To clean out the attic or to finally master that rock classic — for members of the local band Misplaced Priorities, that is the question.
The outfit, which has played public and private gigs for 15 years, consists mostly of workaday citizens who unite in their off time out of a shared passion for playing good music and getting audiences onto the dance floor. Misplaced Priorities’ next public appearance will be at the beginning of La Cañada’s three-day historic “9.10.11” event on Friday, Sept. 9, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Park.
Some of the band’s founding members joke about their name, merrily invoking old arguments with spouses over where their effort and attention might best be applied.
“Misplaced priorities are always about perspective,” says Tom Reynolds, aka “the lead dog,” who plays rhythm guitar and co-founded the band with sister Mandy Boesche and friend Frank Dvoracek in 1996.
“If we had placed priorities, we’d be doing this (music) full time,” jokes vocalist Boesche, who lives in Eagle Rock and works as a drama teacher at Pasadena’s Waverly School. “But because we have misplaced priorities, we have to focus on our families and pay bills.”
The debate over priorities might be ongoing, but the good work the band members have done for their communities is unquestionable. To date, Misplaced Priorities has helped raise nearly $500,000 for local charities by playing for free and offering their musical talents as an auction item in several fundraisers in and around La Cañada.
The band bills itself alongside popular local eatery Los Gringos Locos, creating an auction item called “Tacos and Tunes,” where private parties can get a full set of music and a catered meal with margaritas in one.
“Our goal is to play in every backyard in La Cañada before my 80th birthday,” says Reynolds. “We’ve played at about 100 so far, so we only have about 3,900 to go.”
Dvoracek, who plays accordion, met Reynolds when their sons were in Boy Scouts; they often played music together around campfires. The pair later joined with Boesche and their sons to perform at La Cañada’s annual spring carnival. As they played the carnival over the years, the band added regular members and began to take shape. Today, it currently plays events such as the city’s annual Music in the Park summer concert series.
Misplaced Priorities is “a high-energy band playing music from your youth, sounding almost like you remember it,” according to its website, www.misplacedpriorities.com. The set list includes classic rock favorites, as well as vintage songs and pop hits from years past.
“The lineup changes as people come and go,” Dvoracek says. “I don’t know that I’d put any labels on it. We’ll play songs you know and you can sing along.”
Over the years, the band has become one big, musical family, a creative haven to accountants, teachers and managers by day, Boesche says.
“It’s a sweet group of people,” she adds. “I think everybody’s priorities, where the heart is concerned, are in a very good spot — right where they should be.”
To book Misplaced Priorities, or to learn more about “Tacos and Tunes,” email Tom Reynolds at firstname.lastname@example.org.