Featuring Bangles, Al Stewart, Denny Laine, Peter Case, Muffs, Kennedys and the Wild Honey Orchestra.
By Fred Mills
Back in July we posted the sad news about John Wicks (of power pop legends The Records) battling pancreatic cancer, and how a GoFundMe page in his name, had been established to help raise funds for what promises to be some major medical bills.
Now comes word that a very special Wicks benefit concert in Los Angeles has been scheduled for October 8 at the Teragram Ballroom (1234 W. 7th Street) featuring some major heavy hitters performing: The Bangles (Wicks had been recording with Bangles drummer Debi Peterson, in fact), Al Stewart (of “Year of the Cat” fame), Denny Laine (Moody Blues, Wings), Peter Case, the Muffs and the Kennedys, along with a kind of supersession collection of top L.A. based musicians dubbed the Wild Honey Orchestra who plan to do songs Wicks himself picks out and use guest vocalists.
That Orchestra is worth special note: it includes Rob Laufer (who’s played with everybody, including Johnny Cash, Fiona Apple and Frank Black), Rusty Squeezbox (aka David Ramsey of Baby Lemonade and Arthur Lee band fame), film and TV composer Willie Aron, Derrick Anderson (Bangles, Dave Davies, Matthew Sweet, Smithereens) and Jim Laspesa (Dave Davies, Susanna Hoffs, the Muffs).
The emcee for the evening will be Chris Carter of KLOS’ Breakfast With The Beatles fame. It’s being put on by the Wild Honey Foundation (founded by Paul Rock, David Jenkins and Andrew Sandoval), which noted Wicks’ tough situation in a press release:
Wild Honey Foundation friend John Wicks, a brilliant musician and songwriter, needs help in his battle against a rare form of pancreatic cancer (stage 4) that has spread to his liver. After a 6-week hospital stay, he has been undergoing round-after-round of intense chemo therapy throughout the summer and making solid progress. Always a fighter with a gentle heart, John faces even more chemo in the coming weeks. Unable to play music and earn a living, John has a tough, expensive battle ahead. This concert aims to alleviate his financial stress during his cancer fight and lift his spirits. All profits will go directly to John to pay his mounting medical bills and living expenses until he can resume working.
John’s a mensch and humanitarian, always willing to donate his considerable talents at the drop of a hat and help recruit his friends-Al Stewart, Laurence Juber, & Denny Laine, and others to participate in Wild Honey benefit events as well. His generous musical donations to our Wild Honey Foundation Autism Fundraising concerts over the past three years have enormously helped kids in need. In short, it’s payback time for the Wild Honey Foundation and all of John’s friends who he has helped over the years.
The Wild Honey Foundation is no stranger to putting on benefits: it’s a 501 (3) (c) nonprofit that actively supports various charitable causes and “seeks to pass on the passion, creativity, and idealism found in rock, rhythm & blues, folk, and pop music to future generations through cultural events of all types.” One major event they hosted was in 2013 at the El Portal Theatre in Hollywood, doing a Beatles Rubber Soul/Sgt. Pepper’s gala in conjunction with the Autism Think Tank, as well as last year’s sold out Big Star 3rd Live show. Wild Honey shows have raised funds and awareness for the Autism Think Tank, Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, the Children’s Music Fund, Habitat for Humanity, the Liberty Hill Foundation, USC Norris Cancer Center, and the Coalition to End Gun Violence.
More details at their Facebook page.
Teragram Ballroom: http://www.teragramballroom.com/