wil Calhoun, left, and bassist Doug Wimbish.
Rubin met Calhoun through Living Colour’s tour manager, who is a friend of hers. When her son was younger, she said, she wanted to inspire him to keep up with his music. “And no matter what I said to him,” she recalled, “it was never enough, because I didn’t have the street cred.”
Calhoun came to Rubin’s house and talked with Michael and his friends about being musicians. They even ate lunch together.
“When we opened up in September, I started to see a lot of the kids coming in, and I felt like they needed an inspiration,” Rubin said. “And Doug and Wil are all about remembering what it’s like to be a kid. And telling them, ‘We’re two boys from the Bronx that didn’t have anything except a dream and a drum or a bass, and look what we’ve done.’”
Rubin said she hoped students would look at the photos of Calhoun and Wimbish on the walls of the new practice rooms and remember meeting them, and realizing that they’re not untouchable — they’re real people.
School of Rock, on Long Beach Road, has grown quickly, and now has 60 students. The practice-room dedication was one of the first events that Rubin wanted to organize. She hopes to put together a Woodstock-like festival at Hempstead Lake State Park in August, and feature lots of local bands.
“We haven’t even scratched the surface of what we want to do,” she said.