WHAT: A benefit concert for Aurora Studio & Gallery, featuring music written by John Lennon (solo works and songs by The Beatles)
WHERE: Highland Brewing Co.
WHEN: Friday, Oct. 7, from 6-10 p.m.
WHY: “I feel like every one of us has some kind of mental health issue in a certain sense — or is affected by it,” says local guitarist and singer Ian Reardon. “But it’s not always the first topic people go to for benefits.”
Reardon and his friends did their part to correct that imbalance last year. They staged a benefit concert for Auruora Studio & Gallery, which, through funding from Arts2People and other donors, offers arts instruction and supplies to those affected by mental health issues, addiction or homelessness.
That event celebrated the artistic output of Syd Barrett — the former Pink Floyd frontman whose untamed creativity came alongside mental instability — while this year’s follow up draws on John Lennon’s work. The legendary artist overcame drug abuse, among other life challenges.
Imagine Lennon, as the upcoming fundraiser is called, will feature sets by The Dirty Badgers, Cindi Lou & The Want To, Reardon’s band Alarm Clock Conspiracy, and about 20 local guest musicians like Bill Kopp, Andrew Scotchie, Dorsey Parker, Laura Blackley, John McKinney, Forrest Smith and R. Scott Murray. There’ll be lots of movement as the contributors hop on and off the stage, covering highlights from Lennon’s plentiful catalogue, including politically charged tunes to acknowledge election season.
Following Alarm Clock Conspiracy’s electric and acoustic sets, local act Carpal Tullar will join in. “They’re going to help us end the show with a huge band, which is going to have three keyboard players, two guitars, bass, drums, pedal steel, upright bass — a bunch of stuff. So, it’s going to be a really cool night.”
Local businesses have donated dozens of prizes for a silent auction, from musical gear and movie passes to gift certificates for food, outdoor equipment and yoga classes. Artwork by Aurora participants will also be up for grabs.
Admission to Imagine Lennon is by donation ($10 suggested). Visit aurorastudio-gallery.com for more information.