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(→‎Early Years: I'm sorry, that is not grammatically correct. (plus a small clarification))
m (→‎2006: changed MMMM rerelease date)
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Radio host Matthew "Mancow" Muller recommended Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum to late night host Craig Ferguson<ref>[https://soundcloud.com/hiddeninthesand/craig-ferguson-mentions-tally-hall Craig Ferguson talking about Mancow's recommendation of Tally Hall in June 2006. SoundCloud.]</ref>, which would spark Ferguson to invite the band onto the show to perform. Later on August 2nd 2006, The Late, Late Show aired Tally Hall's performance of "Good Day"<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PleF-9Wa7FQ Tally Hall on The Late, Late Show (Good Day). YouTube.]</ref>.
Radio host Matthew "Mancow" Muller recommended Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum to late night host Craig Ferguson<ref>[https://soundcloud.com/hiddeninthesand/craig-ferguson-mentions-tally-hall Craig Ferguson talking about Mancow's recommendation of Tally Hall in June 2006. SoundCloud.]</ref>, which would spark Ferguson to invite the band onto the show to perform. Later on August 2nd 2006, The Late, Late Show aired Tally Hall's performance of "Good Day"<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PleF-9Wa7FQ Tally Hall on The Late, Late Show (Good Day). YouTube.]</ref>.

September 12th saw the re-release of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum with more focused marketing behind it and a wider distribution plan. Due to this big marketing push, the band experienced much more success than before, being distributed into more stores and gaining national attention. Part of this was Tally Hall's appearance in MTV's segment "You Hear It First"<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oNUyzfQDr0 Tally Hall - MTV's You Hear it First. YouTube.]</ref>, which was aired many times on MTV.
August 15th saw the re-release of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum with more focused marketing behind it and a wider distribution plan. Due to this big marketing push, the band experienced much more success than before, being distributed into more stores and gaining national attention. Part of this was Tally Hall's appearance in MTV's segment "You Hear It First"<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oNUyzfQDr0 Tally Hall - MTV's You Hear it First. YouTube.]</ref>, which was aired many times on MTV.


Latest revision as of 04:26, 8 July 2024

Tally Hall
Tallyhall photoByBrianAppio.jpg
Place of Origin Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA)
Genres Rock, Indie Rock
Years Active 2002-Present
Label Quack! (2005-2007, 2011-2014)
Atlantic Records (2007-2010)
Needlejuice Records (2021-Present)
Website Official Website
Tally Hall's YouTube
Tally Hall's Twitter
Tally Hall's Facebook
Band Members
Joe Hawley: Vocals, Guitar
Rob Cantor: Vocals, Guitar
Ross Federman: Drums/Percussion
Andrew Horowitz: Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Zubin Sedghi: Vocals, Bass
Past Members
Steve Gallagher: Drums/Percussion
Honorary Members
Bora Karaca: Bora Karaca
Touring Members
Casey Shea: Guitar
Jeremy Kittel: Violin
Bora Karaca: Accordion, Keyboard, Guitar
Related Acts
edu: Andrew's solo project
ミラクルミュージカル: Joe's side project
Not A Trampoline: Rob's solo
Joe Hawley Joe Hawley: Joe's solo
Mr. F: Ross' DJ mash-ups

Tally Hall is an American rock band formed in December 2002 in Ann Arbor, Michigan and is often recognized by their trademark colored ties. They are currently signed to Needlejuice Records but have also been under the indie label Quack! Media in the past (2005-2007, 2011-2014), as well as Atlantic Records (2007-2010) who helped finance and nationally re-distribute their studio debut album, Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum.

The band is made up of 5 members:

Rob Cantor
Rob Cantor
Yellow Tie - Vocals/Guitar
Joe Hawley
Joe Hawley
Red Tie - Vocals/Guitar
Andrew Horowitz
Andrew Horowitz
Green Tie - Keyboards/Vocals
Zubin Sedghi
Zubin Sedghi
Blue Tie - Vocals/Bass Guitar
Ross Federman
Ross Federman
Grey Tie - Percussion


Timeline of Tally Hall members

Early Years

Tally Hall Logo

Andrew Horowitz, the only member not originally from Michigan, began writing songs when he was eight years old and eventually headed to the University of Michigan to study composition. There he met Rob Cantor and Zubin Sedghi, who both attended the same high school and played in a band called listedBlack. The three would form a band (name unknown) in December of 2002[1], and first played small shows around the University of Michigan dorms, where all 5 current members went to school. Their first gig would be at the Frieze Building in Ann Arbor[2], a gig they would only get because they could supply the PA system.[3]

Rob met Joe Hawley on campus and as they began to become friendly, Rob learned of Joe's musical abilities and asked him and Steve Gallagher to join the band as lead guitarist and drummer respectively. Originally, they played a few gigs under the name Gallagher and then as 540, the address of their house at the time. By February 2003 however, the band name would be finalized as Tally Hall, a suggestion by Joe inspired by an indoor shopping plaza/food court on Orchard Lake Road in Farmington Hills, Michigan. It was developed by Mel Rosenhaus (1925-2011) and, according to Mr. Rosenhaus' eulogy, was the first food court in Michigan. It housed a wonderous arcade/museum of coin-op machines and oddities called Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, a popular establishment within Tally Hall and now all that remains after the Tally Hall complex was torn down.

