Bootleg, which will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday during the Windsurfing Regatta and Music Festival, plays rock 'n roll from multiple eras featuring songs people are sure to know.
The band has played at the Minnesota State Fair (where it will return later this summer) as well as such venues as the Medina Entertainment Center and Treasure Island Casino. Bootleg is comprised of Eric “Keep” McCarver on drums, Erik “Larz” Erickson on lead guitar, Jay “Mojo” Morrison on bass, John “Sonn” Sonnek on vocals and Patrick “Trick” Reiter on guitar.
“Keep, Larz and Sonn first started playing together in a band in their freshman year of high school, 1989,” Sonnek wrote in an email.
Erickson, on the Bootleg website www.bootlegrocknroll.com, talks about some of his rock ‘n roll roots.
“I heard the Beatles’ ‘She Loves You,’ Led Zeppelin’s ‘Heartbreaker,” Nazareth’s ‘Hair Of The Dog,’ Kiss’ “Calling Dr. Love,” and Van Halen’s ‘Eruption,’ and from there it exploded into every other influence one could care to name,” he recalls. “I was bound and determined to get into this rock thing and, at the age of 14, took a job at the old Hardee’s Maplewood (not there anymore) slinging burgers for two years to help buy that first Les Paul.”
Bootleg, meanwhile, was formed back in April 2013, Sonnek explains.
“Pieces from other bands came together and started jamming, creating a new style of cover band,” he said. “The target was to play great rock songs that have stood the test of time and are readily recognizable to both young and old, do it with class and do it well.
“You'll hear everything from the Beatles and Rolling Stones, to U2, REM, Guns 'n' Roses, AC/DC and so many more,” Sonnek added. “We aim for an inclusive atmosphere where everyone feels welcome to have a great time.”
Sonnek also shares some of his early rock memories on the band’s website.
“When I brought home that fold-out vinyl copy of ‘Shout at the Devil’ (by Motley Crue) with my allowance money at 10 years old, I was hooked,” he writes. “I will always remember studying the lyrics on that red paper sleeve until I knew them all. I also remember having to hide the album, because I was afraid my parents would take it away. One year later, at 11, I would cry convulsively because they wouldn’t let me go see Iron Maiden live.”
All these years later, Sonnek and his band have played many live shows themselves. Still, they look forward to making their way to Worthington and taking part in what they’ve heard to be a memorable event.
“I've heard from other bands that this festival is truly top-notch and that we are not going to believe it,” he said. “We're really looking forward to it. I've heard the crowds are big and ready for a good time.”
Additional information about the band and the multiple venues it’s scheduled for this summer is available at www.bootlegrocknroll.com.