The beginnings of the Macworld All-Star Band are shrouded in mystery and legend, but most sources seem to agree that the band was formed to play at the “Not-the-Knife Party” at Macworld New York in the summer of 2001. Ilene Hoffman took the lead in organizing that party as a successor to the ever-popular “Mac the Knife” parties, which ended when MacWEEK was integrated into Macworld magazine.
Ilene recounts the band’s formation as part of her “Brief History of Time via Macworld Expo Parties“:
“Not to be undone by time, location, lack of support, or the head splitting work of pulling it all together, I set to plan the next great affair. Paul Kent, Macworld conference organizer, stepped in this year and offered to put together the honored Mac users jam in the form of a real live band. Between the two of us, and a great effort by Mac Observer, a band was born. The venue, the Cooler in the Chelsea district, played host to 350+ people, a rockin’ good time, and ill-received pastries. As noted on another party report: one word – biscotti.”
[Ilene’s entire history is a great look into Macworld history and not to be missed. -Ed.]
The original Macworld All-Star band consisted of Christopher Breen, Dave Hamilton, Tom Irish, Paul Kent, Chuck La Tournous, Bob LeVitus, Scott Scheinbaum and Duane Straub.
By popular demand (or perhaps by lack of sufficient outcry), the band was back for the next Macworld Expo, in January of 2002 in San Francisco, playing at the last of the the “Knife” parties — appropriately billed as “The Knife’s Last Call.”
In July of 2002, the band was back in the Big Apple, playing at Shawn King’s “Your Mac Life Does Expo” party — a gig they repeated in San Francisco the following January. By this time, Tom Irish and Scott Scheinbaum left the band due to other commitments, and Bryan Chaffin joined the group. The Macworld All-Star Band lineup would be set for at least the next decade.
In the summer of 2003, IDG recast Macworld New York as Macworld CreativePro. This was the only Macworld conference since 2001 that did not see a public performance by the band, although the group held a private jam session in a New York rehearsal hall.
[More to come…]