After a couple gigs and some rehearsals in the basement of their college home, they began to record some demos in Joe's bedroom/attic in April 2003. An early mascot of theirs was a chinchilla, based on a pet they had. It featured as the cursor on their site and on a couple shirts. Their first EP was titled Party Boobytrap and included 4 tracks.[4]

On November 9th 2003, Tally Hall would order their now iconic colored ties, first worn in combination with their white dress shirts around November 2003. They would choose these uniforms to distinguish them from other college bands, and to show their overall unity as people and as musicians.[5]

On May 14th 2004, they released their second EP, the Welcome To Tally Hall EP. This EP was sold at some of their concerts during 2004, in addition to Party Boobytrap. The band would have one of their first big breaks in the form of an appearance on WJR's Mitch Albom's radio show, performing Good Day.[4]

Good Day would also win first place in the 2004 John Lennon Scholarship Competition.[4] Andrew met Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Yoko Ono, and was awarded $10,000.[6]

After a concert at the Pingry School in New Jersey, Steve Gallagher left the band[4] due to commitment issues. They eventually recruited drummer Ross Federman.[4] Federman went to high school with Joe and he remembered Ross being a drummer. 2004 also saw the release of Complete Demos in November, a compilation of the EPs they did over the past two years with an additional track, Banana Man.[4] This release would be sold at concerts and was available for purchase on tallyhall.com for about a year. The album was then considered out of print and hard to find until December 2015 when they uploaded it and made it available to purchase through Bandcamp. [7]

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum


The band began touring outside their general hometown area in 2005, and would sign under the Quack! Media label to professionally record an album titled after Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Joe stated they needed to partner with a label to progress as a band together and Al McWilliams happened to accept their request of a record deal.[8] During this time they would also release The Pingry EP, which was released at their Pingry School Spring Fling concert in May of 2005.

The band would take 4 months to record and mix Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum, teasing tracks from the album on music streaming websites like MySpace and keeping fans updated on their website. Tracks from it would be released on a radio promotional EP to hype fans up for the release in November of 2005. On November 22nd 2005, Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum was finally released for fans to enjoy. Copies would be sold online and at concerts.


2006 saw the start of their Residency Tour in April[9], in addition to being the opening act for Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi.[10][11]

Alexandra Patsavas, the music coordinator for the television drama "The O.C.", would find a copy of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum and liked it so much she would contact Tally Hall about featuring their music on the show[12]. The band agreed, and so their music would be featured on the television series. This was one of the first times Tally Hall would break into more popular culture. "The Day After Tomorrow" featured Good Day[13][11], and "The Dream Lover" featured Hidden In The Sand[14]. Their use on The O.C. would lead to their recording of The Killers' song Smile Like You Mean It for a compilation CD of artists featured on The O.C. covering other O.C. artists.[15]

MTV's "The Real World: Key West" featured Banana Man in three episodes as the theme song for John Devenanzio's character "Johnny Bananas".[11]

New songs Misery Fell, Turn The Lights Off, and a retooling of All Of My Friends titled I'm Gonna Win would be played at concerts this year. Most of these would see release on Tally Hall's second album. Fan favorites At Least A Day and Time Machine were also played at shows early in the year[16], but were likely never considered for a second album.

Some of these songs were played at their two double header shows at The Blind Pig on April 8th 2006, both of which sold out[12]. These shows would debut the brief show opener known as "The Kazoo Song".

Radio host Matthew "Mancow" Muller recommended Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum to late night host Craig Ferguson[17], which would spark Ferguson to invite the band onto the show to perform. Later on August 2nd 2006, The Late, Late Show aired Tally Hall's performance of "Good Day"[18].

August 15th saw the re-release of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum with more focused marketing behind it and a wider distribution plan. Due to this big marketing push, the band experienced much more success than before, being distributed into more stores and gaining national attention. Part of this was Tally Hall's appearance in MTV's segment "You Hear It First"[19], which was aired many times on MTV.


After signing to Atlantic Records, the band released Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum for the 3rd time on April 1, 2008[20] with their new record label, but this time they were given the opportunity to re-record and re-mix parts they've never been quite satisfied with and allow a more experienced engineer to gear the songs in a radio-friendlier manner, though the songs did not gain much more radio airplay. This re-mixed and re-recorded version was released on April 1st 2008, with Good Day and Welcome To Tally Hall as promotional singles.

A studio version of Just a Friend was recorded in 2006, and shelved due to the band's dissatisfaction with it, but was later was partially re-recorded and released as one of a few bonus songs provided by Atlantic Records for the re-release via download code.

In addition to the album, Atlantic Records funded Tally Hall's Internet Show, a ten episode mini-series combining music and skit comedy. It was intended to coincide with the release of the album but due to some musical licensing issues, there was a delay and the Internet Show didn't get started until September 2008. Each episode would premiere on the then-newly revamped tallyhall.com, in addition to some clips posted to their YouTube account.

The band also appeared at a few South by Southwest Music Festivals[21][22] and on August 3, 2008, Tally Hall was a performer on the BMI stage at Lollapalooza.[23]

Tally Hall was invited back by The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson on September 16, 2008 to help promote the launch of Tally Hall's Internet Show.[24] They performed a shortened version of "Welcome to Tally Hall" in newly donned black vests over top of their traditional colored ties, white shirts, and black pants. This was the first time their vests were worn.

