Rocking for a reason – Crüefest fete to help band’s charities

From the Thursday, October 7 Hippo Press:

Tina Jessie is a Mötley Crüe fan; but that
term doesn’t adequately capture her passion
for the band. The self-described “Shouter”
has attended more than 55 shows since the
glam rockers’ 1982 debut, and that doesn’t
count solo gigs. She began logging onto
the band’s website back in the days of dialup,
and her cars sport vanity plates reading
“CRUE 13” and “CRUEZIN” — sadly, no
umlaut was available.
Jessie is also a part-time rock promoter with
a Mötley Crüe focus, the principal organizer
of the New England Crüefest, a fundraiser for
the band’s favorite charities happening Sunday,
Oct. 10, at Milly’s Tavern. Performing
at the benefit are Crüe cover band Shout at
the Devil, local rockers Lords of Audio, the
all-girl metal band Jaded, ’80s cover band
Snakebite, Iron Maiden tribute group Run to
the Hills and the Guns n’ Roses themed Tribute
The event grew out of a 2001 fan gathering
at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles, a
nightclub the band played early in its career.
Explained Jessie in a recent e-mail, “they
decided to celebrate the old days when rock
& roll ruled the L.A. music scene, get some
bands to play, and perhaps raise some money
for the Skylar Neil Memorial Foundation,”
named after band front man Vince Neil’s
daughter, who died of cancer at age four.
“The idea was to bring the fans together
while the band was not touring and help out
their charities as well,” Jessie said. When the
band got back on the road in 2005, the festivals
expanded to Cleveland, Nova Scotia,
Vancouver, Australia, New York City, Orlando,
Chicago, Atlanta and, in 2007, New
Hampshire. In addition to Neil’s charity, the
event raises money causes supported by each
band member. Running Wild in the Night is a
charity run by Covenant House for homeless
and runaway youth sponsored by bassist Nikki
Sixx, while drummer Tommy Lee chose St.
Jude’s Hospital and Mick Mars sponsors the
Spondylitis Association (the guitarist himself
suffers from the spinal/pelvic joint disease).
The first New England Crüefest almost
didn’t happen, when the original venue pulled
out five weeks before the show. “I had to cancel
the bands, give back donations and gave
up,” Jessie said. But she caught a break when
Mad Bob’s Saloon in Manchester offered
to host the show at the last minute. Despite
logistical problems like fans arriving at the
wrong venue and not being redirected to Mad
Bob’s, the event managed to raise a respectable
“We did pretty well considering the window
we had,” Jessie said. “A lot of the bands
had booked other gigs, but some of them
decided to do it for us anyway, which was
rather nice.” But she vowed that the next
time around things would go more smoothly,
and she immediately got busy collecting
raffle items and planning for another show —
which, due to national Crüefest tours, couldn’t
happen in 2008 or 2009.
Now that the New England Crüefest is
finally taking place, Jessie jokes that everyone
who comes will probably leave with a door
prize. Donations include several items signed
by the band: a copy of Nikki Six’s book The
Heroin Diaries (along with a soundtrack CD),
a drumhead signed by Tommy Lee, along
with guitars, ukuleles and other memorabilia
from the band’s management company.
Jesse Acciacca hand-painted a guitar for the
2007 event, which he and Jessie brought to
Vince Neil to be signed. “He was so impressed
that he more or less has been having Jesse
paint all his guitars for the all the tours he’s
been doing since,” Jessie said. “They’re on
display in Las Vegas, and at Vince’s restaurant
in Florida.” Another Acciacca design, originally
done for the 2008 event, will be given
away at the show, with a headstock repainted
with a 2010 date.
The night will be a reunion of sorts for a
few of the bands that either played or were
booked for the first Crüefest. Lords of Audio
guitarist Robby Gagnon’s Project G appeared
in 2007, as did the Hangovers; former member
of that band are in Tribute This! Jaded was
set for the Mad Bob’s show until one of the
members suffered a broken wrist.
Run to the Hills was on the original bill,
but they booked another gig before the new
venue was found; Jessie is excited to have
them on board for this year’s show. “You really
think you’re hearing [Iron Maiden lead
singer] Bruce Dickinson perform,” she said.
“They’ve been together for years and are very
Led by a female vocalist, headliners Shout
at the Devil recreate the Mötley Crüe concert
experience of 1983 right down the smallest
detail. The Maine band, said Jessie, “does the
whole show and she looks and sounds just
like Vince Neil.”
Anyone arriving in ’80s attire will be eligible
to win tickets to see Vince Neil at
Maximum Capacity in Chicopee, Mass., on
Oct. 15, or Trixster’s show next month in Sanford,
Maine. “Last time, just about everybody
went home with a little something, even if it
was a T-shirt,” said Jessie.

Crüefest 2010
featuring Shout At The Devil, Run to the
Hills, Lords of Audio, Snakebite, Jaded and
Tribute This!
When: Sunday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m.
Where: Milly’s Tavern, 500 Commercial
St. in Manchester
Tickets: $10 (21 and up)
Info: www,

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