Rockin’ out for a mission

Luminaries and locals rocked out Friday evening at the Malibu Performing Arts Center. The concert, “From Malibu With Love,” took place in support of The Midnight Mission of Los Angeles, raising $70,000. Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi fame not only rocked the house with band favorites, “Living on a Prayer,” “It’s My Life” and “Wanted Dead or Alive,” he hosted the evening that also courted performances by Jackson Browne, Zen Cruisers and Los Lobos at the 500-seat intimate auditorium.

“This cause is a great, noble cause,” Sambora said onstage. “It’s all privately funded, and helps people get a leg up. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Sambora thanked Malibu for playing a role in the fundraising for the organization, as did most of the artists.

Actor Ed Begley Jr., who sits on the board for The Midnight Mission, also thanked the crowd.

“You could have been doing anything on a Friday night and I’m overwhelmed and I’m humbled,” he said, explaining that the organization was close to his heart.

The artists performed to standing ovations, shouts and whistles from the crowd and closed out the evening with dancing in the aisles. A young indie artist, Ilsey Juber, opened the show with a soulful sound and a strong clarity to her voice. And just as the audience first settled into their seats, feeling relaxed, out came Zen Cruisers to mix it up. The band, made up of Clem Burke from Blondie, Elliot Easton from The Cars, Dough Fieger from The Knack and Teddy “Zig Zag” Andreadis of Guns N’ Roses, who has also played with Alice Cooper and Carol King, played loud and strong. Their final number, “Hey Jude,” was a crowd pleaser and had the audience singing along.


When Sambora came out to sing, he laughed and joked with the crowd: “I haven’t played a place this small since …” as he pretended to look at his watch. (A $21,000 watch worn for the event that would later sell for $12,000 at the live auction.) Then he started to sing the songs he co-wrote that helped skyrocket Bon Jovi to fame. He played with Hugh McDonald, Jeff Kazee and Dave Amato.

Jackson Browne sang songs about freedom and forgiveness with two backup singers; the performance received several standing ovations. Los Lobos played well past the agenda’s closing time of 10:30 p.m.-“La Bamba” was the final song of the night as the crowd was up on their feet dancing and singing along.

The benefit was the brainchild of Norm Harris, of Norman’s Rare Guitars, who donated several guitars for the live auction, selling from $4,500 to $5,000 per guitar-all signed by the performing artists, including a picture with them; one even had a guitar lesson with Sambora thrown in. Tom Petty’s guitar was his personal Takamin that he toured with from 1981 to 1986. It was signed by him and went for $10,000 for the nonprofit organization.

The Midnight Mission of Los Angeles serves the homeless population of the Los Angeles area. They offer resources for people to achieve self-sufficiency. Its mission is to give people a “hand up, not a hand out.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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