Good & Evil

After the completion of M.M.M.M.'s re-release in 2008, many would question when Tally Hall would head into the studio to create a second album. In May of 2009, they would confirm via Twitter that they were waiting to record a second album in the summer[25]. These plans would be delayed to fall of 2009, but the band kept busy with touring and eventually a new song. Tally Hall were asked to write and record a song for a book called "The Magician's Elephant", which they would agree to. On August 12th 2009 they would start to record the track which would be released in the fall as a free download.[26] That track was Light And Night, featuring female artist Nellie McKay on co-lead vocals.

After the book's release in September, Tally Hall would finally head into the studio to start recording what would become Good & Evil on October 26th 2009. After completing Good & Evil, the band would spend less than 2 days to rehearse for a tour with Rooney and Crash Kings.

In March of 2010, Good & Evil finally finished production. After production wrapped, Tally Hall went on a tour with Skybox and Crash Kings for the remainder of March. This tour would be met with much confusion, as Casey Shea would fill in for Joe Hawley for every tour date, as well as later dates in 2010. Joe later stated he was unable to tour because his "personal life and my professional life intersected in a way that may have been considered unsavory." Despite this, the band continued writing new work, some of it later released in solo efforts by the individual members.

Their 2010 tour would see public performances of other songs from Good & Evil, like Who You Are, You, and Cannibal. The song "Life in a Cube" by Casey was also performed live with Casey on lead vocals.

Sometime in 2010, Tally Hall would also pitch a series of cover songs to Atlantic Records, a way to cross promote them and other Atlantic Records artists. The label would have no interest in the project. Only one song from this series was ever released, a cover of Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida with vocals from Casey Shea. Another unsuccessful pitch was the song Strangers, a possible single.

In 2011, the band was released from Atlantic Records and went back to Quack! Media to release their 2nd full-length album, Good & Evil. Good & Evil was released on June 12, 2011[27]

On July 20th, Tally Hall would livestream a rehearsal through the website StageIt, in an attempt to raise funds to tour in support of Good & Evil. It can be assumed this livestream was successful, as they started the Good & Evil tour the next day with SPEAK and Casey Shea as opening acts.

The last show of the tour was at Mr. Small's Theater on August 20th 2011. This show would be (as of now) the last time Tally Hall would perform together.

Post-Good & Evil

Tally Hall went on hiatus in fall 2011 after the Good & Evil tour, but the band members have worked on other personal and musical endeavors.

In March of 2012, Andrew Horowitz released sketches under the name edu. This album would be released only as a cassette tape until December of the same year, where it was released digitally. The album features Rob Cantor on HEY YOU!. Rob would also launch his website, robcantor.com, in the same year. The site contained demos and other work, like Cuckoo, Country Good and some miscellaneous commercial work.

On December 12th 2012, Joe Hawley, Ross Federman, and Bora Karaca released Hawaii: Part II under the name ミラクルミュージカル (Miracle Musical). This album features contributions from Zubin Sedghi and Rob Cantor, as well as Tally Hall songs that were never recorded by them.

In 2014, Rob Cantor released his solo album Not A Trampoline, and the now-famous Shia LaBeouf Live single and music video, which members of Rob's Street Team helped to promote. Shia LaBeouf Live has since become a famous internet meme, and its music video features Shia LaBeouf himself at the end.

In 2016, Joe Hawley would start a PledgeMusic project for funding a solo album. This would be released as Joe Hawley Joe Hawley in the same year.

On May 30, 2019, Andrew Horowitz would start a Kickstarter to produce vinyl and CDs of his album sketches. However, sketches would be remixed, remastered, and retitled to sketches 3d. On June 30, 2019, he hit his Kickstarter goal.[28] On July 26, 2019 Andrew released sketches 3d digitally and would start to ship out backers physical copies. CDs and vinyl would later be listed on Andrew's store as he had some left over.

Later in August 2019, the band would release their studio cover of Just a Friend on most streaming platforms.[29] This decision was met with much fanfare from fans, and currently is the only single by Tally Hall on streaming services.

Needlejuice Represses

In December 2020, Tally Hall signed with Needlejuice Records, who announced open pre-orders for a reissue of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum in early 2021. Once the pre-orders were open the needlejuicerecords.com website crashed due to high demand. An EP combining Just a Friend and some bonus tracks was announced, and released alongside the reissue. Needlejuice Records had confirmed that they would also reissue Good & Evil.

On April 1st 2022, Tally Hall's Twitter account would announce a new merch store and re-issue of the "Shirt Shirt" design. This was met with much praise from the Tally Hall fanbase, and marked the first time that official Tally Hall merchandise had been made available since 2017.[30]

Good & Evil is currently being reissued by Needlejuice, on CD, Cassette tape, MiniDisc, and Vinyl. The Vinyl will be acommpanied by a 7" single of Turn The Lights Off / Light & Night, marking the first time that Light & Night was made available outside of it's initial promotional release.

