Lawyer, Doctor, Parent, Rock Star: Duxbury Band to Perform at 4th of July Beach Party

3 July 2007/The Duxbury Clipper/Written by Maribeth Conway

Beach PartyIn that glamorous rock star way, Jim Goldenberg and Allison Berry, the founding members of the local band Despite Dwight, met years ago at their children’s playgroup.

Goldenberg and his wife grew friendly with Berry and her husband while they were all raising children in the Duxbury schools. One night the couples were out socializing and stopped off at a karaoke bar. The hour was creeping on midnight and the crowd’s enthusiasm dwindled as the same 15 or so singers repeatedly returned to the stage – until Berry took to the microphone. With her powerhouse voice, Berry belted Bonnie Raitt’s “Something to Talk About” and “the place went crazy,” Goldenberg recalled.

Goldenberg had no idea Berry could sing, and Berry had no idea Goldenberg could strum a guitar. Old dreams were resurrected and the two musicians began scheming to get a rock band going. They didn’t make much progress in the next few years as both couples kept having babies, “not good for the band,” Goldenberg joked.

The dream never fizzled though; instead the momentum slowly grew and during a parent-teacher night at the Chandler School,Goldenberg bumped into an old college buddy and former band mate, Matt Koomey. Koomey, a doctor at Jordan Hospital, dropped out of the college band to pursue medical school but was ready to get back behind the drums.

Goldenberg grabbed another college friend, keyboardist Mark DiOrio and soon guitarist Scott Ferrigno joined, rounding out Despite Dwight.

The band found the perfect practice space – after hours at Goldenberg’s real estate office in the Long Point Marina area. One early fall evening the windows to the office were wide open, letting in a light breeze as the band rocked out. The hours ticked by as the band covered one song after another until about 11 p.m. when the door to the office swung open and in the doorway stood Goldenberg’s landlord, Dwight Smith.

“Uh, Dwight, it’s pretty late huh? We’re pretty loud, huh?” Goldenberg stammered. The landlord didn’t say a thing; he just shook his head. The band had to find a new place to play, but they did get a name out of the intrusion.

Despite Dwight plays as loudly as they wish at their new practice digs — the Rock House. A garage band’s dream-come-true, an entire house for nothing but the band, it was purchased by one of the band mates and has remained vacant aside from a drum set, amplifiers, guitars and a microphone.

“We’re not exactly starving artists,” Berry admits.

The group secured their first gig for a charity event at the Kingston restaurant, Solstice, and have performed quite a bit since, usually for various charities. The group, with three Duxbury members, felt fortunate to secure a truly local gig, Duxbury’s Fourth of July Beach Party, held Saturday night.

Most of the Despite Dwight members are serious musicians who have played in a band at some point, but as each musician aged, the focus shifted from music to careers and children. Despite Dwight holds not just a doctor, lawyer and a CEO, but in total, these five musicians are the busy parents of 13 children. Even still, the biweekly band practices are a priority.

The spouses have been incredibly supportive of the late night rehearsals and weekend gigs and the children seem to think their rock n’ roll parents are kind of cool. Berry’s son is looking to start his own band one day and her daughter boasts to teachers that her mom is a “rock star.”