Sitting at the bar in Los Angeles's legendary Whisky A Go-Go rock and roll venue last March with his band, "The Lizard King" spied a picture of Janis Joplin on the wall and took it as an omen.
"It must mean we have a good chance," said The Lizard King, who is alternatively known around DLA Piper as Perrie Michael Weiner, international co-chair of the firm's securities litigation practice and managing partner of its Century City office.
He finished his drink and headed to the stage with his fellow band members from DLA Piper to perform "Piece of My Heart" and a handful of other songs for a battle-of-the-bands charity event in which all the musicians hail from law firms.
With help from Law Rocks, the nonprofit organization behind the fund-raising event, the seven bands that performed in Los Angeles's second annual competition raised more than $100,000 for charity. Weiner's band, Run DLA, rapped, strummed, and drummed its way to being voted winner of the night by the cheering audience and judges and alone brought in more than $44,000 to the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.
This month Law Rocks comes to San Francisco for the first time. Already five bands-Generator (Hanson Bridgett), Def Piper (DLA Piper), and Talk Tonight (Cooley, Gap Legal, Zynga Legal, and Zenmark Branding Services) to name few-have signed up for the musical face-off at The Independent.
Law Rocks began in London and in four years has helped raise more than half a million dollars through some 30 concerts. Its inaugural U.S. show came in 2012 in Los Angeles. In a testament to its potential for success on this side of the pond, all four bands that performed last year reenlisted for the 2013 competition.
"I hadn't played drums in 30 years," says Weiner, "but I couldn't get behind it fast enough." He says it was a great way to bring the firm together and boost morale.
It was Jay Rains, DLA Piper's national co-chairman, who gave Weiner his stage name in a fund-raising email, according to Timothy Carreon, an economist with the firm who rapped Run DLA's opening number, "Walk This Way."
"I went from playing Jack Johnson on the guitar in my bedroom to rapping on stage," Carreon says. "It was quite challenging, but it's what we were willing to do to get first place."