The Future of Tally Hall

Plans were made in 2013 to record a third album, but minor issues (including either not being ready or being too ready for it) would derail the project.[31]

Joe Hawley stated in a 2018 radio interview that they have a lot of plans and themes in mind for their 3rd album, and that they never reached the sound they were trying to achieving for in their previous work. The only problem was that its a "complicated situation" and a more "administrative or logistic concern".[31]

On December 13th, 2018, as part of ミラクルミュージカル's Reddit AMA, when asked whether Tally Hall is still around, Ross answered: "Tally Hall still exists. Touring isn't possible at this very moment. That's about the only update".[32]

In a August 15th 2023 Twitter thread, Andrew Horowitz, on behalf of the band, stated that one of the main reasons there hasn't been a 3rd album or tour is because of Joe Hawley's battle with an unnamed mental illness, which he had been dealing with for years.[33]

Old Website Biographies

On the Tally Hall website, there have been two biographies posted; one in 2006[4] and one in 2008, the latter of which is written by friend of the band Bernie J. Michael, who is not fictitious.[34][35]

2006 Bio

It was a small, sweaty club in the middle of Detroit. On maybe a Tuesday. The crowd was on the edge of their feet. And after waiting forever, the main attraction took the stage, a band that dares to challenge. A band that never should have been. A band that got where they were on hard work. The Polyphonic Spree. And they stayed there and brought joy for almost two hours, never a dull moment, always inspiring. When they finished, Tim Delaughter and his crew left the stage. And the show would have ended there, except five collegiate students caught the attention of Mr. Delaughter. "Tally Hall, Tally Hall, Tally Hall. I love it. Tally Hall. It's got a ring. Who are they? What is it?" It was the t-shirt of Joe Hawley, guitarist for Tally Hall. Who are they and why do we care?

Well, first off, let's get the basics out of the way. They are five college students, three studying pre-med, one a film and writing major, and a music composition and English major. Tally Hall officially began in December 2002 when Rob Cantor, Zubin Sedghi, and Andrew Horowitz performed a set of originals and covers at a small theater in Ann Arbor, Michigan. During that show…(flashback)

(Middle of some cheesy Third Eye Blind cover, Rob's cell phone goes off. He stops the song to the dismay of Andrew and Zubin and actually answers the phone, holding it up to the microphone. The audience laughs.)

Rob: Hello?
Joe: Jam. What's up.
Rob: Umm…we're in the middle of the concert.
Joe: No, seriously. What's up? How did it go? Sorry I couldn't make it.
Rob: No seriously, you're talking to the microphone.
Joe: Gotta go.

(Joe hangs up phone. Rob smiles. Lights out.)

Well, Joe wound up joining Tally Hall as the guitarist. And then a man by the name of Steve Gallagher, residing with Rob and Andrew, decided he wanted in on the drums. And so it was. Tally Hall.

The first show as a full band took place at a frat. The band made an early decision to play music with an emphasis on craft, and with five perfectionists, so it was. And the audience at the frat was not too appreciative. But the band trudged on.

Show after show their wonky 3-part harmony and crafty songs began catching on and a following was built. Their first few months included three performances at Ann Arbor's rock Mecca, The Blind Pig.

In April 2003 they recorded Partyboobytrap e.p. The name was chosen strictly because it is a palindrome. A year passed with more concerts. And in April 2004 came Welcome to Tally Hall e.p. And then they combined the CDs and added a bonus track and got Complete Demos, which is what the tracks are. They were all recorded on a video camera, each track one by one, and self-edited/produced by the band in their attic.

After a May 2004 gig in New Jersey, the band replaced Steve with the nimble Ross Federman. Steve, after amiably leaving the band, became a traveling salesman. Believe it. That's what happens when you quit Tally Hall.

Also in that May, the band received their first national exposure as the in-studio guest on the Mitch Albom Radio Show. Mr. Albom said, "They look like their twelve, but these guys are very talented. You'll be hearing a lot from them."

And the band further received national exposure when Andrew's "Good Day" won 1st place in the John Lennon Scholarship Competition, run by BMI and Yoko Ono. Frequently asked question regarding the adventure: "How was Yoko Ono?" Andrew's programmed reply is, "She's awesome."

More recently they have infiltrated the web, earning recommendations on dozens of websites, winning many songwriting awards, and having their videos watched all over the world through the web and at film festivals. Tally Hall has developed a huge local following of the best fans in the world. Their national and international following is substantial, and they plan on touring sometime in the near future. They are also working on a new CD, combining professionally recorded songs both new and old, all originals.

They are very appreciative of all the support and encouragement. It's nice to know a few guys with a vision in the Midwest can make their voices heard.

Finally, the name Tally Hall comes from an old funhouse which now goes by the name of Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Also, the ties were inspired by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because everyone likes the Ninja Turtles. Including Tally Hall. And there you have it, the little independent band that could, "Tally Hall, Tally Hall, Tally Hall…"

contact: tallyhall@umich.edu

2008 Bio


I sat in a Penguinarium in New Jersey with my penpal Andrew Horowitz. I was twelve, and he was fourteen. He fiddled with a plastic-cased glockenspiel and a green tape recorder while I read an old paperback biography of The Beach Boys with an Isaac Asimov quote in the back of my head: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny. . . .’” Listening to Andrew play those shrill bells all day while penguins waddled in darkness cracked me up. In a good way. When Brian Wilson was working on Smile in 1966, he was making an album that would make people laugh. Pet Sounds had dark currents of emotion: teenage drama. Smile was light and effervescent– Spaghetti Westerns, raw vegetables, and pocket symphonies. Horowitz, despite his bizarre affinity for Penguinariums, would later attempt similar musical feats with a band comprised of a few of my friends: Tally Hall.


