Thursday , March 23, 2017 - 12:29 PM
It started with deployment for Operation Iraqi Freedom, and turned into international tours of another kind.
The band American Hitmen was started by brother Dan and Tim Cord and fellow Marine Dan Jarmon during a deployment in 2005. The trio started with a couple acoustic guitars and music after missions, according to the group’s Facebook page.
Back stateside, they started performing at Camp Pendleton, and at other venues located in Southern California before being redeployed to Iraq in 2006. The second time around, they found themselves performing as a supporting act for The Charlie Daniels Band, who was inducted in 2016 to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Tim Cord reflected on the event during a recent interview, saying it was one of the coolest experiences he’s been part of.
After being honorably discharged in 2007, the group relocated to Salt Lake City.
A year later, they welcomed drummer Phil Snyder to the group, who they found via Craigslist. Bassist David Briggs was also a new edition that year, replacing Dan Jarmon.
According to their Facebook page, they also were “The first rock band of Marine Corps combat veterans to play on the flight deck of the USS Midway,” and the site ReverbNation corroborates their 2009 account of being the first rock n’ roll band to play in Vietnam since 1973. The Hitmen were invited by the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture to open perform at the opening of the country’s first Hard Rock Cafe in Ho Chi Minh City.
In 2013, the group made it into the top 16 contenders on Season 8 of the national TV show America’s Got Talent.
It started with a friend urging them to audition — and they almost didn’t listen.
“The audition was 90 seconds,” said Cord. “What we were not cool with was setting up a whole band thing for a 90 second song, so me and Dan showed up with a DVD in hand of some of our live performances.”
The judges then asked if they were going to perform. They said no and told them to watch the DVD and get in touch if they liked what they saw.
Apparently, they did.
“I have been waiting for two seasons,” Howard Stern said after one of their performances to a screaming crowd, “to find a band that could go all the way to the top and I believe you’re a true contender.”
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They made it to the quarterfinals before being eliminated.
“We got to play at Radio City Music Hall, and then we got to lose to a 10-year-old-girl — it was awesome,” Tim Cord said with a chuckle.
The group has made their way without an outside manager, label or promoter.
Tim Cord has acted as manager and spokesperson for the group, mentioning that networking and their previous shows have helped them book shows and tours.
They performed in Europe and the United Kingdom in 2016 and just returned a week ago from performing in Egypt, Jordan and Romania.
Now, the band will be performing at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at Funk ‘n Dive in Ogden.
This is a 21+ event, with a $5 cover charge at the door.
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