Even in death, Stephen Hawking's impact on the world is still felt. His work has and will only continue to inspire some of the world's greatest minds to continue to pursue and achieve ever-greater heights, but it is his spirit that will truly live on forever. As much as his work united those across borders, it was his indomitable attitude in the face of overwhelming odds that brought together those of us from seemingly disparate backgrounds.
Such was the curious case a few days ago when members of Jukebox the Ghost
awoke one morning to find that their six degrees of separation from legendary Brit rockers The Beatles had grown a bit shorter. Less than a week ago, vocalist and guitarist Tommy Siegel, who also works on the side as a cartoonist, posted a heartfelt tribute to the late, great physicist, never imagining that in only a few short hours it would be picked up and reposted by none other than The Beatles' own Ringo Starr. Naturally, as you can see above, Siegel and the rest of the band appropriately freaked out a bit.
(And then proceeded to freak out a little bit more.)
It's one of those feel good tales that you always hear about, but never imagine actually coming true, and it was all thanks to the effect that Stephen Hawking had in all of our lives. Yet it isn't, nor should it be, just a 15-minutes-of-fame moment for Jukebox the Ghost. As big a moment as it is for the band, it's only another highlight of their storied 15-year career.
Few bands or artists can hold the claim to having survived and thrived for over 15 years, and in Jukebox's case, it's all thanks to their indelible bond as friends and musicians. Their chemistry on stage and in the studio is matched only by the cohesiveness of their friendship behind the scenes, and it's clear after following them for even only a short while that they've figured out the key for making it in the long haul.
It's the chemistry and sense of unity that first drew us to Jukebox years ago, well, that and their stellar commitment to "making piano rock gr8 since 1903", as they put it. Playing power pop-rock with an extra emphasis on the "power" part, the band has been churning out emphatic and cathartic jams since the word "go", and in 2014 they grabbed our love and attention so much that we just had to have them in for a Bands and Brews Session.
The band has been working their tails off in the interim, dropping their self-titled shortly after the first session, with their first album in four years time now coming later this month. Off to the Races
promises to pick up right where the band left off and then some, and you can hear it in their first single, "Everybody's Lonely". Bombastic and stirring, it cuts up electro-pop with classic rock sensibilities, and as the band states in their bio, plenty of piano riffage.
All in all it promises to be the perfect way to cap off fifteen years as a band, and most importantly, to celebrate the connections made and lives inspired through one little Stephen Hawking cartoon.
Off to the Races
is out March 30.