In 2008, after two EPs, a demo album, and an album released on Michigan’s Quack! label[1], a band comprised of five friends– Rob Cantor, Ross Federman, Joe Hawley, Andrew Horowitz, and Zubin Sedghi– released their debut album on Atlantic Records: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Wonkiness and alliteration aside, the real Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum (in swinging Farmington Hills, Michigan) was a childhood mecca for the members of Tally Hall and myself. It was an electric dreamworld made of beat-up carousels, ominous robot fortune tellers, cotton candy, and model airplanes that flew around when the lights were off and the kids went home. Loose baby teeth. Hide-and-seek. Tickets for prizes. It was part “Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”[2], part forgotten Ray Bradbury novel, and like every dream I could not remember upon waking up. MMMM is Tally Hall’s teenage canticle to our shadows– may we never forget them. They worked with music producer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, Weezer, Lou Reed) to make the album, and they even wrote and produced a psychedelic internet tv show to accompany their waggish work.

Oh, it’s dark whimsy. It shivers and hums– Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. My friends, Tally Hall, beginning to work in brilliant accord with each other. They are melodies, and they are harmonies. They’ve become their lyrics and laughter. But I knew them well before all that.

I met Joe Hawley when I was six-years-old. Our parents knew each other, and he lived in a cavernous old house of crooked mahogany and dark paisley wallpaper. From my six-year-old perspective, his house was scary as hell. And his parents’ strange professions didn’t exactly put me at ease during those first sleepovers. Mr. Hawley was an old, and long-since retired, magician-turned-orchid hunter. Alone at 3 o’clock in the morning, Mr. Hawley would put on a cape, play calliope, and practice old tricks to a vinyl copy of Queen II in the Hawley family ballroom. Joe and I would watch secretly from the shadows. Joe’s mom was a research scientist in cryogenics– actually, that’s all she and my dad talked about. Occasionally, a sleek mechanical sarcophagus would spend the night in Mr. Hawley’s orchid-filled greenhouse, but it would never be in there long enough for us to look inside.

Joe got into making movies– capturing light and time, as he thought of it– when he was twelve. I was in one of his first films: Frozen Tentacles and the Orchid-Covered Gravestone. We co-wrote the script together in the summer of 1996[3]. In the film, I play a psychotic scientist who can become invisible or mutate into an Antarctic octopus at will. We shot the bulk of the film in graveyards. I drove a submarine made of cardboard, blue paint, and a telescope around cemeteries looking for “the graves” of old archenemies that I had killed– only to resurrect them and kill them again. We screened the film in Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum. It received mixed reviews.

Joe’s dad gave us a rare, bright red orchid in honor of our efforts. Joe’s mom said that she wished she could freeze the summer and thaw it out when we were all old and grey. While she was saying this in Joe’s kitchen, Rob Cantor stole the cardboard submarine from our film and later hawked it for a case of Hi-C Ecto Cooler, the board game Crossfire, and a battered Harmony acoustic guitar. To this day, we all agree it was a great heist and an even better trade.

Rob Cantor was one of those kids who had a monopoly on great ideas. In all seriousness, we became friends by haggling over the price of lemonade. He ran an amazing curbside stand– one of a multitude of business ventures he had going at the time[4]– that gave away free goldfish with every cup. I got all my pet goldfish by buying Rob’s “Patented Lemon Wondermiddel[5],” and one fish, a white-spotted Comet named Zinc, is still alive. To bolster his credibility, Rob even took to wearing fine hats (trilbies and bowlers mostly) and waistcoats everywhere he went. He even had a Purple Heart that he traded off of a retired General who lived in the neighborhood.

I worked at Rob’s stand for a little while during the sixth grade, but we didn’t become “best friends” until he fell out of an oak tree that grew next to his stand. He was finishing a new promotional scheme, hanging lemons with cinnamon dental floss from the oak’s highest branches, when he “slipped as to avoid crushing a Blue Jay’s nest.”

Rob broke his collar bone, cracked seven ribs, and suffered a concussion from the fall. He was in the hospital for a month, and to this day, he swears he heard Strauss’ “Where the Lemon Trees Bloom Op. 364” play from a distance as he fell through the thick tangles.

I visited him almost every day. He got pretty good with that Harmony acoustic during his stay and was particularly delighted when I brought him the broken remains of a periwinkle-hued eggshell I found under his oak tree. One Saturday, I played him a tape that my penpal, Andrew Horowitz, had sent me. Rob didn’t care for it much. To him, it sounded like a bunch of prickly sounds arranged randomly, but something (whether it was the dog barks or the church organs or the shoes crunching leaves, I’ll never know) on Andrew’s tape got me to visit him in New Jersey the next summer.

When I first met Andrew’s parents, I thought they liked me more than he did. His mother said I looked “dapper” even though I was wearing a ripped Fresh Cream t-shirt and ill-fitting khakis. Andrew’s dad was a used car salesman. He’d take old beaters, fix ’em up new, and paint ’em wild colors. He’d work in his garage listening to old hot-rod records all day. Andrew’s mom designed board games[6]. She even helped Andrew’s dad fix up the family cars: a vintage finned Cadillac painted to look like a black whale and a VW van colored like the night’s sky.

I spent two weeks at Andrew’s place. He was quiet at first and mostly asked my opinions of his tapes. He would make little orchestral pieces by looping everyday noises from the neighborhood. His songs reminded me of the old Disney cartoon series Silly Symphonies. Mostly because they were bizarre and crazy: the sounds of buzzing bees, watermelon seeds being spit, wind chimes in a storm, and kids jumping into a pool were turned into little pop songs with Andrew singing softly over the cacophony-turned-melody.

