Scheff’s tribute nights at the Office in North Park are “pure magic.”
“When you have members of Get Back Loretta, Silent Comedy, Okapi Sun, Transfer, and the Styletones playing and singing together, it becomes pure magic.”
Lauren Scheff phones the Reader from his North County home to talk abut his latest project: Under Cover at the Office, a string of mostly rock-and-roll tribute shows (one night featured Willie Nelson’s music) staged at the Office in North Park on the last Monday of the month. Each such performance thus far has been powered by an all-star lineup of local musicians.
“We even invited Mike Halloran to play bass on a few songs for the Bowie tribute night.” How are the 91X deejay’s musical skills? “He’s a monster.”
- Monday, June 30, 2014, 8 p.m.
3936 30th Street,
The Beatles Under Cover, scheduled for June 30, lists guest singers Matt Molarius of Transfer, Get Back Loretta’s Kevin Martin, Bart Mendoza from True Stories, Shelbi Bennett of Midnight Pine, Jeremiah and Joshua Zimmerman, and Big Mountain’s Quino. “The ultimate goal,” Scheff says, “is to create a night that is magical and spontaneous, one where we can experience music with each other and have that connection with the audience in the way we all did as kids.”
The idea for the series began with Office manager Julie Mossa and Silent Comedy’s Jeremiah Zimmerman. “I kind of fell into it,” Scheff says, “and then producing it fell into my lap.” He functions as the series musical director. “I pick the songs and the musician participants.”
He is more than pleased with the finished product. “One thing I took away from the last show [a tribute to David Bowie] was that the only time I saw cell phones out was to take video or photos,” he says. “No one was shoe-gazing or texting. They were all smiling, dancing, and singing.”
Scheff was born into a family of bass players. His grandfather played bass for Bing Crosby. His father played bass for Elvis Presley. His older brother Jason plays bass in Chicago. Lauren, 41, is likewise a bassist and a producer-songwriter. “Being the youngest, yeah, it was tough to deal with as a kid. No one gave anyone a free pass. There were no handouts.” Meaning he had to work harder as a fledgling musician? “Yeah. I had to save up to get my first bass guitar, but when I got it I was really proud I’d accomplished something.” His dad did loan him an amp, though. It was the same one he’d taken on the road with Elvis. Does Scheff still have it? “Oh, hell yes.”