WHEN BANKERS GET DOWN
Visitors strolling through Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year will pay homage to Janis Joplin, David Bowie, AC/DC, The Boss, and — a bunch of bankers from Fleet Capital Leasing?

Yep. A shout out to The Residuals, winners of Fortune magazine’s third annual Battle of the Corporate Bands, which was held at the Hall in October. Besting competitors like The Briggs Bluesbusters from Briggs & Stratton and the Sonic Tones of Sonic Industries, the seven-man ensemble thundered to victory in a set that included the Clash’s “Brand New Cadillac” and Santana’s “Black Magic Woman.”

There were no groupies or trashed-out hotel rooms, but each Residual got a handsome, monogrammed Hall jacket. And best of all, a photo of the band will hang in the rock shrine during 2004. That adds up to way more than fifteen minutes of fame.

“We were probably playing to 400 or 500 people,” says lead singer Howard Merritt, vice president of managed assets. “It was a super weekend.”

The $47 billion merger of FleetBoston Financial and Bank of America notwithstanding, the bluesy bankers will continue to play office parties and the like, including “an integration function in Boston, to ease the pain,” jokes CCO Bill Kell, the band’s drummer. And, since BOA doesn’t have an existing band, Kell and Merritt don’t have to worry about redundancies and layoffs.