Andrew’s dad drove us to the zoo every couple of days with sack lunches. We’d spend hours in the Penguinarium. Talking and listening. More listening than talking. I distinctly remember Andrew putting on Surf’s Up every night while we fell asleep. One night, while Andrew drifted off as “A Day in the Life of a Tree” played, I cried quietly and breathed deep breaths through my nose. I didn’t know how I could feel so old at twelve. It felt like I had been alive for a million years, and it felt like Andrew and I were little old men who somehow still had their whole lives ahead of them. I fell asleep missing my own bed and my younger brother. The next day, I helped Andrew record a song at the zoo outside of the lions’ cages. I wrote Andrew postcards and visited him twice more in New Jersey before we met up again in college. We were both lonelier kids than we ever let on and having Andrew as a friend helped me to appreciate how beautiful thoughts can be when you’re young and lonely.


Ross and Zubin, drums and bass respectively, were each a different type of childhood friend altogether. The kinds of friends who are mythic by their association to the most freewheeling childhood season: Summer. Ross and Zubin were the best of my best July friends. Though, they were (as most devastating duos are at their onset) archenemies when I first met them.

Up on a mossy pond near the strawberry-shaded banks of Lake Huron, Ross Federman had a chipped-up rowboat that any self-respecting ten-year-old would lust after. Before I was friends with him, I agonized over its whimsical knots and lacquered grandeur. It was small, but it was Ross’. Ross was a collector of sorts, and what he collected skirred over the pond waves with him. He had jars all over the boat filled with grass, sticks, and pet crickets. He named all of his crickets: Marshmallow, Oberon, James T. Kirk, Motorpsycho Nightmare, and Winston to name a few of his favorites. He had an old lantern mounted on an iron post that he claimed was from 18th century London, but I’ve always thought that to be one of his most winsome white lies. And (perhaps Ross’ coolest stockpile) old drums were tied around his rowboat’s hull– rusty snares, slashed-up toms, cymbals, and a shoddy timpani in back. Ross said that to the aquatic life, the reflected light of silver steel cutting across water made his boat look like shoals of sparkling fish. I didn’t really believe this either, but it was all just Ross’ percussive catamaran.

He said he found a drum graveyard in a patch of backwoods behind an old abandoned music camp. At a barbecue three years later, Mr. Federman told me that Ross bought every drum he could find on weekend trips to junkyards in Detroit.

But, for all his hyperbole and preteen perjury, I didn’t give a damn. Ross chewed bubblegum cigars while we fished. When all the stars came out, he’d play tambourine and bongos for his singing crickets as we drifted through black water– campfires and mosquitoes in the distance, occasionally kids with sparklers. He’d catch me a big catfish for my birthday and put it in the kiddy pool behind my cottage. He told my cousins it was an ancient monster, and when it eventually died, he’d bury it in my mom’s garden and hold an impromptu funeral service before we cut the cake. Unfortunately, Zubin did give a damn.

Of all my friends in Tally Hall, Zubin was, and is, the most cryptic. I never knew his siblings or parents, and his presence in Summer was chimeric– like smoke coming off a burning marshmallow or the faint perfume of chlorine from a pool that you’ll never swim in. He kept a fort in the burnt-out basement of an abandoned cottage on the far side of the pond. You know the cottage: overgrown, half a roof, missing windows, courted by adult rationales and kid-spread monster stories. In this rooky cellar, Zubin told stories with no words.

On sticky grey afternoons when you could smell a storm in the air, Zubin would invite friends to his hideout. Thunder rolled gently, and “The Umbrella Gang,” skinny pond-goers seeking sanctuary, would fill the basement. It held the essentials: a red metal cooler filled with ice and soda in glass bottles, Zubin’s grandpa’s stand-up bass, a battery-powered blue plastic record player, Zubin’s record collection, countless flashlights and umbrellas, and Zubin’s grandpa’s WWII sleeping bag. Kids would sit on towels and ride out the storm as Zubin played his grandpa’s bass to Motown records. To Zubin, bass melodies told the truest stories that could be told– more pure and expressive than even a song’s lyrics. To Zubin, Ross was no storyteller. Ross was a liar. He’d tell me this again and again when I was the only subterranean gangster to weather a storm with him. During one storm where I was convinced thick lightning was going to crush us both, I made him stop playing along to the appropriate Temptations cut “I Wish it Would Rain” replacing it instead with The Marvelettes’ “Beechwood 4-5789.”

We never found out who did it, but there have been many speculations over the years. At the tail-end of a lazy drizzle in August 1998, Ross heard a cannonade. He found his boat on fire, sinking, and with a hula-hoop-sized hole in its hull. One of The Umbrella Gang had sunk the leviathan with a pair of Genuine M-80s. I still remember Ross’ impromptu eulogy– itself a bastardized A. W. Pugin quote: “There is nothing worth living for but Christian Architecture and a boat. And I’ve never been able to recognize Christian Architecture.” Out of respect and associative responsibility, Zubin and other members of The Umbrella Gang dove in, salvaged what they could, and moved it all down into Zubin’s cellar[7]. Ross’ unnamed wreck still lies in its crypt of seaweed. And in the newly shared summertime hangout, it was only a week before Zubin and Ross turned their animosity into a sparky rhythm section. “Provocateurs at harmonious odds.” That’s what Andrew made of the situation when I wrote him about it.


