The History of Rock-It

“Rock-It”, also referred to as “The Rock-It Band” was formed in 1993, but it was originally named “Rock Hard”.  The original members include 2 of the current members; Gary Hodill (Lead Vocals & Guitar) and Craig Stolar (Lead Guitar & Vocals).  The original bass player, Rick Darr was actually the founding member.   Although he is no longer in the band he still stays in touch and often attends Craig’s annual birthday bash known as “Craigstock”.

In 1992, Rick Darr played in a band that was the house band at a bar called “The Prime Time” in the North Hills, so they called the band “The Prime Time All Stars Band”.  The band invited fellow musicians to come up and play a few songs on a regular basis.  Rick Darr knew Rik Schnupp (drummer) from a previous band, “Assassin” and Craig Stolar (Guitar, vocals and keys) from “Obsession”.  Both were frequent guest musicians at the Prime Time.  In 1993, the Leader of the PrimeTime band, Ron Palone had an accident at his job and lost the use of  one of his arms.  The band was finished but Rick Darr wanted to carry on so he called on another long time band mate, Gary Hodill (lead vocals and guitar) and Rock Hard was formed.

Rock Hard played the same basic “Classic & New Rock” format as the modern version of the band, Rock-It, but after a couple of years, the band felt their name gave wrong impression of their music, so Rick Darr suggested calling themselves “Rock-It”. 

Ironically, in 2002, Rick Darr moved to Texas to be with a girl he met on the Internet, (that’s weird, isn’t it?) and left the band.  The remaining members wanted to continue so they hired a bass player to replace Rick.  That didn’t work out (...creative differences!?) and they hired another bass player, then another, then another, then another, then….well, you get the idea.  Gary Chabala joined the band for about a year and did a great job but wanted to move on to play a different kind of music.  The next bass player was Jon Smith (or whatever his real name is), who showed promise but mysteriously disappeared.  Gary Chabala was kind enough to fill in for a while until we got a permanent replacement. 

Gary Chabala has filled in on bass on more than one occasion.  Gary has always been a solid bass player with a great attitude and he is welcome to come and jam with us anytime

In January of 2009, Dan Wilt joined the band.  Dan had also played with Rik in another band.  Rik has been a good source of bass players.  Dan rehearses with some other bands but he has made Rock-It his priority.  His rock solid playing and great attitude have been a welcome edition to the band.

Rik Schnupp played with the band until May 2012 when he had to retire due to health reasons.  Rik’s hard hitting yet dynamic style of drumming was a signature of the band for 20 years. 

Todd Gillie stepped in on drums in June of 2012.  He brought his own unique energy to the sound of the band.

Jim Hoelle took over on drums in December of 2014. As a seasoned veteran he was able to hit the ground running and created a solid foundation for the band.

Pat Rush joined the band in September of 2015.  Pat formerly played with Craig in a band called Suncrystal in the late 1970’s through 1980.  That band did a lot of weddings on Saturdays and performed in bars on Fridays.

Rock-It carries on the tradition of inviting their musician friends to jam with them at the gigs, usually in the 3rd set.  When you go to see Rock-It, you are bound see other quality musicians performing songs that Rock-It would not normally play.

Rock-It’s main objective is to put on the best show possible and to have fun because playing in a local rock band is not exactly a high paying job.

-Craig Stolar

To contact us:

A Classic Rock Band

The Rock-It Band  (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pat                 Gary              Dan            Craig