Rick Sheldon
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Rick Sheldon

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"Rocking the Channel"

Rockin’ the Channel:
The OC-192 Band
Cara Sievers

The band plays Drai’s at the Barbary Coast Casino at the Channel Partners Expo in Las Vegas earlier this year.
The OC-192 Band members don’t want to work … they just want to bang on their drums all day!

If you’ve been to a telecom event in past decade, chances are you’ve seen Bruce Barnes, Greg Stilwell, Jeff Waddell and Rick Sheldon rockin’ out as The OC-192 Band. Greg and Bruce started recording at studios and playing gigs together in 1979, and Jeff started sitting in with the band in 1984. The entire band relocated to Orlando in 1985, where everybody got into the telecom business for their obligatory day jobs. Although the members have moved to different telecom companies, and lived in different states throughout the years, the band has always continued. Greg currently lives in Dallas, while Bruce and Jeff are in Vancouver, WA. In 2004, Bruce was working in channel support for New Edge, and master agency Intelisys was one of his accounts. He offered up The OC-192 Band for a party Intelisys was hosting in Las Vegas at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, and Intelisys co-founder Rick Sheldon was invited to sit in for a few tunes. “When the band got together, Rick turned out to have great chops, and was having a great time, so he started playing with the band at all of the performances,” says Bruce.

Prior to garnering the moniker, “The OC-192 Band,” the group was also known as “Thoze Guyz” and “Band-O-Gram,” and they also have done a parody act called “Amish Rage.” They used to be the backup band for Tommy Tutone, and they also have done backup for various artists, such as Dee Clark and The Tymes; they even opened for bands such as Rare Earth, The Ventures and Lynn Anderson. The band usually practices every couple of months and performs about once per month. In addition to telecom gigs, the band does a lot of winery parties in the Northwest, along with private parties, corporate events and weddings. They play popular party music, heavy with hits from their heyday in the ‘80s, including artists like ZZ Top, The Police, Steely Dan, U2, Toad the Wet Sprocket, The Beatles and Elvis.

The band members admit that playing with The OC-192 Band has enhanced their networking abilities when they’re jammin’ on their home turf of telecom. There’s nothing like singing “Play that Funky Music” at the top of your lungs one night with the same person with whom you’ll be discussing the details of your commission structure the next day. Wild Cherry would be so proud!


Bruce Barnes
Sultan of the Snare:

Bruce Barnes, director of channel programs for New Edge Networks, is the one who lays the beat down for The OC-192 Band. Bruce played other instruments in school, but started playing the drums on his own and has been playing for 36 years. He had his first band at age 14, started playing in bars at 15, used the band to pay his way through college, and ended up playing for a living for seven years in his 20s. He quit when he turned 30, after the drunken bass player in his road band fell over a mountaintop hotel balcony. “I realized that these were not my people anymore,” says Bruce. “Telecom people are so much saner, and have better aptitude with hotel facilities.” The bass player survived, with only a severe dislocation.
Bruce’s first job: Farm hand
Words to live by: “Nobody ever died wishing they had spent more time in the office.”
Thoughts on telecom: “The way the telecom business continues to change and grow makes it as exciting and full of opportunity as ever.”

Greg Stilwell
Chairman of the Fretboard:

Greg Stilwell is the managing member of InnerCity FiberNet LLC, where he manages ICFN’s Dallas fiber network; but look out, Eric Clapton, there’s a (fairly) new kid in town. As one of the original OC-192 Band members, Greg has been the group’s guitarist for almost three decades. When asked about his long history of performing, Greg quips, “I started studying guitar at 7 … and stopped at 7:30.” And although Greg loves his spot on the stage with the band, this funnyman says his favorite thing about playing with The OC-192 Band is “the breaks.”
Greg’s first job: Pot and pan scrubber at KFC
Words to live by: “I want to die in my sleep like my grandfather ... Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”
Thoughts on telecom: “Things are looking up!”

Jeff Waddell
Mr. Melody-Maker:

When he’s not fly-fishing, working in his vineyard or serving as the vice president of sales for New Edge Networks/EarthLink, Jeff Waddell flexes his musical muscle as lead vocalist and bass guitarist for the band, playing slide guitar on occasion as well. Jeff started playing guitar - Virgo Publishing/ Phone +


Let's see, I have some Bon Jovi, Steely Dan.... Oh you mean My Music??

I am currently working on an album project that I hope to release later in 2007. For more music etc go to www.myspace.com/ricksheldonmusic


Feeling a bit camera shy


I snuck up into the rafters to pull down an old Kay acoustic when I was around 5 years old. I started taking folk guitar lessons at 7. Got an electric at 13 and thought I was the next Jimmy Page at 15. Reality set in after many bands, college (degree in classical composition) and the harsh truth about the music industry. I had a few "almost's" along the way but ultimatly ended up getting a job, getting marrierd, having kids, starting a telecom company, typical American Dream stuff. Somewhere along the line I forgot to include my music for 12 years. Turned 40 and the guitar was my "affair" or mid life crisis. That was nearly 4 years ago. Since then I have honed and expanded my chops, songwriting and singing. I created an underground nightclub (The Taj Ma Garage) formed a shredding, rock, blues trio and we peform covers and originals to our small but fiercly loyal audience. I have an alter ego (www.amishrageband.com) and also play occaisionaly in the OC-192's. I am deeply passionate about my connection with music and the relationships I have through it