Haley Perryman grew up backstage at the nightclub in Boulder where her father was a bouncer. At 7 years old, she picked up a rock 'n' roll attitude and not long after, picked up a guitar.
Influenced by bands such as the Bad Brains, Perryman describes her playing style as a "raw, rich, Zappa style."
Tommy Larson, student activities director for Colorado Mountain College, noticed her as soon as she walked into Willett Hall, where he has an office.
"There are those people that you look back and wish you'd been like that person -- a real individual. Haley is one of those people," Larson said. "She plays guitar. She skateboards. She's just herself, and she's well-respected around the dorms for who she is."
Perryman is a freshman at CMC and half of a duo with Chris Milner called the Gruesome Twosome that will be playing today as part of the college's SpringFest. The daylong festival is the brainchild of CMC's student-body president, Wes Cravens, and vice president Erin Bonich, organized to showcase student talent.
Attendees can expect such treats as "Rock me by a Hurricane" and Winger's "She's Your Baby" covered by the Gruesome Twosome against a backdrop of student artwork.
Perryman and Milner are members of the Rock Star Club, an official club for musicians at the college.
"Anyone can have a club," Larson said. "When kids were moving in at the beginning of the year, I saw all these guitar cases, and I thought it would be such a waste if people weren't getting together to play."
Becoming a member of the Rock Star Club was as easy as walking into Willett Hall.
Outside Larson's office sits a piano, and every day students sit down and play what they learned in their music class. Larson hears the same songs every day being pecked out of the piano, but "every once in a while I'll hear something really good," he said.
2:30 p.m. Opening comments Art Displays Student Activities Council Slide show 3 p.m. Rebecca Potter Poetry reading 3:30 p.m. Drama Club performance 4 p.m. Rock Star Club (Haley Perryman and Chris Milner) 4:25 p.m. Rock Star Club (Tommy Larson, Russell Funke, Lindsey Wilson, James Harrington and Steve Zabrowski)
That "something really good" came from Steve Zebrowski. "I heard him play, and I walked out of my office. I said, 'Steve, you've got to be in the Rock Star Club.'"
Another member came to the club in much the same way.
Lindsay Wilson walks through the halls singing, and Larson noticed. "She has such a beautiful voice, like Susan Tedeski," he said.
Members of the Rock Star Club will perform at SpringFest with covers of Widespread Panic, Traffic and a "cowpunk thrasher version" of "Comfortably Numb."
Before any of the music starts, the audience will see performances by the Drama Club, including monologues from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and "The Big Lebowski." Because there is no official music or theater department at CMC, events such as SpringFest are some of the only venues for student talent.
"I think this is a move in the right direction," acting instructor Kathy Kiser-Miller said.