Denver Bar Association
December 2006
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Lawyers Who Rock: Meet the Lawyers Behind "Mulligan"

by Doug McQuiston

The Docket occasionally profiles lawyers with interesting sidelines. This month, we decided to take a look at lawyers who trade their briefcases and BlackBerries for "axes" and amps, (at least on weekends) — Lawyers Who Rock.


Mulligan

Local Denver band "Mulligan" is full of lawyers: Scott Nixon (DU ’84, lead guitar and vocals), Gary Benson (DU ’90, sax and vocals) and Andy Engeman (DU ’91, bass and drums). The roster is rounded out by local educator Dave Craven (keyboards and vocals), NOAA physicist Chuck Eubank (drums) and CU administrator Morgan Bays (guitar and vocals). They’re all accomplished professionals, talented musicians and great friends. I sat down with Nixon, Benson and Engeman recently over burgers at The Cherry Cricket, to bask in their rock star aura, and find out a little more about the band.

Seeing them in a courtroom, classroom or boardroom, you’d never know about their "other life." These guys have no tattoos (that they would show me), no nose rings or mohawks. But don’t let their buttoned-down appearance fool you — when they’re on stage, they can really lay it down. From tight, smoking covers of Motown, Elvis, the Proclaimers, and Eric Burden and the Animals, to an assortment of other hits from the ’70s through the ’90s, (and even a few of their own tunes), their repertoire has something for almost everyone. Since 1994, Mulligan has torn the roof off some of the best dumps around Denver, from Herman’s Hideaway on Broadway, to the Celtic Crossing Pub in Castle Rock, with stops in all the better backyards, basements and Elks’ Lodges along the way.

Nixon played in law school at DU, in a band only a law student could name: "Anthony Marino and the Rule Against Perpetuities." He met fellow defense lawyers Andy Engeman and Gary Benson in the early ’90s, and they became friends. Though Gary was into jazz and Andy was a "suburban punk," they started getting together to play in each others’ basements. As they played together, their sound got tighter, and word spread. They played a wedding as a favor to a fellow lawyer in the early ’90s, and "Mulligan" was born. Other "friends and family" gigs started coming along. Then, in 1994 they started playing paid gigs at local music clubs and bars, in addition to their growing party and wedding gig schedule. "We even played a wedding in (Denver rock promoter legend) Barry Fey’s backyard," Andy mentioned. Not for Barry, he later confessed, but for a lawyer friend of Nixon’s who borrowed the backyard for his daughter’s nuptials.

The band has never used a contract, just a handshake, to solidify gigs. (Go figure — a rock band of lawyers that never uses a contract.)

"We play for fun," Benson commented. "And the chicks," the happily-married Engeman deadpanned.

It fell to Nixon to remind his pals of the reality they face now that (how can I put this kindly) they are a bit too "mature" for their tight leather jeans: "Forget the chicks, Andy. We don’t need groupies, we need roadies those amps are heavy!"

The guys asked me to point out that they are looking forward to getting a lot of new gigs from this article. If you want to hire them, just give Scott, Gary or Andy a call — they’re in the book. If your musical taste runs to classic rock and backbeat-driven R&B, you won’t be disappointed.


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