p31 alive

Alive November 2016

n o v e m b e r 2 0 1 6 A L I V E E A S T B A Y 31 There were 20,000 people packed into the Boston Garden, and we opened the show with The Star Spangled Banner. It was practically a religious experience. All the Boston-area bands played, and then Aerosmith closed the show. My wife encouraged me to jump up on stage, and I actually got a chance at the mic with Steven Tyler singing Come Together. MC: How was Rock Stars & Stripes conceived? DV: That Boston Strong event was obviously very moving. Seeing the unity and strength from the assembled people of Boston made me start to think about how we are all related to each other. And of course the fact that it was a big rock concert, well it kind of dawned on me: one common bond that many Americans share is their love of rock ‘n roll. This is not a show about our political or ideological differences; this is a show about music and our common bonds. Then it was just a matter of figuring out how to deliver that kind of a show, start to finish, in a compelling way. That led me to presenting the show as a “Rock ‘n Roll Road Trip across America” to tie all the great musical areas of the United States together into one show. I wanted the videos to relate directly to the music being performed, so that people got a sense of the areas we were traveling to, the people of those areas, and the music that was created there. We’re very gratified that the show is being extremely well-received. MC: What do you enjoy most about these shows? DV: No question, the great community vibe and unity that we generate. There’s much more to this presentation than just the musical journey. We also have a “Local Heroes” segment, in which we honor individuals for their positive contributions in their communities. We bring them on stage, tell the audience their story, and honor them with a special Rock Stars & Stripes medallion. We also have a Charity of the Evening, which is connected to the local community. It’s about paying respect to the communities in which we perform. People leave this show happy, entertained and even a little prouder to be Americans. MC: Rock Stars & Stripes has a show at the Lesher Center in your hometown of Walnut Creek on November 12th, how is ARF involved? DV: Obviously ARF has been part of the Walnut Creek scene for many years, and now has a national presence as well. I was checking out their website a few months back, and hit upon their “Pets for Vets” program, which meshes with our message perfectly; people doing good for their communities. Anyway, we asked them if they would be interested in being our Charity of the Evening for this Lesher show, and we were delighted they said “yes.” We are donating three wrapped Rock Stars & Stripes autographed guitars to ARF, one for auction, one for raffle that night, and one which will hang at the ARF HQ. We’ll also be selling customized show programs for this event, also to raise money for ARF and “Pets for Vets.”


Alive November 2016
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