And that’s Tally Hall’s mini biography. Later, my friends met in college, formed a band, and played wonky rock-and-roll for everyone. They wear color-coded ties that serve as indicators of individual chromatic interests and, more importantly, reminders of ideas, humor, and humourous ideas. “Making people laugh and smile is the only thing worth getting out of bed for,” Joe told me a long time ago. And, as far as my personal accounts go, it reminds me of a quote from a book I once borrowed from Joe’s dad, The Amateur Magician’s Handbook: “Memory is an internally edited record of interest (not of attention, much less of ‘events’)” (Hay 3). These are my most heartfelt and ridiculous memories of Rob, Ross, Joe, Andrew, and Zubin. It’s when my friends were electric and red-blooded. And my interests and old recollections become new again whenever I listen to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum or see Tally Hall play live. They recreate the memories and emotions I’ve wrote down in this biography at each and every show.

Talk to them after a show. You’ll see that they believe in you as much as they believe in themselves, and with that, you’ll have known them just as long as I have. They drove me to think only my wiliest thoughts and smile at times when near everybody was lionizing practicality and dead dreams.

Their songs are dreams of themselves dreamt in the lifetimes of an instant. Their songs are songs to transform your world... as they’ve transformed mine. I’ll always be “looking through glass eyes/ giv[ing] it a few tries” (“Good Day” Horowitz).

To conclude, I’ll paraphrase a quote Abraham Lincoln should have said in 1865: “Imagine if the great War Between the States were fought with songs instead of guns– bands instead of battalions. The casualties would have been aesthetic growth and the outcome would have been an unimaginable tomorrow. A better tomorrow in all ways. A tomorrow with better music. A tomorrow with more living than dead. A tomorrow with a freedom so wild that it’s almost inconceivable.” Lincoln on psychotropics. Lincoln listening to Pet Sounds alone on a train writing an anachronistic address for 1966 Gettysburg. Just a stovepipe hat, a Stratocaster, and an absurd and beautiful daydream draped in colors that managed to seep through the sepia of hypothetical histories.

Dedicated to: The Slurpee, 1967’s frozen carbonated beverage of wonder Millard Fillmore, infamous Know Nothing & our 13th President and Marvin Yagoda, an old pharmacist with the best cure you’ll ever know

ABOUT THE AUTHOR BERNIE J. MICHAEL grew up and went to school with TALLY HALL. He is a member of THE ROYAL LIONS and, currently, continues to dream and learn at the UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN, ANN ARBOR.


[1] A record company with quirk and heart to spare thriving in beautiful ruins that were once home to MC5, The Stooges, The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, and The Gories–just to name a few... who put sincerity above pop propriety.

[2] A circus reverie remembered in reverse by The Beatles on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts 2 Club Band.

[3] And by co-wrote, I mean, I ate blue popsicles and listened to Revolver while Joe brainstormed and tended to his father’s ancient orchids.

[4] He also ran a rock tumbling business that gave away homemade rock candy with every order of rocks tumbled, was assistant manager at Sparkle Laundromat, and started a telegram office out of his attic which catered to kids grades K through 12. All before he was eleven-years old.

[5] Wondermiddel, I later found out in college, is Dutch for “cure-all.”

[6] Ever hear of Haunted Treehouse or Soda!? Both independently distributed boardgames designed by Mrs. Horowitz.

[7] All but one of the cricket jars were salvaged.


  • On Broadjam.com, the band list their likes and dislikes. Among their likes are chinchillas, "good times", Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and music. Their dislikes are "bad times", chinchilla poachers, and Joseph Stalin. It is also noted they enjoy "harvesting ideas from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".[36]
  • For some shows that were 18+ or 21+, Tally Hall would offer fans that couldn't go to their shows a special acoustic set before or after shows.[37] Particularly, one set was played after their November 2006 performance at the North Star Bar.[38]
  • Comedy Central approached Tally Hall to create music for the television show "Important Things with Demetri Martin", but the band would turn it down.[39]
  • "Jimmy Neutron" creator Keith Alcorn and "Will & Grace" actor Eric McCormack are both fans of Tally Hall.[40][41] Artist Jonathan Coulton is also a big fan, seeing the band multiple times in concert.[42]
  • In interviews from 2007 to 2008, Tally Hall would state they had plans for an amusement park.[43][44] It is unknown how serious these plans were, or if they had any plans past the general idea of an amusement park.
  • Tally Hall formed an LLC to manage their touring, called Bob Jacobs International LLC.[45]






Promotional CDs

Miscellaneous Collections Of Songs

Side Projects, Solo Albums, & Old Bands

Equipment List

The following is a list of equipment the members of Tally Hall use or have used. For a more comprehensive list, see https://equipboard.com/band/tally-hall.


  • Ross plays a 5-piece Pearl Reference kit in Granite Sparkle.

Drum sizes:

  • 22x18 bass drum
  • 10x8 tom
  • 12x9 tom
  • 16x16 floor tom
  • 14x6.5 snare drum
  • Primero Pro 7"/8.5 bongo

He also uses a Roland SPD-S sampler to trigger samples throughout the show.


