For all the guff Tacoma takes from outsiders and its own population for various exaggerated reasons, something I will always defend and take a certain modicum of pride in is that we take care of our own when it's called upon us to do so. Part of the reason people tend to show up for benefit shows in this town in the numbers they do is because we also care to make them a really good time (even though I'm sure some people would show up for a good cause even if the event was held in an empty room).
Of all the benefit shows I've had the privilege to promote in this fine rag, this one surely ranks toward the top, not only for its importance, but for the damn good time that will surely take place.
There are lots of folks in this town familiar with Dave Graham. For those who are not, I'll let Randy Sparks - one of the organizers of Sunday's benefit show - get us started.
"Dave Graham has quite a background in music; he had a music store called Room 220 for a while, and he was around back in the '80s, he actually hung out with the guys in Nirvana and Courtney Love, and a lot of those people," says Sparks. "He's always been an inspiration to me, especially when I started filming movies. He's just a great guy to talk to about art and music. He's out there. I think a lot of people could see a lot of really good things about him and how he's been involved in the community."
Recently, and very suddenly, Graham was diagnosed with Stage 4 Melanoma, and has since undergone painful and costly treatment to battle this vicious cancer. Sunday's benefit show will hopefully provide a little financial relief for Graham. But the biggest aspect of the event is to show Graham how much he is appreciated in this town in which he has become a fixture.
"Number one, I just hope Dave (Graham) has a wonderful time," says Sparks. "His friends are coming together for this. And, I hope we can raise some money to help him with his situation, help with the costs and stuff."
The day will be full of bands and events, including a screening of the Sparks-directed, Graham-starring film, A Glitch in the System - posters of which will be available to be signed by Dave Graham himself. As for the bands, the lineup is an eclectic collection of Tacoma mainstays, including the ghostly country of James Hilborne and the Painkillers, the grimy punk of Snak Pak, the retro AM pop of Bandolier, the space-alien-informed rock of Mr. Blackwatch and an acoustic set from China Davis. Interspersed amongst the days activities will be raffles of prizes from a huge assortment of Tacoma donors.
Truth be told, I know Dave Graham, and he's a fantastic guy. This is a show you shouldn't miss. But if you absolutely must, it is requested that you make checks out to Graham and send them to this address:
- Randy Sparks
- Attn: Dave Graham
- 1201 132nd Street S.
- Tacoma, WA 98444-7100
Dave Graham Benefit Show
Performing bands include James Hilborne and the Painkillers, Snak Pak, Bandolier, Mr. Blackwatch, China Davis
Sunday, April 1, 3 p.m., $5 suggested donation
The Swiss, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma
Stage & Visual Reviews