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How I became Von Cello:
The True Story

by Aaron Minsky (a.k.a. Von Cello)


Way back in elementary school I formed my first rock band: The Sound Smashers. In Junior High I formed my second rock band: Hang Nail. By High School I was playing professionally as a lead guitarist and singer/songwriter. That is why my friends were shocked when I suddenly quit my band, cut my hair, and started practicing the cello day and night! Few could understand how I could do such a "crazy" thing. But my close friends understood that I had become a man with a mission.

One day the rhythm guitarist and drummer of Hang Nail came to my house determined to put an end to my "cello nonsense". They had pinned their hopes for years of idolization by local girls on being in a band with Aaron Minsky and they were not going to let anything get in their way - including me! The drummer stayed outside to watch the bikes and the guitarist came up to my room only to find me sitting there bowing the dreaded instrument!

He wasted no time in aggressively questioning me on how I could give up the benefits of local rock stardom (girls, fame, girls, money, girls) to hang out in my room all day bowing on a cello! I tried several times to calmly explain my vision of revolutionizing an instrument, of becoming to the cello what Hendrix was to the guitar or what Ian Anderson was to the flute. But he would have none of it. Frustrated, he stammered, "I don't get it" and waving his arms, he started repeating over and over, louder and louder, "Why do you have to play the cello? Why do you have to play the cello? Why do you have to play the cello?" Finally something snapped in me. I rose to my feet, bow held high, and shouted: "BECAUSE I AM VON CELLO!"

He looked as surprised as I was. He backed away and walked out of the room. When he got outside the drummer said, "What happened? Is he back in the band?" The guitarist replied with a blank stare, "He's Von Cello."

Somehow the details of this incident spread like wildfire and it wasn't long before everyone was calling me Von Cello! (You can read comments from the Hang Nail drummer here: Visitor #1

I left the following fall to music college. At school I was back to being Aaron Minsky and continued to be known that way as I entered the classical music profession. During those years I played on and off with several rock bands. When I finally decided to form my own cello-fronted-rock-power-trio I spoke to my bandmates about a name. I proposed several possibilities but the drummer said, "There are a million bands out there but what makes us unique is you, and you ARE Von Cello!" Thus was born the Von Cello Band! The rest, as they say, is history!

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