Saturday night’s Christmas Benefit was an awesome time, (if you were there, you know this of course). For the last 5 years, Keith MF Throneberry, Xtreme 4X4, Natalie Stovall and an army of volunteers and friends have put this thing together and raised over $40,000.00 for a local charity that benefits underprivileged kids at Christmas time to insure that they receive toys for Christmas. This year, over 350 people attended the event! The money is raised and given to our local paper; they in turn purchase and distribute vouchers to people in the community that have registered for this program. All of the money goes to the charity; all of our people are volunteers. My band, Natalie’s band and all of the Xtreme folks work this thing for free.
This year we were joined by the Knoxville based band Dishwater Blonde, an incredibly funky group led by my friend, Davis Mitchell. They also, donated their time and effort making the 6 hour round trip just to play! The venue, Sports Page was donated by its owner Cliff. This year we also were blessed to have one of our local Nashville news anchor men Neil Orne from WKRN donate his time as our MC. For the last couple of years we’ve had an auction during the event to try and raise as much money as we can. This year we had a football autographed by Kyle Vanden Bosch of the Tennessee Titans and a guitar signed by George Thorogood. The guitar and other items were donated by mine and Keith’s friend Chuck MF Lanza. Not only did Chuck donate and ship us a ton of memorabilia from his personal collection, he and his lovely wife flew in from New York to surprise us and make the weekend even better! For the first time in history, the MF mafia, (Keith MF Throneberry, Chuck MF Lanza, Kempf MF Poole and me) was in full effect, and nobody even got injured!
All the bands sounded amazing and I have to say that my guys blew the roof off the joint! For the last couple of years we’ve been joined by my old friend Hodge Cook on keyboards. Hodge is one of the best musicians I’ve ever known and having him donate his time and talent just amazes me. For me this gig is too much fun! It’s usually one of the last gigs we play before the end of the year and it’s always too much fun. This year we ended up opening the whole “mental jukebox” and playing everything from Christmas songs to Rock and Roll All-night, and Party Everyday by KISS! The show closing jam, with a rotating mix of players from all three bands and special guests clocked in at close to 2 hours on its own and was a blast to be a part of.
Once again, it is impossible to fully explain the workload that Keith MF Throneberry is under for this event. ALL of the heavy lifting is his; ticket sales, organization, venue, etc. From the minute planning starts in June, Keith is on it every minute. If you bought a ticket, Keith handed it to you, if you bought a t-shirt, Keith signed off on the design. He arranged the food, the drinks, and the sound, the …everything! Keith never gets enough credit for the hard work he puts into this thing, so BIG Ups to him!!
Thank you to everyone who attended contributed or just sent up positive prayers for us. It is all appreciated and needed! If you missed it this year, start planning now to see us in 2010!!! Happy Holidays!