By Robert Mills
Will Crum refuses to stop rocking – at least for a year anyway. The Berkeley guitarist and rock singer pledged to play one guerrilla rock show per day for 365 days.
Twenty-five days in, Crum, alongside drummer Danny Hodge, is on track with his goal. The rockers play obscure venues, plugging amplifiers into outdoor outlets and sometimes sneaking into buildings to borrow power.
“We’ve played at an Ikea or Rite Aid and other places,” Crum said. “We’ve crashed the San Francisco Art Institute or Berkeley University [sic] or anywhere that’s an interesting place to have music.”
Crum posts all of his shows to his Facebook page the next day. His friend Joe W. Shapiro and his girlfriend Jean McCloskey help capture the footage.
There are only a few rules to the experiment: play one show per day, play random places and play without a generator.
“We find a place we want, then we always find a power outlet,” Crum said. “Sometimes there’s one on a roof and we have to climb up there and do it.”
On Thursday, Crum and crew traveled southbound by car toward Los Angeles where they planned to crash the X-Games.
“We’re going to infiltrate it,” he said. “We took a photo of someone with a pass and made passes. The thrill of this is the infiltration of it.”
Some crowds appreciate Crum’s infiltrations. The crew recently crashed an open mike night at The Starry Plough Pub on Wednesday. Members of the audience got up and danced along. While jamming out in front of Beads & Rocks on Telegraph Avenue, Crum and Hodge received some entertaining accompaniment.
“That was the Hare Krishnas,” Crum said. “They came down from their temple. They started walking toward us, and we thought it was going to be this big face off. They came up and started rocking out with us.
“It was really cool. The dude got up and did some singing like he was in the Sex Pistols. They did the rest of the show with us.”
Other venues aren’t as guerrilla-rock friendly. Workers at the Apple Store in Emeryville shut down the band seconds into their show. Video footage of an Urban Outfitters infiltration was pulled from Crum’s YouTube page.
“No one’s really done anything like this so people don’t know how to react,” Crum said. “People like rock ’n’ roll, surprisingly. Even though it’s not allowed, people like it. Cops don’t do anything because they have better things to do than shut down a cool rock ’n’ roll band.”
Crum has no plans to break the year-long challenge. No stress or sickness will keep the two from jamming.
“My drummer has a cold right now,” Crum said. “You know, with rock ’n’ roll, we could have the worst pneumonia, but playing just makes you feel better. We wanna do it every day, and I’m bummed when we’re not doing it.”