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Fighting Gravity (band)

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Title: Fighting Gravity (band)  
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Subject: Thursday at the Square, Richmond, Virginia
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Fighting Gravity (band)

Fighting Gravity
Origin Richmond, Virginia, Virginia, United States
Genres Ska, Pop, Rock
Years active 1985–2009
Labels BOB Records, Mercury Records, Q Records

Fighting Gravity was a music group based out of Richmond, Virginia. Originally a ska band called Boy O Boy, Fighting Gravity has incorporated a variety of music into their style, including reggae, rock, and pop. Fighting Gravity was formed while its original members were attending Virginia Tech.[1] Originally, the band consisted of guitarist David "Tree" Triano, bassist/vocalist David Peterson, keyboardist Eric Lawson, trumpeter Jim Pennington, trombonist Chris Leitch, and drummer Mike Boyd. In 1995, Pennington departed and was replaced by saxophonist Karl von Klein. In 1996, Chris Leitch departed and was replaced by trombonist/percussionist John Utley. In 1997, Karl von Klein departed, replaced by saxophonist Mike Ghegan. In 1999, Ghegan departed, replaced by trombonist/turntablist Stefan Demetriadis. Guitarist Michael Sauri replaced a departed Triano in 2000. In 2001, a rotation of horns brought saxophonist Kevin Tyser into the section. The horns were phased out in 2003-2004.[2] Other former members include guitarists Philippe Herndon, Sinakone Phrakhansa and Rich Stine.[3] As of 2007, the band has three core members: Schiavone McGee, David Peterson and Mike Boyd.[2]

In the late 1990s, Fighting Gravity was the subject of a five page article in Rolling Stone magazine by senior editor David Wild as part of the summer college issue.

Fighting Gravity has sold more than 300,000 albums and performed before more than 1,000,000 people in the United States and abroad, including locales such as Tokyo and Honduras,[4] and has performed two USO tours overseas for United States troops. Fighting Gravity is supported by 25,000 email subscribers and 1,500 street team members.[5]

The band has maintained a sizeable East Coast concert following [6] and released its newest album, Blue Sky and Black, in 2006. Fighting Gravity's other albums include: Under the Radar (Live acoustic album)(2001), Flood Zone (Live album) (2000), Hello Cleveland (Live Album) (1999), You and Everybody Else (1998), Everywhere and In Between ( Album) (1998), Forever=One Day (1996), No Stopping, No Standing (1994), Bobsled (1992), Shish-ska-BOB (1992), and Boy O Boy O Boy (1991).

In 2007, Fighting Gravity, along with Dave Matthews Band, Barenaked Ladies, Guster, and O.A.R., took part in the IZStyle Winter Tour, a series of concerts aimed at raising awareness of alternative and renewable energy sources.[2]

In late 2003/early 2004 Fighting Gravity consciously decided to change their musical style. The band released the horn section and changed its songwriting style to a more guitar driven rock. The change was welcome among most, but had a few skeptics.

The band is unofficially broken up.[7]

Since the breakup, Mike Boyd took the position as the Director of Performing Arts at the Collegiate School in Richmond, VA [8]

Schiavone McGee is currently touring in support of a solo CD released in October 2010 entitled My Only Secret.

Rich Stine went on to form and play in Elevator to Space and toured with Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers for a short time before moving on to music production and engineering.[9]

Philippe Herndon founded Caroline Guitar Company, an effects pedal company. Their first pedal, the Wave Cannon™ distortion, was released in 2010.[10]

Sinakone Phrakhansa moved to New York to pursue his interest in the arts. He currently plans to start a music publishing & licensing agency as well as studying photography.[11]

Dave Peterson is promoting concert series throughout Virginia with Seven Hills Presents.[12]

Karl von Klein is currently the jazz and orchestra instructor at the Maggie L. Walker Governor's School in Richmond, Virginia.[13] Jim Pennington was the band director at Freeman High School and is now the band director at Deep Run High School.

Michael Sauri is one of the guitar players in Schiavone McGee's band and he owns a home remodeling contracting company called Tri-Vista in Arlington, VA.[14]


  1. ^ Allmusic
  2. ^ a b c Welcome to the Fighting Gravity Website
  3. ^ Welcome to the All come out to play at Lake Taylor Music Festival
  4. ^ - Fighting Gravity - RICHMOND, US - Rock / Alternative / Pop Punk -
  5. ^ StarPolish Current Issues: Intelligent Dialogue From Music Industry Professionals and Artists
  6. ^ The Washington Post, December 15, 2006
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ [4]
  11. ^ [5]
  12. ^ [6]
  13. ^ Fine Arts Faculty
  14. ^ Sauri, Michael (28 March 2010). "First Person Singular: Home contractor Michael Sauri of TriVistaUSA". The Washington Post Magaizine (The Washington Post. Co.). Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
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