Charter Rock Band Wins In-Company ‘Battle’


St. Louis-area rocker Eric Ketzer and five other Charter employees in a band dubbed “The Front Line” have won the right to compete in the “Battle of the Bands” benefit for New Orleans at The Cable Show on May 20.

Charter invited customer-facing employees throughout the company – hence The Front Line – to submit songs and hopefully be selected as one of three finalist bands seeking fame, fortune and an expenses-paid trip to represent Charter at the Cable Show fundraising event. (Subject to supervisor approval for paid time out of the office, as one promotional flyer caveated.)

Fourteen entered, submitting at least one cover song and one original piece about Charter, the advantage of the bundle or "anything cable related." Judges whittled the list down to four finalists who participated in a play-off at Charter headquarters in St. Louis on Monday (March 3), corporate spokeswoman Anita Lamont explained.

They included one called Triple Play, from Martin, Tenn., featuring a sweet country sound; another was a rap duo from Reno; and the last, Cable Extreme, was comprised of two employees from Sedalia, Mo., who soldiered on even though two members of their quartet could not make the trip. “They came anyway and judges gave them high marks for heart,” Lamont said of the Extreme-ists, Eric England and Matt Cowan.

The band led by Ketzer, a process analyst for Charter’s St. Louis operations who also has a band on the side, prevailed, proffering a blend of rock, rap, rhythm and St. Louis blues, Lamont said.

The bands performed the same day that Charter was celebrating signing up its 1-millionth telephone customer, so ice cream and cake were served as well and phones were given away at the event, too.

Ketzer’s band, pictured here, consists of, from left to right, Patrick Swan; Ketzer; John Sykes; Chris Logan; Robert Little and Brendan O’Neal.