03/22/2012

'Beethoven's Nightmare' -- a dream turned reality for Longo

Linda A Lucchetti, LLNL, (925) 422-5815, lucchetti1@llnl.gov



(From left) Steve Longo, Ed Chevy and Bob Hiltermann perform as "Beethoven's Nightmare," the first all deaf rock band.

A lot has happened to Steve Longo and the band "Beethoven's Nightmare" since they were first featured in Newsline in 2007.

Born deaf, Longo, a system associate in Computation, helped create the first all deaf rock band which includes himself (guitarist) and friends Ed Chevy (bassist) and Bob Hiltermann (drummer). They met while attending Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and have shared a common dream -- to perform music in a band.

"I can hear the music, but only some of the words," Longo explains. "We infuse our rock music with hearing musical guests, performing artists, American Sign Language, mime and dance and call it 'Deaf Rock.'"

Many of the group's self-written songs reflect the emotions of deaf people, as well as the band members' own experiences living in a hearing world.

The trio currently performs across the United States, with at least one engagement scheduled each month. In January, they played to a sold out crowd at St. Scholastica College in Duluth, Minn. In mid March, they did two shows at Disneyland attracting more than 2,000 people  where they were part of a celebration of creativity in the deaf community.

The band will be featured in the movie, "Deaf Ghost" that is scheduled for shooting in July with the possibility of performing with alternative rock band "Foo Fighters", and have been featured in "See What I'm Saying -- the Deaf Entertainers' Documentary."

Beethoven's Nightmare has become more than a pipe dream. According to Longo, much of its rising popularity can be attributed to the Internet and social media.

There is a new Website and a music video "Turn it Up Louder" on You Tube.  A second CD is in the works. And, fans can now follow the band on FaceBook.

"The exposure of the band and its success has been a dream come true," Longo said.



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