Robert Mercurio, along with Jeff Raines, grew up in the Washington D.C. area. Together, they played in a number of different local bands. When it was time to pick a college to attend, the city the school was in was more important than the school. They wanted to be in New Orleans. "We heard about the Meters and knew about the whole scene," Mercurio says. "We knew we wanted to play music but we also had to go to school." So Robert ended up at Tulane University (Raines at Loyola). But the real classes were conducted in the city's music clubs. On their first night in town, Mercurio and Raines went to Benny's, an after hours club where late night funk and blues went down. The club has now been closed down due to city officials declaring the club a neighborhood nuisance. "We fell in love with that scene." It was places like Benny's and Tipitina's that kept Mercurio in New Orleans during his tenure at Tulane, and is what keeps him there to this day!
"I remember when I was a freshman in college going to shows at Tipitina's that were totally packed and thinking to myself 'Maybe someday I'll play here.' Looking up at that Professor Longhair banner...imagining what it would look like from the stage, instead of from the audience. We never intended for [Galactic] to be this successful. I never thought I'd really be making a living off of music. But I can't say I'm not happy about it."