Nearly four million people suffer from Parkinson’s disease worldwide. It’s estimated that somewhere between 500,000 and 1.5 million are afflicted in the USA alone, and new cases are said to range up to 50,000 per year. A mystifying and debilitating disease, there is no known remedy for Parkinson’s, and researchers continue to toil tirelessly to find a way to end it. Myriads of groups have raised monies to fight Parkinson’s, but it’s never enough and the fight continues today.
While Parkinson’s disease takes its toll on the world at large, individual health costs are even worse, and the disease can clear out a family’s financial resources in no time at all.
I’ve said it many times in the past and I’ll say it again: When it comes to giving a hand, nobody does it better than New Jersey’s musical community. And while many organizations raise funds for the overall cause, this next story has been put into play to help raise funds for the individual.
Neal Acito is a Jersey original. Singer-songwriter, artist, satirist, actor and comedian, Acito has been fighting the good fight against Parkinson’s, and the financial hurdles that come along with it. So in the spirit of close-knit community, his fellow musicians, friends and established industry insiders have come together to present a full-length, heartfelt evening of entertainment called “Bill And Friends, A Musical Benefit For Neal.”
I spoke briefly with organizer and Everlounge/Whirling Dervishes keyboardist Billy Siegel who told me that this get-together could very well turn into an annual event, and, as another organization concert hosted in the Asbury Park area, aid in a quicker end to this frustrating disease.
The list of performers includes The Bouncing Balls, Everlounge, Tim Glynn of The Play Trains, Chloe and Andrew Demos, guest commentator David Kiley and New Jersey’s own Whirling Dervishes. It’s great to see the Dervishes are back with the original crew of Don Dazzo, Bob Ardrey, Dan Paola, Billy Siegel, John Bryan and Jerry Heer.
The vibe for this night will be Siegel and friends performing from the past 10 years of album offerings and Neal Acito favorites: Quadrophenia, Abbey Road, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Beatles White Album, Band On The Run, Who’s Next, Let It Be, Exile On Main St., Some Girls and more. The Bouncing Balls (not to be confused with that other “Bouncing” band) consists of Big John Perry (bass), Billy Siegel (keys/vocals), Steve Brown (drums) and Tom Tender Polman (guitar/vocals), plus Kathy Norwine (vocals), Gary Trippiedi (sax), John Whipple (trumpet) and Paul Facchenei.
“Bill And Friends, A Musical Benefit For Neal” takes place on June 7 from 7 p.m. till midnight at the ever-popular Crossroads in Garwood, NJ. Crossroads is located on 78 North Avenue in Garwood and the phone number for details is 1-908-232-5666.
Siegel and friends invite you to come help raise money for one of the music scene’s own while listening to the great songs from the stars who gave rock and roll to the world. Minimum donations are $15 and reservations are recommended in advance.
To find out more about the bands and the event, you can visit Siegel’s Facebook page at facebook.com/billyonkeys. For those of you who cannot attend and still would like to contribute, you can do so very easily through David Francis Kiley using PayPal at davidkiley.com/cyclingforgood.
Bongo Boy Rock ‘N’ Roll TV Offers The “Big Break”
Had enough of kicking around from bar to dead-end bar? Sick of selling tickets and watching club owners pry cash out of impenetrable pockets to pay you pennies on the dollar? Exasperated with playing to people that yap over the top of your set and won’t remember you in a month from now? Just plain fed up with trying to get famous through inane, grassroots methods and one-way Charlie avenues? Well Bongo Boy TV just might be the answer to your needs.
Bongo Boy Rock ‘N’ Roll TV is an unprecedented TV series that brings quality indie music to over 2.5 million cable subscribers in the United States. The series has the ability to put acts on 16 television channels on publicly accessed giants such as NBC, Comcast, Fios, Time Warner Cable,RCNand Cablevision.
While the show focuses on educating the public about independent East Coast artists and their trek to the top, they have also aired episodes featuring long established guests such as Pat DiNizio (The Smithereens), Gar Francis and Shoreworld stalwarts, The Gripweeds. Other featured acts include Long Branch, NJ garage rockers The Easy Outs and the Big Apple’s own blazing hot Jana Peri. Peri also commands the host job for BBRRTV.
BBRRTV highlights music and a whole lot more. This is an outlet for original everything including composition, videos, art, indie trailers and social history presented in a unique setting with each show. Shot on a veritable laundry list of vivid New York City locations, BBRRTV also uses Showtime’s Belvidere, NJ studio for some of their “in house” segments.
I’m sure by now you’re asking yourself the question, “Great dude, but as a performer, what does all of this mean to me?” Well, if you play your cards right and take a chance, this could be your next method used to grab that musical brass ring. Bongo Boy Rock ‘N’ Roll TV is offering bands the chance to join the family and experience a different level of industry success. Simply go to the site and heed submission directions to see if you have what it takes to be the next big thing.
Bongo Boy is also a full service record label and is the brainchild of Dutch entrepreneur Monique Grimme. Monique has the expertise and drive to get things done and has a love of music not seen much these days from label folks. I’ve worked with her on past projects for discussion in The Aquarian and she is a true delight to deal with.
So whether you’re looking to gain action in front of the camera, or you’re looking for a label to match your endless talents, Bongo Boy is a conglomerate that just might be the ticket you need to get you to the Greek.
Bongo Boy Rock ‘N’ Roll TV features a distinct new show every month and is on TV as well as being available online. You might want to keep this info to yourself and not spill the beans to your local booking agent, as he’ll just naysay you and try to keep you working for him in the same ole’ way. So take a shot, it can’t hurt, right? As it says on the Bongo Boy Rock ‘N’ Roll TV website, when it comes to opportunities of fame, “It might as well be you.”
For more data on the show, the label, the people involved and submission requirements, head over to the site and follow the instructions. bongoboyrecords.com/tvshow.html