Westport native nominated for Grammy

WESTPORT - When Ben Goldwasser was growing up in Westport, being part of a Grammy-nominated band was never part of his long-term plans.

Still, a rather remarkable series of events has plunged this 26-year-old and his bandmates into seemingly instant stardom on an international scale.

Goldwasser always had an inclination for music, taking piano lessons from age eight. He would often perform music in talent shows at school or get together with friends after school to play music together.

"I always thought music was something I would do for fun, and it would never turn into a a career," Goldwasser said.

After graduating from Westport Central School in 2001, Goldwasser went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. to study Physics, though he later switched his major to Music. There, he met Andrew VanWyngarden, a fellow music major who quickly became a close friend. Together, they formed a band named "The Management."

"It just started out hanging out playing music together," said Goldwasser. "The line between having it be a band and just hanging out together was always kind of blurred."

Their early performances were a two-man act that involved hooking up an iPod to an amplifier and speakers and singing along with their pre-recorded music.

"We never decided to take any of it seriously," Goldwasser recalled. "It was just something we were doing for fun."

Still, they continued to perform after graduating from Wesleyan, going on tour to open for another popular college band called "Of Montreal." Eventually, they shortened the name of their band to MGMT since another band named The Management already existed. They also added a drummer, guitarist and bassist to produce more of a live sound.

The fun of touring soon gave way to financial needs, however, and the band parted ways. Goldwasser took a job building straw bale houses near Oneonta.

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