It all started as a bit of a joke, but then, as these things often do, it escalated. When the Director of Field Ops Simon Clarke and tech minded volunteer Chris Lyon travelled to LA to visit the Team Rubicon Global Head Office before Christmas, they made a karaoke recording of a hit song by the Righteous Brothers for the office christmas party.
That should have been the end of it. Simon and Chris headed back to the UK to help with the floods in Keswick, and whilst they didn’t get to go to the party, they left the recording as a token of their appreciation.
Two months later, they got a phone call from the Team Rubicon Global CEO and Founder, William McNulty.
“I couldn’t believe the raw talent” said William in an interview with NME last week. “These two guys were knee deep in mud in the UK, but we felt that they could be doing more to help. Their style was a little rough, but I knew with some minor adjustments they could really be on to something.”
It was Simon who took the call from the recording studio. “I’ve always been told I have a good voice, but I never thought about using it in the field of Disaster Response. Then all of a sudden, there is some American guy on the phone smooth talking me into recording a single for the charity. I knew I could do it, but I needed Chris on the project if it were to stand any chance of succeeding.”
Chris was reluctant at first. “I wasn’t too happy with just providing backing vocals to Simon. I knew I had more to offer, and having recently learnt the Ukulele, that was my only demand”.
The guys were soon hard at work writing the single. After a lot of back and forth, they both agreed that one area held a special significance for them.
“We were discovered in LA, so we have a lot to be grateful for from the Angelenos. What better way to say thank you than with a ode to their beautiful town. ‘I Left My Heart in El Segundo’ encapsulates all of the emotion, all of the drama, and all of the love we were given whilst there”, Simon explains.
The two certainly look the part. With their trendy beards, lumberjack shirts and cowboy boots, they both attract a lot of attention while I interview them on set during the single’s video shoot. A number of passers by even slow down to offer small change to the pair in support of their cause.
I don’t get to talk to them for long though, as they are soon back on camera, singing their hearts out not just for LA, but (I sense) for the whole world too.
|The single, “I Left My Heart in El Segundo” is due to be released on iTunes at the end of May retailing at £5.99, with a follow up album expected over the summer. All proceeds will go to Team Rubicon.|