3rd Annual Rock Against MS Benefit Concert – Whisky a Go Go, Hollywood CA 3/3/15 (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

The third annual Rock Against MS concert, filled the Whiskey a Go Go club on Sunset Boulevard on March 3rd. The VIP pre-party and subsequent marathon concert, featuring over 50 performers, lasted over seven hours. The event was organized by Nancy Sayle, a Los Angeles publicist, popular amongst area celebrities and musicians. Sayle, who is also a long time area philanthropist, working with the animal rights and care organization, the Fur and Feather Animal Sanctuary, took up the MS cause, when she herself was diagnosed with the disease. Enlisting some of her high profile musician friends, this year’s event featured a steady stream of rock veterans mostly playing classic rock covers. The event featured no less than ten sets, offering up an ever morphing line up of famous rockers

Todd Morse (Offspring/H20) and his band Todd’s Planet kicked off the night with a funk infused set punctuated with a stellar horn section. Singer Gretchen Bonaduce took the stage next, backed by musicians’ Robert Sarzo (Geoff Tate, Hurricane), Johnny-G (Slash’s Snake Pit), Matt Starr, (Ace Frehley), and Stevie Stewart (Sweet). The group played covers of “One Way or Another” and “Sweet Dreams” and by this time a full house swarmed the main stage, while VIP ticket holders lingered amongst the rock stars upstairs.


Joe Retta (Heaven and Earth and Sweet), led a blazing next set, featuring Howie Simon (Nelson/Alcratrazz), Jeff Pilson (Dokken/Foreigner), and  Tony (Tiny) Biuso. Retta sang covers of (Sweet’s “Fox on the Run” and “Ballroom Blitz”). Then Sarzo took over for Simon and eventually singer Marq Torien (Bullet Boys) replaced Retta.

After a raffle for a treasure trove of signed swag, Retta returned to front a band composed of Simon, Johnny-G again, Franklin Vanderbilt (Lenny Kravitz, Foreigner), and Stewart. He was followed by iconic rock singer Jack Russell, with former and current member of his version of “Great White”. They played one of the longest sets of the night, including a great cover of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”. The next set was a mini reunion of sorts featuring the original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler joining his old GNR band-mate Gilby Clarke and Teddy Zig Zag on stage, with EJ Curse and even bag piper John Allen for a sizzling cover of AC/DC’s “Long Way To The Top”. Adler stayed on stage while Sarzo, Joshua Ray, Jeff Pilson, and Morse took over the rest of the band duties, for a cover of the GNR song “Rocket Queen”. Next Patrick Stone took over as lead singer in doing a cover of GNR’s “WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE”.



The next set featured a jam by many of the performers who had already played, joined by legendary guitarist Steve Stevens of Billy Idol fame, Blasko from Ozzy’s band, Billy Morrison , bassist Phil Beckman from Filter and another Billy Idol band alumnus, drummer Erik Eldenius. The ferocious set included hair raising guitar by Stevens on the covers of “War Pigs” and “Rebel Yell”, both sung by Morrison.


The headline set came next with a punk extravaganza featuring legendary MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, iconic punk bassist Mike Watt (Minuteman, Stooges), and the versatile drummer Stephen Perkins of Jane’s Addiction. The set featured Stooges songs: “TV Eye,” “Not Right,”  and “Fun House” — all sung by Watt.  Gilby Clarke joined in for the classic MC5 song, “Kick Out the Jams,” which was sung by Kramer, playing an American flag guitar that looked like the one from the old photos of MC5.

There was one final wind down set by Phil X (Bon Jovi), Joshua Ray(Shania Twain), Marty O’Brien (Lita Ford/Tommy Lee), and Starr  ending the amazing show nearly five hours after it started.








































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