The Tech Exec Cover Bands Of Silicon Valley

The dual lives of the Bay Area’s elite.

When Silicon Valley’s biggest tech executives and investors aren’t #disrupting, they like to have themselves a little fun. Some people like to read a book or play some pickup basketball to burn off steam. Members of the Bay Area’s elite have latched onto their own peculiar hobby: forming dad rock cover bands.

A rather surprising number of investors, engineers, and top-level executives from startups and companies like Facebook (Hi, Randi Zuckerberg!), Google, and Pandora belong to a cover band (or two). They play private gigs and charity events around the Bay, like Silicon Valley Rocks, which raises money for a non-profit promoting music education in schools.

Below, we round up some of the most most, uh, interesting ones.

1. The iTunes-Loving ’70s Rock Maestros: Cover Flow

Pitch: “By day we work in Silicon Valley. By night we rock.”

What they cover: “80s, 90s, and rock-infused current pop”

Members:
Raj Kapoor, vocals
Day job: CEO and co-founder of FitMob, VC, o-founder and ex-CEO of Snapfish

Philip Kaplan, drums
Day job: Co-founder of Blippy, creator of Fucked Company

Tim Chang, bass
Day job: Managing Director at Mayfield Fund

Ethan Beard, guitar
Day job: Entrepreneur in Residence at Greylock Partners, former Director of the Facebook Developer Network

Prashant Fuloria, guitar
Day job: Chief Product Officer at Flurry

Kristian Segerstrale, keyboards
Day job: Entrepreneur/Investor at Initial Capital, co-founder of Playfish

Pangua Her, vocals
Day job: UI/UX Talent Manager for UX Talent, former recruiter at Yelp

Here’s Cover Flow playing Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” at Vator Splash, a startup competition, in 2010:

Look at them ROCK.

2. Cover Flow’s EDM-loving little sister: Rainbow Party

Pixilated Photo Booth / Via pixilatedphotobooth.com

Pitch: “Rainbow Party is an experimental fusion of live EDM, rock, and pop designed to get you dancing.”

What they cover: Everything from electro and dubstep to trap – David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Tiesto, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, and top 40 favorites.

Members:
Christina Dunham
Day job: SEO/Content Strategy and Marketing Automation Consultant at Fitmob, former VP of Marketing & Business Development at Froomz

Jack Dunham
Day job: Senior engineer at Fitmob. Former developer at BranchOut, Postini/Google

Plus Cover Flow’s Kristian Segerstale, Pangfua Her, Philip Kaplan, and Tim Chang

Here’s a bunch of CEOs and senior execs performing Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling” and Em and RiRi’s “The Monster”:

3. The Groovy Geeks: The Funkery

 

Pitch: “Where Funk is Made! Bay Area Players come together with a diverse, funky groove”

What they cover: funk, jam band, blues— Funky Meters, Donny Hathaway, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Eric Lindell, Galactic, The Crusaders, Jimmy Herring, Dynamic

Members:
Steve Ginsberg, bass and vocals
Day job: Chief Information Officer of Pandora

Darian Gray, drums
Day job: Pandora Music Analyst

Dave Pierce, keys and vocals
Day job:VP Engineering at Stand Sure Systems

Greg Studley, guitar and vocals
Day job: Musician and music instructor

Glenn McNulty, saxophone

John Nava , congas, percussion, and vocals

An actually pretty impressive cover of Donny Hathaway’s “Voices Inside (Everything Is Everything)”:

4. The Emo Facebook Techies: South Hero

 

Pitch: “We got a fever and the only prescription is more rock.”

What they cover: Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, Soundgarden

Members:
Eric Zamore, vocals and guitar
Day job: Software Engineer at Facebook

Pete Hunt, guitar and vocals
Day job: “Web hacker” at Facebook, engineering manager at Instagram

Jeff Wieland, bass and vocals
Day job: Project Manager at Facebook

Eric Giovanola, drums and vocals
Day job: Software Engineer at Facebook

Here they are covering Weezer’s “My Name Is Jonas”:

5. The Ever-Rotating Nerd Haven: Open Source Band

Pitch: “Open Source Band performs every year at Silicon Valley Rocks and always welcomes new performers.”

What they cover: rock, pop; Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bauhuas, Muse, The Police, Foo Fighters

Members:
Alison Murdock, vocals
Day job: VP of business development at GigaOM, founder of Silicon Valley Rocks

Larry Marcus, drums
Day job: Sprout stage VC at Walden Venture Capital, early investor/director at digital media companies including Pandora and SoundHound

Moniz Franco, vocals
Day job: Co-owner of a consulting firm

Matt Jervis, vocals
Day job: Founder and Innovation Consultant at Make It Creativity, adjunct professor at Academy of Art University

Greta Boesel, vocals
Day job: Content Manager at Grayling PR, former document archivist at UCSF

Michael Shaw, guitar
Day job: Estimator for Paris Printing

Greg Studley, guitar
Day job: Music teacher

Andrew Stess, bass
Day job: Director at LyricFind

Open Source takes on Lorde’s “Royals” at Silicon Valley Rocks 2013:

6. The Facebook Mafia: Feedbomb

 

Pitch: “Cover band playing ’70s to Gaga consisting of current and former Facebook employees available for private parties.”

What they cover: Bon Jovi, Green Day, Guns ‘N Roses, Jet, Journey, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer
Evanescence, Gloria Gaynor, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Madonna, No Doubt

Members:
Randi Zuckerberg, vocals
Day job: Founder/CEO of Zuckerberg Media, former Director of Market Development and Spokeswoman for Facebook

Andy Barton, vocals
Day job: Independent tech recruiting consultant, former recruiter for Quora, Facebook, and Google

Pete Hunt, guitar
Day job: “Web hacker” at Facebook, engineering manager at Instagram. Also member of South Hero.

Robert Johnson, keyboard
Day job: Chief Technology Officer at Interana, former Director of Engineering at Facebook

David Ebersman, bass
Day job: Chief Financial Officer at Facebook

Sean Chaffin (drums, vocals)
Day job: Intellectual Property Principal at Facebook

Maybe the pièce de résistance when it comes to SV cover bands, here’s Feedbomb’s take on Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit in 2012: “Fund Me Maybe”:

And because it’s JUST that horrible/good/real, here are the lyrics:


I just dropped out of Cornell
told all my teachers, “Oh well”
Took Peter Thiel’s startup deal
and now I’m on my way
Airbnb for a couch
I’m not a programming slouch
This Uber’s driver a grouch
but still I’m on my way

Tumblr blog for postin’
Amazon for hostin’
Philz Coffee roastin’
Where you think you’re going, angel?

Hey, I just launched this
This is crazy
So, here’s my website
So fund me maybe?

Hey I just launched this
My idea’s crazy
But heres’s my website
So fund me maybe?

Paul Graham just looked at my deck
Said all my slides were a wreck
And then he said, “What the heck?”
And now I’m in YC

An Android dev from the G
A product guy from FB
Some dude just cold emailed me
His name was Ron Conway

5-star app rating
TechCrunch comment hating
D Conference present-ating
Now it’s time for liquidating!

Hey I just launched this
My idea’s crazy
But heres’s my website
So fund me maybe?

Hey I just launched this
My idea’s crazy
But heres’s my startup
So fund me maybe?

Before you came in the round
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so so bad

Before you came in the round
I missed you so bad
I missed you so bad
I missed you so so bad

Hey I just launched this
My idea’s crazy
But heres’s my startup
So fund me maybe?

Oh, Silicon Valley. You do you, boo.

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