The last few months of 2000 have proven fruitful for Valley music. With a series of high-profile CD releases and promising debuts from a number of new bands, the scene seems to have escaped the typical year-end doldrums. But it's also been a bittersweet time, the winter air heavy with concern over the fate of Piersons and Beat Angels bassist Scotti "Hardcore" Moore.
Struck by a pickup truck as he was crossing Mill Avenue in Tempe during the early morning hours of October 7, Moore was rushed to Maricopa County Hospital with serious internal and head injuries. The 29-year-old initially battled for his life. After spending nearly two months in the hospital's surgical intensive care unit, he's been moved to a long-term-care facility for what doctors have predicted will be a lengthy and arduous rehabilitation process.
Many within Tempe's close-knit music scene have been calling for some sort of event to aid Moore, a longtime scenemaker whose droll sense of humor and acerbic wit endeared him to a wide range of cliques within the East Valley circuit. To that end comes the official announcement of a Saturday, January 20, benefit concert for Moore that's being dubbed "Scotti-Stock." The indoor/outdoor showcase -- billed as "One Hardcore Night of Music to Benefit Scott Moore" -- will feature more than a dozen top Valley acts, and is set to take place at Nita's Hideaway in Tempe. Doors are scheduled to open at 6 p.m. and the concert will run through the night. Tickets are $15 and are available for preshow purchase at Zia Record Exchange, online at www.ticketweb.com, and at the door.
Among those participating are Moore's two groups, the Piersons and Beat Angels, who will dedicate special sets to their fallen bandmate. Also on hand to honor Moore will be some of the biggest names in local music -- Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, a reunited Dead Hot Workshop, the Gas Giants, Pistoleros, and Gloritone. Others making appearances include Americana faves Truckers on Speed, power-poppers Zen Lunatics and Sleepwalker main man Jamal Ruhe.
The unusual nature of the event is sure to create some wonderfully odd combinations. Scotti-Stock is arguably the only time you'll ever see psychobilly trio Grave Danger sharing a bill with alt-pop combo Satellite (which will be on hand for a rare reunion gig). For fans, much of the lure of the concert comes from the looseness of the format, as bands are expected to take advantage of the showcase to dig out older, rarely heard songs from their respective catalogues, as well as being joined onstage by surprise guests.
News of the benefit aside, many in the local music community have been clamoring for information about the accident and Moore's health. The musician's family has been understandably guarded about the details of his condition. However, a spokeswoman for the family says Moore is improving daily and that the chances for a full recovery are much better than predicted during those first tenuous weeks.
A police report on the incident has not yet been filed owing to logistical difficulties in reconstructing the accident and a logjam in getting test results back from the evidence lab. The driver of the truck that struck Moore was arrested on the night of the incident and his vehicle was impounded. Although the man was booked, charges have not been filed against him pending results of the investigation.
A Tempe police spokesman adds that the case will be going under review by the County Attorney's Office. Ironically, Moore's near-fatal brush came just a week before former Arizona Republic sportswriter Steve Schoenfeld died in a hit-and-run accident while crossing the same section of Mill Avenue near 10th Street.
The intense feelings of community that Scotti-Stock has generated recall the last such unifying event in recent memory, a benefit for Long Wong's employee and local scenester Stacey Keller, who was killed in a boating accident in 1994. The Keller Memorial Concert -- which featured the Gin Blossoms, Dead Hot and others -- raised nearly $30,000 to benefit her family. Organizers for Scotti-Stock hope the event will be able to generate at least as much money for Moore.
A number of local record labels and retailers have offered up products and services to aid the cause. The host club, Nita's Hideaway, will be handling all production costs and donating a percentage of the bar profits to Moore. Meanwhile, Zia Records, where Moore worked at the time of the accident, will be printing up promotional materials and tee shirts and raffling off merchandise and prizes. Anyone else interested in donating money, goods or services can contact Nita's Hideaway booker Charlie Levy at 480-303-0009.
Organizers add that they expect a full-scale media blitz in advance of the show. They've already confirmed that a couple of Scotti-Stock acts are expected to make promotional appearances in support of the event on KTVK-TV Channel 3's NewShow in the weeks preceding the concert. Also, KZON-FM 101.5's Local Zone (hosted by Tracy Lea) will be airing a special show dedicated to Moore, featuring his music and live performances from participating acts, during the Sunday, January 14, edition of the program. The Sunday time slot is new for the Local Zone, as the program moves from its regular Tuesday-night position starting this week.
Piersons front man Patrick Sedillo, who'll be leading an augmented version of the group through a night-capping all-star tribute to Moore, says the concert should be memorable on a number of levels. "It's going to be a great opportunity to raise money for Scott and for people to see an amazing bill," he says. "It'll be one of those nights that people will remember because of what they saw, but also because of what it's going to mean to [Scott] and his family. I hope people show up for that, if for no other reason."
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King-Size Salute: Every January we become inundated with programs and promotions celebrating the birthday of the king of rock 'n' roll, Elvis Presley. Movie marathons, documentaries and remembrances are rolled out en masse to celebrate the karate-chopping-fried-food-eating-underage-girl-bedding singer, who would've turned 66 this year.
In 2001, the attention is expected to be as great as ever, with the release of an expanded, remastered version of the Presley road film Elvis: That's the Way It Is, and a national tour of "Elvis: The Concert," a multimedia extravaganza that brings together Presley's famed live band and a Jumbotron version of the King. "Elvis: The Concert" will make a stop at Phoenix Symphony Hall on Monday, January 29.
A slightly more humble, though no less outlandish, tribute to his highness is scheduled to take place this Tuesday, January 9, at the Rhythm Room. The club's birthday salute to the Hillbilly Cat will feature performances from Disciples of the King, Hound Dog Roberts, Jim Dorholdt, Tom "Big Time" Sanderson and record spins from the Destroy Your Generation DJ.
The festivities will also include a karaoke contest for men (to register call 480-755-1779), while the ladies can test their lung power in an Elvis fan scream-off. A variety of Presley's favorite finger foods will also be available -- yes, there will be peanut butter and banana sandwiches as well as plenty of Twinkies. Patrons wearing Elvis apparel will receive a free food item, and rockabilly dance lessons will also be provided. Doors for the event open at 7 p.m., with music starting at 8 p.m.