Since 2007, Tacoma’s Ted Brown Music Outreach has provided camps, training and musical instruments for aspiring young musicians. And, on April 28, the non-profit group will hold a benefit concert at Louie G’s Pizza, 5219 Pacific Highway E., in Fife, to bolster their programs for area kids.
“This is our first attempt at fundraising,” TBM Outreach Executive Director Stephanie Howe said. “The optimal outcome is to raise awareness that we do take in instruments, that we do repair them. We do get them back to the kids that can't afford them. And we do have programs for the kids that are, I guess, slightly on the fringe.”
Bands for a Benefit will feature performances by Freddie & the Screamers, Seven’s Revenge, the Lush Tones, Destination Unknown and A Fistful of Dollars. Those last two are alumni of TBM Outreach’s biggest program, Live It Out Loud, an eight-week summer program that helps local 12- to 18-year-old form bands and polish a variety of musical skills, from songwriting to recording techniques. The program culminates in a big musical showcase at Tacoma’s Rialto Theatre.
Another Live It Out Loud band, Clear the Chaos, will perform on April 21 at the Spring Fair at Puyallup. Their set is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the Washington State Fair Event Center, 110 Ninth Ave. S.W., in Puyallup.
“It's phenomenal what these kids can do,” Howe said. “But everything costs a lot of money, and we don't want to charge the kids $800 to go through this. We want to make it a little bit more reasonable, and we want to be able to offer scholarships, so if a child can't afford to actually pay for the program we offer those programs for them free.”
Freddie & the Screamers, the benefit’s headliner, is a Northwest garage-rock super-group that dates back to the late 1970s. The band’s original incarnation featured namesake Freddie Dennis, a veteran of the Liverpool Five, on lead vocals; brothers Larry and Andy Parypa, of Tacoma’s Sonics, on guitar and bass; Ron Woods, of Dynamics, on drums; and the Kingsmen’s Barry Curtis on keyboard.
“At the time the bands that were big around here were the Heaters and Cowboys,” recalled Dennis, whose main gig is singing and playing bass for the Sonics these days.
“That was what was going on, and all the punk movement was going on. So we were kind of punkish, in a way. We were doing all these '50s and '60s songs really fast.
“We just got a bunch of oldsters from back in the day. It was a good little band. It only played for maybe three years. I think we broke up around '81 or something like that.”
The current lineup consists of Dennis, Curtis, Andy Parypa and drummer Steve Peterson from the Kingsmen.
Bands for a Benefit is an all-ages event. Admission is $10, but free for kids aged 12 or younger with an accompanying adult. There will also be a silent auction of autographed rock memorabilia. All proceeds go to TBM Outreach. Learn more at www.TBMOutreach.org. And hear outtakes from our interview with Freddie Dennis at http://www.tacomaweekly.com.