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COLUMN SEVENTY-EIGHT, NOVEMBER 1, 2002
(Copyright 2002 The Blacklisted Journalist)


A TRIBUTE TO THE FALLEN HEROES OF ENGINE 33, LADDER 9

Subject: Re: engine 33 benefit concert
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 2002 14:11:02 EDT
From: Thnderdog@aol.com
To: info@blacklistedjournalist.com

hey al...

here's the photo tribute: Engine 33, Ladder 9 Benefit at Don Hill's

and here is the piece (entries from my website)...

-steve conte

10/15/2001 NYC Benefit Concert for Firefighters w/ Jewels, Squier, Wolves, Nile, Phoebe Snow, Sophia, Hank, Rats, Captain D., The Bone... NYC's best bands will gather October 29, 2001 to help families of 10 lost firefighters

The firefighters of New York City's Engine Company 33, Ladder 9 (located on Great Jones St. between Bowery and Lafayette) were among the first to respond to calls to the World Trade Center on September 11. Of the eleven men in that company who answered the call that day, only one survived.

Richie Conte was that one. While grateful to have been spared, the pain and grief he feels for his fallen brothers is immeasurable. Upon learning of the situation, Richie's cousin, musician Steve Conte, went downtown to visit the firehouse.  'the ten men who ran into those burning buildings were supporting wives and children, some of them older parents," says Conte. "I knew then that I needed to do something that would directly benefit those families."

What he did was to organize a concert honoring the fallen heroes of Engine 33, Ladder 9.

"First, I rang up my old friend Don Hill, who immediately said we could use his club and that he would provide all the necessary equipment. Next, I called on some of my fellow musicians and everyone I asked responded with a resounding, "YES, I'll do it!??

The best of the city's rock, blues, and soul artists, Billy Squier, Christina Amphlett of DiVinyls with Charley Drayton on drums, Willie Nile, Phoebe Snow, Sophia Ramos, the Hudson River Rats, Mr. Henry, Captain Danger, Clancy Bone, and Conte's own bands Crown Jewels and Company of Wolves, are already scheduled to appear. 'there will also be some very special surprise guests appearing," continues Conte. "Many of the bands will be donating CDs to sell, and NY merchandise company "In Record Time? has offered to donate an event T-shirt that we'll sell as well. One-hundred percent of the money raised from this event will go directly to the firehouse to help the families of the heroes who lost their lives saving so many others."

The Benefit Concert for Engine 33, Ladder 9 will be held: 

Monday, October 29, 2001
Doors at 8 PM, music starts at 8:30
$20 Donation

Don Hill's
511 Greenwich St. (corner of Spring and Greenwich)
New York, NY

10/29/2001 10/29 Benefit: Highlights Of Show, Financial Report...

We'd like to thank everyone who attended "The Benefit Concert For Engine 33, Ladder 9...the show raised a nice pile of money for the families of the lost firefighters. So far, the donations are up around $13,500.00, that's from the concert plus mail-in contributions. We are expecting more mail-in donations at the Thunderdog Music PO box in the coming week. Again, thanks to all of you who donated at the door and bought event t-shirts and CDs...plus a very special acknowledgment to our friend Billy Squier who made an extremely generous financial contribution! If you couldn't make the show but would like to donate to the fund, make checks out to: 

"Engine 33 Commissary" and send C/O: Thunderdog Music
PO Box 494
NY, NY 10028
USA

...And now for the musical highlights:

Clancy Bone kicked off the eve with their brand of instrumental funky/surf/spy/soul joined by Lisa Desimone singing "Love will Keep Us Together"....next up, the Hudson River Rats threw down some classic blues after which the crowd was treated to a jazz standard by the Conte brother's mom, Rosemary...Phoebe Snow, sick with laryngitis took the stage (despite the fact that she couldn't sing) and delivered a wonderful speech about the efforts of the benefit and her love for the Contes...Mr. Henry did a powerful 3 song set and were followed up by Captain Danger (frontman Aaron Hondros in a red cape and Steve Conte sitting in on wacky keyboards!)...Sophia Ramos kicked it with a set of sexy, soulful hard rock unparalleled by any woman on the planet...the reunion of Company of Wolves was worth waiting for, frontman Kyf Brewer pulled out a set of bagpipes for a beautiful version of "Amazing Grace" (joined by fiddler Julie Baker who stayed up for the whole set), then rocked out on "Call of the Wild" and two songs off of their latest CD, "Steryl "Spycase"...Willie Nile gave of himself totally, kicking off with "Ya Gotta Be A Buddha In A Place Like This" into the title track of his latest CD "Beautiful Wreck of the World"...the crowd was champing at the bit in anticipation for Billy Squier who started off with the very appropriate, "Sweet Release"(a song not performed on his tour this summer) then took it to the next level with "Dont' Say No" and "Everybody Wants You"...as if that wasn't enough of an ass-kicking, diVinyls frontgirl, Chrissy Amphlett (with Charley Drayton on drums and Steve & John Conte on guitar and bass) hit the stage with the lead track from her eponymous 1990 smash album, "Make Out Allright" and went out on a grinding version of "Need A Lover"...Chrissy was stunning and I believe I saw the whole audience light up a cigarette after the experience...and finally, last but certainly not least, the Crown Jewels set, consisting of a reworked "Revolution In The Air" from their "Spitshine" album (Andy Hollander, Mr. Henry keys player and producer of the forthcoming Jewels record played organ) and "Linoleum" fave "Toughest Girl in the Neighborhood", Steve sang his heart out while brother John and Rich Pagano pounded out the groove...then came the all star jam, Crown Jewels was joined by Squier, Sophia, Kyf, mama Conte and a host of other talent for a funky version of "Hey Jude" and "A Little Help From My Friends"...all in all, an amazing night of music and entertainment, ya shoulda been there!

The show was recorded on multitrack tape so stay tuned for word on a benefit album to come out of this concert...

1/1/2001 Benefit Addendum: Firefighters Rock Out, MC Gives Love, Beautiful Night...

Engine 33, Ladder 9 provided the memorial for their 10 lost brothers brought from the firehouse; a giant poster board set up on an easel with candid and family photos and names of the firefighters. We set it up under a streaming red spotlight...it was beautiful and moved some to tears. My cousin Rich Conte, the sole survivor of 9-11 actually got up onstage and said a few words, "...I know that the guys are with us here tonight...I can feel their spirits in the room...and we're all gonna rock out and have a good time...." We were really proud of his strength, it was amazing.

We had a fabulous MC for the evening, our good friend Peter (Elliot) Siegel. Peter had interviewed cousin Richie a few days before and got info on each of the 10 firefighters. At the start of the evening and between every artist's performance Peter, dressed in a suit and tie with an FDNY baseball cap, delivered a short piece about each hero and dedicated the following set to him. Richie and the other fireman present that night were overwhelmed with gratitude for this spectacular event we had put on for their brother's families.

Just before Billy Squier's set a group of about 10 firefighters in full regalia came in to catch their favorite rocker but as he was about to hit the stage a call came in and they all had to run to the truck...to do what only they can do.

In the next few weeks I'll be updating you all with more info...the final $ count and news on a possible live CD. There may be photos and even video added to this site so stay tuned...

******************************

Music * Pictures * News

Crown Jewels: The Official Website

MP3.com - Crown Jewels

Liquid Audio - Bubble & Squeak

CD Baby: the Crown Jewels

Awarestore.com - Crown Jewels

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