Joe Hawley

  • Primary Electric Guitars:
    1. Rickenbacker 330 (Main from 2007-2011, sometimes used as backup for the Strat around 2007/8)
    2. Fender Stratocaster (Main from 2003-2007, used as a backup guitar later on)
    Both guitars would be played through a Fender Hot Rod Deville, Joe would also use a Boss GT-8 multi-effect processor
  • Primary Acoustic Guitars:
    1. Seagull S6 (Main from 2005-2011, shared with Rob early on before Rob switched to a Gibson acoustic)
    2. Taylor 214 (Used at some acoustic sets as well as in studio for Good & Evil)
    3. Takamine G-Series (Used at some acoustic sets)

Rob Cantor

  • Primary Electric Guitars:
    1. Gibson Les Paul (Main from 2007-2011)
    2. Fender Stratocaster (Main from 2003-2007, used as backup guitar later on as well as on performances of Out In The Twilight)
    Both guitars would be played through a Vox AC30, Rob would also use a Boss GT-6 multi-effect processor
  • Primary Acoustic Guitars:
    1. Gibson J-185 EC (Main from 2007-2011)
    2. Seagull S6 (Main from 2003-2007, shared with Joe before switching to the Gibson)

Bass Guitars

  • Fender Jaguar Bass (Zubin's main from 2007-2011)
  • Fender Jazz Bass (Zubin's main from 2003-2007, additional brought as backup from 2006-2011)

Both basses would be played through an Ampeg Classic Series SVT450H head with a Classic Series SVT 410HLF cabinet, Zubin would also use a Boss GT-6B multi-effect unit.


  • Yamaha S90 ES (Andrew's main from 2005-2011)
  • Kurzweil PC2x (Andrew's main from 2002-2005, switched to the Yamaha between the 12/15 and 12/17 concerts in 2005)
  • Alesis ION (2005-2011, used alongside the Yamaha or Kurzweil)

These keyboards would be played through a Roland KC-550 amp. Andrew would also use a Roland SP404 sampler to trigger samplers and enable vocal pitch shifting, as well as Apple's Logic Mainstage keyboard software starting in 2009.


The boys sing through Sennheiser e935 vocal microphones. Ross prefers Sennheiser e904 tom microphones.


  1. ‘U’ brings Tally Hall to Spring Game. The Michigan Daily.
  2. Spotlight on: Tally Hall. Michigan Daily.
  3. interview :: tally hall. Music is Art.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 2006 Tally Hall site bio.
  5. "Let us entertain you" by Rich Albertoni, Isthmus website
  6. It’s a ‘Good Day’ for Lennon Scholarship Winner.
  7. Tally Hall Complete Demos - bandcamp
  8. Joe Hawley from Tally Hall on WXJR, 01/22/2009. YouTube.
  9. Tally Hall – Residency Tour. Discogs.
  10. Pop Goes The World. Metrotimes.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Tally Hall 2006 1sheet PDF
  12. 12.0 12.1 Tally Hall Takes Trip To The Ox. The Michigan Daily. April 6th 2006.
  13. The O.C. Music Season 3 Episode 20 The Day After Tomorrow
  14. The O.C. Music Season 4 Episode 11 The Dream Lover
  15. Music In Brief. AV Club. January 2nd 2007.
  16. Jennie’s “Tally Hajj” — 04.08.06. Hidden in the Sand Fan Journal.
  17. Craig Ferguson talking about Mancow's recommendation of Tally Hall in June 2006. SoundCloud.
  18. Tally Hall on The Late, Late Show (Good Day). YouTube.
  19. Tally Hall - MTV's You Hear it First. YouTube.
  20. Tally Hall Say 'Good Day' to America; 'MARVIN'S MARVELOUS MECHANICAL MUSEUM' Set for April 1, 2008 Release
  21. SOUTH BY SOUTHWEST 2007. Vimeo.
  22. BLENDER - SxSW: Tally Hall
  23. Tally Hall Praise You August 3rd 2008 live recording
  24. Tally Hall on The Late, Late Show (Welcome to Tally Hall). YouTube.
  25. Tally Hall tweet
  26. Andrew Horowitz tweet
  27. Good & Evil - iTunes.
  28. Sketches 3d Kickstarter page
  29. Tally Hall tweet about Just a Friend's streaming release.
  30. Tally Hall Shop announcement Twitter post
  31. 31.0 31.1 Joe and Ross on Jimmy Jam Radio, 02/21/2018. YouTube.
  32. ミラクルミュージカル's Reddit AMA. Ross saying Tally Hall still exists.
  33. Rob, Ross, Zubin, & Andrew Address The Community
  34. Tally Hall 2008 bio, archived at: skyetheguy.com
  35. Hidden In The Sand Twitter, confirming that Bernie Michael is a real person.
  36. https://www.broadjam.com/TALLYHALL
  37. LiveJournal post about Tally Hall acoustic sets for fans
  38. Tally Hall Van Performance: Two Wuv. YouTube.
  39. Tally Hall’s Admittedly Incomplete Demos and What They Mean. Hidden in the Sand.
  40. Jonk Music article about Tally Hall
  41. LiveJournal article about Tally Hall's concert at Spaceland 2006.
  42. Jonathan Coulton tweet about Tally Hall.
  43. Bullet Fredericksburg. November 15th 2007.
  44. Collegian Interview. April 2008.
  45. Zubin Sedghi's LinkedIn Page.Zubin Sedghi. LinkedIn. Webpage. Accessed 12 June, 2023.