Saturday, January 19, 2013

Preach It, Bruce!

Taking a little break from politics tonight to promote an excellent charitable organization, The Light Of Day Foundation, which holds its annual benefit concerts this weekend in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
A little background information, from the Light Of Day website:
In 2000, Benjamin and Tony Pallagrosi of Concerts East, Inc. organized the first official Light of Day concert, which took place at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park on Nov. 3 – Benjamin’s birthday. Headlining were Joe Grushecky and the Houserockers, the Pittsburgh-based band managed by Benjamin. The show featured an appearance by Bruce Springsteen, who joined the Houserockers for a late-night set that ended well after 2 a.m.
In 2001 and 2002, the show moved to the now-demolished Tradewinds in Sea Bright, and returned to the Stone Pony in 2003, becoming a two-day event. It was a three-day event in 2004. Dozens of artists, including Gary U.S. Bonds, Garland Jeffreys, John Eddie, La Bamba and the Hubcaps, Marah, Soozie Tyrell, Highway 9, Boccigalupe and the Badboys, Dan Bern, Willie Nile, Pete Yorn, Robert Earl Keen, Southside Johnny and Jesse Malin have performed at Light of Day. In 2003, actor Michael J. Fox, who also suffers from Parkinson's Disease, joined Grushecky, Springsteen and Benjamin on stage for a performance of the show's theme song.
The shows, named after a Springsteen song that is the title of a movie starring Fox and Joan Jett, have raised funds for the ongoing fights against Parkinson’s disease, PSP, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and related diseases.
All told, the Light of Day ventures have raised over $1.5 million dollars since 1998.
The Light of Day concert series is now in its 13th year. What began as a single concert at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey has grown into 35 shows in twelve countries in the U.S., Canada and Europe.
This year Light of Day concerts in Asbury Park, New Jersey will take place from Thursday. January 17 through Monday, January 21, 2013.The nearly weeklong run of events are about to formally declared as Light of Day Week by the Asbury Park City Council for the second consecutive year The concerts have become a full-fledged festival.
This year’s events in Asbury Park will kick off with a Rock ‘n’ Bowl night at Asbury Lanes through Monday morning’s Light of Day Brunch. In between there will be multiple events scheduled each day and evening at venues including the Stone Pony, the Wonder Bar, the Saint, the Paramount, McLoone’s Ocean Grille, the Langosta Lounge and Watermark. Music performed will include rock ‘n’ roll, acoustic songwriters’ circles, Broadway show tunes, family music and open-mic.
Garland Jeffreys, one my favorite artists, is playing again this year at the Paramount Theater. And speaking of, here’s Garland playing his 1973 hit “Wild In The Streets” with Bruce at last year’s concert:

Not the highest quality video, but, hey. It’s Garland Jeffreys and Bruce Springsteen. What else do you want?
Of course, this year’s Light Of Day concerts are all the more poignant, given the extent to which Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey coast just a few months ago. On a side note, one of my brothers-in-law, who hails from Point Pleasant, emailed me right after Sandy to tell me the all-important news: The Stony Pony survived, more or less unscathed.
Fortunately, his family survived as well, although they had a rough time; and I don’t want to imply that my brother-in-law was unconcerned about his mother, brother, and sister, who still live in there. But it goes to show how big of a deal the legendary club is in that part of the world.
In any event, it’s a great thing, The Light Of Day Foundation, and even if you can’t be in New Jersey for the shows, you can always donate online.

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