ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Listening to Elton John’s “Rocket Man” in the 2nd grade changed Will Hollis’ life.
“We had these little record players on our table at school and I’ll never forget the table next to us put on Elton John’s Rocket Man … and I remember just hearing that song and something clicked in me, I don’t know what it was … and from then on it was all music all the time,” Hollis remembered.
Hollis went on to perform in Rochester bands while attending McQuaid Jesuit High School.
“I cut my teeth in Rochester,” Hollis said. “All of my early musical experiences were formative here.”
After school, Hollis started to tour with various artists until one day the big call came.
“I literally got a call out of the blue from Don Henley’s office to audition for his upcoming solo tour which was 1999 and I went down and auditioned and I got the gig and never looked back,” he said.
Hollis toured with Henley and is still touring with the Eagles as their keyboardist and music director.
Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain have also benefited from Hollis’ talent as he has served as music director for both of them.
His work has earned him a spot in this year’s class of inductees in the Rochester Music Hall of Fame.
“I was just kind of shocked when I heard about the whole thing and so I’m just kind of shocked and humbled by the whole thing and honored to be here,” Hollis said.
Hollis’ wife, children and parents will plan to attend the Hall of Fame induction ceremony which takes place this Sunday at 7 pm. Tickets are still available.