By Natasha Mullan
The Family Day long weekend was a frosty one in Ontario, but for 90 minutes on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, things heated up at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort when Band From TV took the stage at the Avalon Ballroom. Comprised of Greg Grunberg (Heroes), Bob Guiney (The Bachelor), James Denton (Desperate Housewives), Scott Grimes (ER), Eddie Matos (General Hospital, All My Children), Adrian Pasdar (Heroes), Jesse Spencer (Chicago Fire) and special guest Stephen Collins (Private Practice), the temperature was quick to rise.
For years, these television stars have proved their talent is not limited to the small screen through many shows just like this. They are good, and I mean REALLY good. Covering material from artists that range from Michael Jackson to the Beatles and Bruno Mars to Queen, there was something for everyone, and the crowd had a blast.
With so much celebrity testosterone on stage, one might expect the show to turn into a battle of egos, but nothing could be farther from the truth. Whether it was Grimes’ soulful rendition of “Walking in Memphis” at the piano or Guiney’s heartfelt version of “Try a Little Tenderness,” Spencer’s impressive expertise on the fiddle or newcomer Matos’ enthusiastic drumming, each member had his moment to shine. It was pretty evident that these guys share a great friendship, a love of music and, most importantly, a passion to use their fame to benefit others.
Each band member supports a charitable organization, and the proceeds from BFTV’s performances and recording sales are donated to causes which include the Talk About It Foundation (started by Grunberg), the SickKids Foundation, the Children’s Hospital L.A., the Conservation Fund, The Indiana University-Kenya Partnership, the Taia Peace Foundation and Lupus L.A.
TV Guide Canada caught up with Guiney (now host of a daily show on SiriusXM) while he was still pumped from the group’s fourth positive run at Fallsview, and he recalled the band’s beginnings, when Grunberg was in attendance at a charity event Guiney sang at. Having recently performed himself at the House of Blues, Grunberg had been contemplating forming a band and approached Guiney about the possibility of playing some music together. Guiney accepted but was uncertain if the plan would actually come together. “I didn’t realize who I was dealing with at the time!” he recalls.
“I showed up, and he had also invited James Denton, who at the time was on Desperate Housewives, and Hugh Laurie, who at the time was on House, and so the four of us got together with a group of Greg’s friends who weren’t on television and just played all night and had a great time.” Within weeks Grunberg booked them their first gig, and Band From TV was born.
Guiney explains, “Our whole tagline for who we are and what we do is we’re familiar faces playing familiar songs for a cause.” Now, eight years later, they have raised approximately $3 million for charity so far.
To learn more about Band From TV and the causes they support, visit their site. Their album Hoggin’ All the Covers, Unleashed is available on Amazon Canada, and if the welcome they’ve received thus far is any indication, I’d venture to guess we can expect to see them performing on this side of the border again next year. I certainly hope so.
In the meantime, catch Jesse Spencer in Chicago Fire Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on Global and NBC, watch for Grunberg to return in Season 2 of Lifetime’s The Client List and Grimes to take a lead role in the upcoming NCIS: LA spinoff.