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Published:August 30th, 2016 21:33 EST
We should have purchased lottery tickets

We should have purchased lottery tickets

By SOP newswire2

Really. Think about it. What are the odds that 5 musicians, all struggling with medical issues, find each other through pure and unadulterated serendipity, and make fantastic music? A million to one? Perhaps even greater if you gave it some thought, or better yet have Stephen Hawkings walk you through the concept of order through universal chaos, with some string theory thrown in for good measure. (Yes, we should have purchased lottery tickets) So in lies the story of the modern rock band Mildly Medicated, who for some reason that only the universe can explain, defied all the odds.

About 5 years ago, friends Steve Freed and Rocky Basile, a guitarist and drummer respectively, decide they wanted to form a band. Steve has type 1 diabetes, and Rocky has a malfunctioning pituitary which caused his growth velocity to drop to zero. Steve has his insulin, and Rocky`s parents spent months agonizing over whether to break his legs and bone graft parts of his hip, or to try human growth hormone therapy, which at $5,000 a month caused a massive battle with their insurance company. Telling your son he is destined to be a little person, peaking a 4 foot 2, is actually less traumatic than wrestling dollars out of an insurance company that you`ve been paying your hard earned money for years, but when you need it, there is no room at the inn, per say. In the end, Rocky got his treatments, and after years of injections into his stomach, is now happy to be 5 foot 3. During the course of all this, 

Ryan Chairella, a gifted and very stylistic guitarist was fighting his own demons, afflicted with bad ADD. Nothing made sense to Ryan, except for the odd situation in which he found he was  able to spend countless hours practicing guitar. Math and Science, not so much, but guitar most certainly became his salivation. Many miles again in another school system was a down trodden girl who liked to sing, but was always relegated to background parts because she was told she was never good enough. She was segregated by overly protective parents because she has a form of hemophilia. Her parts thought it best to have her eat her lunch in the principal`s office every day instead of the cafeteria with her class because it was safer that way. Amanda became the subject of ridicule, further disenfranchised from her classmates, who referred to her as Aman-Duh. She took solace in music, but her chorus director really never did see the potential in her. So much for the expertise of government workers with tenure. Rounding out the 5th point to this medically challenged star was Rocky`s sister Jenna, who became afflicted with Tourette`s System. A classical pianist, she one day found she no longer controlled her body, specially her spine, as she has a form called spinal dyskinesia. Playing the piano became impossible. She lacked the precision required to strike the keys in the right way. She became a target at school, she was labeled the weird kid " and her life became a depressed misery. On a hunch her father suggested an instrument that allow for free movement of the body while playing, and gifted her with a Bass. Suddenly her world changed. She was good, if not even great, but playing alone in your room gets old quickly. What good is it to have a gift that you are unable to share with other people.

One day while talking Steve and Rocky decided to find other people to play with, the question was who and what genre of music did they want to pursue. They were both metal heads at the time but they know that metal was dying and the fans were becoming limited. Ryan happened to hear them and offered to join them, and added his riffy flare to Steve and Rocky`s hard driving beats and chord progressions. At almost exactly the same time Amanda walked in with her mother to the music school that the boys practiced in and called home and asked about singing lessons. When she began to sing the boys corralled her and started playing some music she knew and the foursome sounded great right off the bat. The missing piece of the puzzle was the bassist. They tried friends they know, most weren`t very good, or didn`t agree on a female lead band. Steve started to lobby for Rocky`s sisters, as she not only played the bass, but she shredded the bass lines with blinding speed and had an intuitive, almost precognitive ability to lock into the beats her brother was pounding out on the drums. Rocky had a fit and was totally against playing with his younger sister, but we was outnumbered and Jenna was in despite his protests. When trying to come up with a name, Ryan was dead set on Johnny Drywall and the Sheet Rockers, which made no sense to anyone. Eventually the band came to the conclusion that embracing their personal struggles and using them to motivate others was the way to go. Mildly Medicated was officially born.

Now while all this sounds fine and dandy, there are complications that one does not anticipate when traveling with a group of medically challenged individuals. Once on our way to a gig at Penn State University, Amanda gets a nose bleed that soaks the front of her shirt. Steve, who is the clumsy one in the group trips over the biohazard container while trying to get to the cooler with Amanda`s clotting factor medicine, spilling used syringes all over the bottom of the van. In an attempt to gain control of the situation, I must have served with van while passing a state trooper. We get pulled over and the officer sees a bleeding young lady and a van littered with used syringes. Try talking your way out of that one. It took some time, some of it in handcuffs "

The story behind the band was picked up by Sirius XM radio and we became a staple on The Jay Thomas Show, who played our music and invited us to be the house band for the 10 anniversary of the show. What a thrill and a great honor. We still credit Jay for giving us that first big break. Our debut CD Stop the Voices " is doing well in the US and in Europe, but he music industry has changed so much that artists can`t make a living on just sales. We need to tour. Our hope is for a company to take a chance on a bunch of medical misfits that make some pretty kick ass music, and maybe inspire a few people along the way to reach for the stars and follow their dream. If we can do it, you can do it.