Cheeseburgers, The

THE CHEESEBURGERS are named after Buffett's 1974 song, "Cheeseburger in Paradise". Their aim is to recreate the party atmosphere Buffett brings to the stage, playing that mix of country, reggae, rock and calypso that has made Buffett's music an American treasure. They blend rock guitar, island rhythms, solid dance beats and the sounds of steel drum and marimba into that unmistakeable Buffett/Coral Reefer sound. And their three lead singers harmonize on all the "Songs You Know By Heart". All the elements are here; the tales of drunken hijinks on the high seas; the poignant ballads; the stories of less-than-perfect people stumbling through a not-so-perfect world. The band mixes Buffett's music with Cheeseburger originals in the JB tradition from their CD, "No Bad Days" and familiar rock and roll favorites everyone likes to dance to. It's a locally grown treat for fans of this music and anyone who likes to have a good time.

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John Powell has been playing keyboards and guitar at Eugene's best parties for three decades. He played with Wheatfield in the '70s, the Ron Lloyd band in the '80s, and is currently leader of the Valley Boys. He has been a Buffett fan for years, and in a lucid moment, placed a newspaper ad that beget The Cheeseburgers. John owns 57 Hawaiian shirts even though some of them don't fit anymore.

Don Ross
was born in San Francisco, raised in Sacramento and moved to Eugene to attend the UO. As a teenager, Don fortunately lost a coin toss and had to play guitar instead of banjo in a folk duo. Since then he has played lead guitar and sang in a number of bands including Wheatfield, Arroyo, and Gloria Gold and Showdown, appearing with acts as diverse as Hank Williams Jr. to Bonnie Raitt. He then started Don Ross Productions, a prominent recording studio. While collecting a Gold Record, Grammy nominations and recording countless albums for other artists, he kept his trusty guitars around. Don still has his day job, but is enjoying his mid-life revival playing guitar and singing.

Clark Lynch
grew up in Springfield, Oregon and spent his youth touring with shows from Vegas to Alabama and from Missoula to Texas, appearing with Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard among others. He returned to Eugene, playing with various rock bands until hanging it up in the '70s. He had a rekindling of his musical desire when The Cheeseburgers needed a drummer, and he quickly regained his skills to create that "down island" rhythm. Clark is overjoyed to be playing again and proud to be a Cheeseburger.

Arne Olsen
is a life-long Eugene area resident. He grew up playing piano, viola and trombone. During his college years at the UofO, he started to play the bass in bands with his friends. He has played with countless Eugene-area groups, including Zydeblue, The Zydeco-dependents, ToneDawg, and The Revelators. He has even performed on stage with the likes of James Cotton and Neville Brothers drummer, Willie Green. When he's not pumping out fat bass lines for The Cheeseburgers, Arne puts in a 40 hour work-week at the UO Bookstore Processing Center, plays soccer, and works on his new house. He also loves to sit in on a friendly game of poker.

Megan Walsh was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, where she began singing along to Jimmy Buffett at the ripe old age of ten. After her own Parrothead conversion, she single-handedly turned the rest of her family into Parrotheads. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Oregon. Megan says she has always dreamed of being a backup singer for Jimmy. (Performing with The Cheeseburgers, has to run a close second, don't ya think?) She enjoys camping, traveling and dancing (a definite requirement for singing with The Cheeseburgers). Obscure fact: Megan is the only girl in her family, and the last of four siblings to join a band.

Maylian Pak
was born and raised in Elberta, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Master's in Geography. She's now working at the Eugene Symphony helping provide symphonic music to the residents of the southern Willamette Valley. Maylian - rhymes with alien - has been acting and singing in community theater and choir since she was five years old. When she's not performing on stage with The Cheeseburgers, she enjoys cycling, traveling and hiking. Obscure fact: before trading in her clogs for flip-flops, Maylian clogged with two traditional performance groups: the Dixie Rhythm and Happy Feet Cloggers.

Jessica Best
, a native Oregonian, has been singing and dancing her whole life...since her dad was performing at county fairs more than a quarter century ago. Having gone to grad school in Linguistics and made fine pastries for Triomphe, she is now a career advisor with the College of Business at the UO. Little known fact: Jessica didn't know any Buffett songs until one week prior to her first performance with the Cheeseburgers. Don't worry, she knows and loves them all now!


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