The history of the Bourbon Street Hitmen all started in 2001.
6 musicians were assembled with one monumental goal in mind…to bring GREAT
CLASSIC ROCK AND ROLL back to the forefront of New Orleans popular culture.
In this pursuit, they knew they would need a venue.
For 6 months, the musicians would rehearse 8 hours a day, and spend 8-12 hours a night
building a nightclub on Bourbon Street to showcase this “Supergroup”.
Bright and early one morning during construction, an event occurred that would change
their lives, as well as the collective lives, of all Americans forever…9/11.
Knowing that people would be reeling from the event and in need of an escape, they
doubled their efforts and opened the club later that year.
The band and the club were an IMMEDIATE success and changed the landscape of live
music on Bourbon Street PERMANENTLY!
During this time, the band went through several name changes…FunHouse, Sucker
Punch, Machine Gun Kelly, and ultimately found their identity, RockBox!
As the years passed, dozens of AMAZING musicians graced the stage with this group,
but only two would remain an integral part of its lineup throughout its history…Eric Knight
and Robert Manganello.
The two had differing styles and personalities, saw business and performance through
different eyes, but always agreed that the band would remain true to the music to which it
Fast forward a few years…
The band had quickly grown in popularity. They were known to play for 5-6 hours
without a break, and up to 9 hours a night…5 nights a week!
Their setlist was as diverse as the members.
The band had spent much of its time on Bourbon Street,entertaining the
masses…however it was gaining a reputation around the country as THE PREMIER
Classic Rock band.
Offers to tour across the states starting pouring in! Alaska, Arizona, South Carolina,
Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas…EVERYONE wanted to experience the high
During the summer of 2005, however, their expansion would be put on a devastating
hiatus, as their hometown would suffer one of the worst natural disasters to
The band members were scattered across the country.
They were able to reunite in Austin, Texas for a few weeks to open a New Orleans-style
As the city slowly rebuilt, so did RockBox. With a few members getting together to play
shows from Florida to Texas, the word began to spread that the band was regrouping…
and that they would be returning to Bourbon Street once again!
Upon their return, it was obvious that the landscape had once again changed.
Many of the live music venues were unable to reopen, or were converted to other
“entertainment” styles. It was widely believed that live music could never rebound in the
With the help of a handful of other dedicated local bands, they were once again able to
resurrect the Bourbon Street music scene!
Fast forward a few more years…
The music of the times began to take a very drastic turn.
Bands were no longer “BANDS”. Musicians were no longer required to play their
instruments or singers to sing their parts.
Technology had made it easy for anyone to record an album and be a star. Auto-tune
and tracking became the new standard.
While everyone around them embraced the change, RockBox stayed true to its nature,
refusing to take the easy route of tracking and sequencing.
Their live show continued to grow and expand, however the dynamics of the ‘live music
vs. DJ’ debate had taken many of the venues and prospects away from bands
With this in mind, they chose to remain on Bourbon Street and continue entertaining
people from all over the world.
Fast forward to NOW!!!
With the most experienced and varied lineup in its history, RockBox emerges into the
national spotlight once again as The BOURBON STREET HITMEN!
Four of its members were frontmen in their previous bands, ranging from small duos and
piano to national and internationally touring acts.
This allows for a level of vocal harmony that remains unmatched.
Eric and Robert, as well as the rest of the members, are still as passionate about the band
as they were when they built it 14 years ago.
Their show is an amazing testament to the strength and resilience of the music (AND
MUSICIANS) of the GREATEST era of music…the 70’s and 80’s!!!