Tuesday, September 20, 2005

From the Big Apple to the Big Easy

I am pumped!! In just a few hours I'll be sitting in Madison Square Garden watching such musical superstars as Elton John, Elvis Costello, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Nicks, Bette Midler, Lenny Kravitz, Buckwheat Zydeco, The Neville Brothers, and many others perform in a concert to benefit the Gulf Coast rebuilding effort. This show and a second concert from Radio City Music Hall will also be available as a pay-per-view special. Madison Square Garden, in addition to donating 1 million dollars, is underwriting all of the concert's production costs.
It is comforting to know that all monies raised from sponsorship and ticket sales will go directly to the Bush Clinton Katrina Fund, Habitat for Humanity, Music Hurricane Relief Fund, and other organizations directly involved in the rebuilding effort. Show sponsors, Bear Stearns and KeySpan expect to donate well over 10 million dollars as a result of their efforts.

I was fortunate to spend a few days in New Orleans last year. It was a unique and quite unforgettable experience. Not only was the food wonderfully rich and the party atmosphere constant, but the music....Wow!! The sounds of Zydeco coming from the bars and shops on Bourbon Street; the diverse street musicians along Canal Street; an impromtu concert along the banks of the Mississippi; and a stationary marching band playing Preservation Hall favorites at an outdoor flea market, form my collective musical memory of the Crescent City.

In New York City, many waiters and waitresses that you encounter are actors and actresses that are biding their time til the right audition comes. So too, in New Orleans, waitstaff and shopkeepers double as musicians waiting for the right showcase.
The musical heritage of this city is not lost on visitors or on long time residents. It was always there, as much a part of New Orleans, as above-ground cemetaries, or drive through daiquiri bars. Then along came Katrina! We all know the rest. The deadly force of nature, poor planning, and the inability of local, state, and federal government to act quickly and efficiently left New Orleans underwater.

I think it is fitting that music will play a part in the rebuilding effort. If you read this blog regularly, you know that I'm not a big fan of soaring ticket prices, but in this case, if you can afford them and if tickets are still available, it is very worthwhile. Tuning in on the pay-per-view special is another way to see these shows and contribute to this cause.

I am also proud of the superstars that are donating their time and talents to this and other similar efforts. I'll give you some thoughts about the show in a few days.


Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane center or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!

4:52 PM  
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