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Corporate Whore: The Band

A couple years ago, Amanda Krantz stepped back and looked at where she wanted to go in life. By day she was an engineer for the US Air Force teaching at the Air Force Academy, and by night she was playing drums in a local Denver band, and she loved performing. She concluded that she was going to leave the Air Force when her commitment ended, and that she would pursue a career in music. If that didn’t work out, she might try to go to business school….

As you might guess, Krantz has now arrived at HBS, and has been pleasantly surprised to find that the two paths might not be as mutually exclusive as she thought. Her new band, Corporate Whore, made their triumphant debut at the HBS Orientation Show on the day before classes began for the Class of 2003.

The band sat down with Harbus Editors Michael Echenberg and Jordan Kayloe at Daedalus for drinks 24 hours after they rocked the Orientation Show. The six of us snuggled into the comfy couches in the corner of the second floor, after passing many first year students shouting hellos to the band members. Corporate Whore are:

* Neil Edwards, rhythm guitar. London, England, UK. Math major, Cambridge. Edwards’ classcard says something about livestock planning, which might explain why the band’s oldest member is also single.

* James Jarrett, lead guitar. Raised in Kentucky, did five years as an electrical engineer for the US Navy.

* Amanda Krantz, drums. Reared in Cleveland, Ohio, the birthplace of rock `n’ roll. Six years as an electrical engineer for the US Air Force.

* Jon Waggoner, vocals. From Arkansas, with the accent to prove it. Four years as an engineer for GE and Honeywell.
Harbus: Everyone wants to know how you pulled the band together so quickly.

AK: Jon and I met on the message boards that were set up for the incoming class, and Neil chimed in from England. Then James and I were in the same study group during the Analytics program. We’re all engineers, actually. But don’t let everyone think we’re just geeks. We’re also all very athletic.

JJ: Amanda and I were able to practice during Analytics, and luckily Jon was already in town too. Neil didn’t show up until last week, however. It’s amazing how quickly he was able to learn all the songs.

NE: Yeah, and I haven’t played very much since college. When I arrived I found out we had a gig yesterday, and I hadn’t even heard of half the songs on our play list. For f***’s sake. Those songs haven’t made it across the ocean.

JW: But Neil did a great job learning all the songs. Check out the bubble blisters on his fingers.

NE: [Showing his impressive blisters.] It’s only rock `n’ roll, but I like it.

JJ: We just got him for the British accent.

Harbus: So the rest of you have a lot of band experience?

JW: Actually, only Amanda and James have played in rock `n’ roll bands lately.

Harbus: And Jon, growing up in the Deep South, you listened to both Country and Western?

JW: Of course. I actually was the only caucasian member in the 65-year history of the United Voices Gospel Choir at Arkansas State. And when I was working in Mexico for GE, I didn’t speak Mexican very well, so I learned to sing more popular songs by covering Mexican songs with a band down there. I started taking guitar lessons, and their singer quit, and I stepped in.

JJ: You couldn’t speak Mexican? What’s that?

Harbus: Where’d the name Corporate Whore come from?

AK: We’d been trying to think of names during Analytics, and people were emailing stuff from class like Cycle Time. Then we were out at John Harvard’s, and we were trying to think of other acronyms for HBS. Finally, classmate John Gregory called us a bunch of Corporate Whores, and it’s stuck.

Harbus: What’s the inspiration behind your music?

JJ: Amanda inspires me. What with all those flying locks of hair.

AK: Be quiet. I’m inspired by the feeling of playing together on stage.

JJ: Which is a long-winded way of saying she likes looking at my ass.

JW: Nothing is better than being up front and having people scream at you. Performing is an incredible high, and I was really getting into the dancing last night. Different parts of my body were taking trips on their own.

Harbus: And the reception from your classmates has been good?

JJ: It’s been great. I think everyone who knew about us was afraid we were gonna suck. It was also hard to convince the Orientation folks that we should play, but once we auditioned for them they were very supportive. Our classmates seemed relieved at the show when we could actually play, and they got totally into it. Everyone’s been saying nice things all day. The myths about the HBS Asshole have been dispelled for me.

AK: Everyone’s saying, “You guys are awesome!”

NE: This was the highest fear factor thing we could have done, putting it on the line in front of your 900 new classmates. But today some girl came up to me and said, “Can I touch you?”

Harbus: Any other messages Corporate Whore would like to convey?

AK: We want thank the residents of SFP 1 for letting us practice in the building, especially Julie McDaniel for letting us set up our gear in the living room and make a ton of noise, and videotaping us at the show. And my neighbor Tucker Bailey, who slept through our first practice with his head five feet from my drumset. We also want to thank the Orientation Committee co-chairs, Trisha Jung, Jill Allen, and Ipsita Dasgupta for letting us play at the show, and Gary Binford and Louise Willington for helping us set up in Burden.

JJ: Thanks also to the Class of 2003 for being supportive and a great audience. You guys rock.

AK: And please say that we need a bass player.

Harbus: What qualities are you looking for?

JW: She should be a hot female, and preferably into Roman orgies.

AK: They should excited about playing the music, but they don’t necessarily have to be the greatest musician. We want someone who’s unafraid of screwing up and willing to work hard.

Harbus: Any character flaw that would keep them out?

JW: As long as they accept that I’m the rock star, they’d be OK. Actually, the military people have been running the show. We just want someone to be part of our great team. [Groups Hugs.]

Harbus: Last question. You all must have great stories that start out, “This one time, in band camp…”

AK: Not me. I quit band in the 8th grade in Cleveland, and had a musical drought for years. I decided to start again when I heard about an audition for a band. I didn’t even play the drums anymore, but I convinced them to let me try. I wrote my greatest accomplishments application essay about this story.

September 4, 2001
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