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Since late 2004, Jason Hackstock and I had been performing as "Hamill and Hackstock", which Jay hated with a passion (the name that is). So, fast forward to April, 2007 as we sat at Sherwood Brewing Co., as they were in the midst of making a flyer for a show we were set to perform on. No longer wanting to use our last names, and with not much time to spare, I came across the idea of using "Halfway". The city where we grew up (East Detroit, now Eastpointe), had at one time been named Halfway, due to it being halfway between downtown Detroit and downtown Mt. Clemens. Jay, added the II part, seeing as there were two of us, and also as an inside joke. See, there was an after school program at East Detroit High School, from 3:00 until 6:00, for those who wished (or quite possibly, weren't welcome) to no longer attend the regular high school. So, thus, Halfway II (at least in name) was born.
Around this time when Myspace was all the rage, I received a message from one, Dave "Messy" Messerschmidt. I hadn't seen Dave in what had to be close to ten years. He explained to me that he had been hosting an open mic, at a bar not far from where I live. So, I went to go and check it out, but mostly to see my old friend. I was blown away with Dave's percussion skills, not to mention the fact that he's easily one of the most friendly and charismatic individuals, you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting. I relayed to Jason what I had witnessed (he too was a friend of Dave's), and expressed that I thought it would be a good idea to see if Dave were available to join Halfway II.
As luck would have it another close friend of ours, Vanessa Silagi-Beresford, was in the midst of arranging a 13 year high school reunion, So, I thought what better way to introduce Dave to the band, by performing for all of our former classmates. What was supposed to be just one show, would turn in to what was only the beginning of quite the remarkable journey. (we went on to play our 14th and 15th reunions as well).
I had been frequenting the aforementioned Sherwood Brewing Co. for some time at this point, usually to take part in their weekly open mic. It was here, that I met the most phenomenal harmonica player, (and this isn't just hyperbole) that I had ever laid my eyes across, by the name of Jason Keith. I can't say enough good things about Keith, not only is he a gifted harp player, but you'll never meet a more down to earth dude. He is a true sweetheart. I asked Keith to join the band, and he performed his first show with us at the Emerald Theater, in downtown Mt. Clemens.
We would go on to perform countless shows, such as The Hard Rock Cafe, The Gratiot Cruise, Arts, Beats, and Eats, and many more. Unfortunately, we aren't able to perform as much I would like these days. Dave is a single father to a beautiful daughter, and Keith and his lovely wife Tiffany are raising two beautiful sons. I'd be remiss, if I didn't mention more about, Jason Hackstock. We have been playing music together in some shape of form since 1991. Although, not blood, we are truly brothers.
So, that leaves me, to carry on the Halfway name, hence Bill "Halfway" Hamill.
I couldn't have asked for three better bandmates, and more importantly than that, friends. Nix that, not friends, but brothers. I love each and everyone of you guys.
William James Hamill III AKA, Bill "Halfway" Hamill
You can check out all of my blogs at http://halfwayhamill.com/blog/