Strike Up The Band One More Time with A Little Help from My Friends!

Don’t Miss Departure as they return to the Whiskey Warehouse on Saturday, July 22nd.

I never like to write or brag about myself in band articles.  I’ve always felt the subject matter presented is more important.  Since I started The Rust Belt Chronicles my approach has always been this way in all of my business decisions.

However; I am going to tell you this cool little story of mine!

In most of 2010, I was the drummer in Departure which was initiated by Bill Cornell, featuring primarily the music of Journey. During 2010, Classic Rock tunes were added to their repertoire.  All of the bands I’ve ever performed with have featured Bill Cornell on bass and lead vocals on-and-off over the last 45 years.

As I’ve gotten older, you start realizing the best moments of your life.  Those little moments that always made you feel happy, always resulting in a smile along with the warmth of friendship, togetherness and well-being.  Often when those moments disappear, they’re gone forever.

One of my finest moments was performing onstage with my friend, Bill Cornell. During a guitar solo or ending of a song, he would always turn around and face-me behind the drum kit, smile, wink and give his approval with some gesture’s that tell you “we are having a blast“!  That connection within our brotherhood of music is something irreplaceable. Whether in practice or onstage, it’s still there.

Thanks to Tommy Allen and the rest of the band members, I was recently able to perform onstage at the Whiskey Warehouse Bar & Grill with Departure. Two songs were chosen and we settled on “Heaven Is A 4 Letter Word”, by Bad English and “Ah Leah” by Donnie Iris and The Cruisers.

Without touching a drumstick or drum in 7 years I knew I was taking a risk. Due to my physical energy being low, I “air-drummed” a couple days prior to the show. The songs were backed-to-back, so my breathing and stamina would be a possible issue.  “Ah Leah” was nice to play since I originally brought that idea to the band 7 years ago and I am friends with Donnie Iris’s drummer, Kevin Valentine; who also played with  Breathless, Cinderella, The Maxx Band and appears on Kiss recordings.  Kevin was the first drummer I ever met at the old Cleveland Agora in 1976.  He now lives in Los Angeles and continues to work with Donnie Iris and The Cruisers.

I am happy to say it was a total blast and hopefully the band wasn’t embarrassed as I gave it my all!  Those special moments between Bill and I were felt once again and I nearly cried while playing and making eye-contact with him.  We may never pass this way again Bill.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  As always, “Band Mom”, Barb Cornell (Bill’s Mother), and his sister, Wendy Roberts were present as was Bill’s Wife, Kizzie Olsen Cornell, along with Charlie Kefalles’s wife.  Barb Cornell has always been my “Band Mom” since we first met.  Her belief and support is second to none!

To perform onstage with Charlie Keffalas is a dream come true. I’ve always considered him the finest guitarist of the Mansfield area for 45 years!  Drummer, Tommy Allen is a timekeeper’s dream with precision of his eclectic percussion skills and incredible backing vocals.  I was honored to have sit on the throne and play your beautiful DW Drums!  My ex-bandmate, Herman ‘Kid’ Kline is the best keyboardist I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. His ability to cover keyboards and guitar fluently is  as solid as a rock!  At band practices his well-trained ear gives him the ability to break-down the harmonic pitches immaculately. Herman has a gift!

Photo Gallery.

It was an honor to perform with Departure again and I’ve come full-circle in life.

Erica M. Lenhoff photographed my appearance from the stage.  Unbeknownst to me, Nita Rindengan began video recording some of the performance; which Nita suggested we use in an upcoming episode of a Rock Lines interview with me.   That should be a interesting to develop.  Departure logically will be included in the episode promoting their wonderful band.

My heartfelt thanks to all mentioned above!  Being surrounded by some friendships that go back 45 years is an honor alone.  It doesn’t get any better than this.

And out of this story comes another surprise to be announced shortly with a connection to The Rust Belt Chronicles! Stay tune for the details. Here’s a hint: Her name is mentioned twice in Bruce Springsteen’s smash hit “Born To Run”.

Great things have happen, when you least expect it.

Keep Rockin’ and Don’t Stop Believin’!


Jim Carver

CEO/Founder – The Rust Belt




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Jim Carver About Jim Carver

Jim Carver is the President of The Rust Belt Chronicles.

In 2004, Jim graduated from North Central State College with a degree in Business Information Technology. Jim developed "Rock Lines" news report online in 2010.After a trial-run of The Rust Belt Chronicles in April of 2013, Jim decided to make his dream a reality in 2014 by re-launching The Rust Belt Chronicles.

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