Posts Tagged Aerosmith

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

12362717-ultimate-ice-bucket-challengeThe ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been going on for a few weeks now, and to date, has raised more than $1.7 million dollars and international awareness of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, has skyrocketed!

For those who aren’t familiar with ALS, the ALS Association offers this brief description of the disease on their website – “ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.”

With the joy of a successful fundraising campaign going viral also comes great backlash. There is no shortage of disparaging comments to go along with the great cheers for those raising funds for ALS and other charities of their choice this summer. Many aren’t happy to see water being so carelessly tossed around and the spotlight being taken away from other charitable organizations.

To be perfectly honest, I have enjoyed watching many, many videos of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in particular Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Shemar Moore, Aerosmith, Kate Hudson, Susan Sarandon and Tom Hiddleston to name a few. I’ve also enjoyed seeing several of my friends take part as well. It has been a welcome relief after the shocking news of the death of comedic genius Robin Williams last month. I needed the silliness and laughter.

In the true international fashion of today’s social media, I was nominated for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge by my friend Steve in England. I accepted – my daughter and my niece were thrilled to be armed with buckets of ice and water to douse me! I chose to stand in a vegetable garden so the water we used would also help our veggies grow. I used the challenge to donate to ALS, as well as some local animal rescue groups in California that I am familiar with and support, Treasured Tails Canine Rescue, and Precious Paws. I also donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in support of mental health awareness. I encourage everyone to donate to these organizations. Whether it’s a monetary donation, your time or needed supplies these charities or others in your area will appreciate your efforts to make your community a better place!

I nominated my friend Doug in California, my friend, guitarist Tim Farriss of the Australian band INXS and singer Billy Idol (who has a new album and autobiography out this autumn but we’ll get to that in another post!). We look forward to seeing your videos guys!

Here’s my video below

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Camp Freddy Live at the Roxy and Gearing Up for the West of Memphis Soundtrack

Dave Navarro interviewing author Damien Echols

Dave Navarro interviewing author Damien Echols

Apparently his week-long run performing as the titular character in the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Roxy in November was not enough for Donovan Leitch.  This Thursday, the 20th, Donovan returns to the famous Hollywood club as Camp Freddy begin their sixth annual holiday residency.  As expected the three consecutive nights sold out as fans eagerly await not only the band, but also the unexpected guests who join them.  Given that Camp Freddy’s members are the aforementioned actor / singer Donovan Leitch, Billy Morrison (The Cult, Billy Idol band), Matt Sorum (Guns N Roses, Velvet Revolver, The Cult, Neurotic Outsiders), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney, it is not a surprise that there are many friends of the band that join them to perform.  Considering that guests have included Billy Idol, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols (who was also Sorum’s band mate in Neurotic Outsiders), Slash, Kid Rock, Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park, Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Macy Grey, there is no telling who will show up to join the band on stage.

For those of us who were unable to get tickets for the show, we can get through the season knowing that we can purchase the soundtrack for West of Memphis which will include Camp Freddy’s cover of David Bowie’s “The Jean Genie.”  The documentary film, directed by Amy J. Berg (the Academy Award nominated Deliver Us from Evil), follows the case of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr., collectively known as the “West Memphis Three.”  Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, Jr. were arrested and convicted as teenagers for the murders of three children in West Memphis, AR in the mid-nineties.  Although DNA evidence collected ultimately exonerated the trio, they spent 18 years in jail, with Echols serving a death sentence, while Baldwin and Misskelley received life imprisonment sentences. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the soundtrack will be used to raise funds for the exoneration of Echols, Baldwin and Misskelley, Jr.

Damien Echols, one of the producers of West of Memphis, released his critically acclaimed autobiography, Life After Death, earlier this year.

West of Memphis will be in selected theaters on Tuesday, December 25th.  The soundtrack will be released through Sony Legacy on January 15, 2013.

Here’s a look back at some previous Camp Freddy shows to get you pumped up for this weekend’s Christmas residency at the Roxy. If you make it to the shows, we’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below. Or post a link to your photos and videos of the Camp Freddy shows!

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