Speaking to eonmusic ahead of the event, Toto’s Steve Lukather - who performed a brace of tracks including a stirring take on Robin Trower’s ‘Bridge of Sighs’ - said; “there’s a lot of great players here tonight. I’m one of them, I guess”. Speaking about his involvement he continued; “I was honoured to be asked. Leslie was a friend, and a hero since I was a kid hearing the first Mountain record. We’re doing this for him, just as a nod to him; the greatest of all time”.
Bon Jovi man Phil X, who performed one of his own Mountain-inspired track enthused; “I’m playing a song that I wrote with The Drills that’s basically a tip of the hat to Leslie West. It’s like, totally inspired by him”.
Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes, who appeared alongside L.A. Guns’ Tracii Guns and bassist Julia Lage spoke of his enduring fandom, saying; “of course, it’s a good cause, and some of my favourite artists are here, but more importantly, Leslie West, truly, ‘Blood of the Sun’ is the single most important song in my entire musical repertoire. An absolute fact. I actually re-wrote it for our first record."
Opening the night alongside bass Meister Stu Hamm, Testament’s Alex Skolnick meanwhile told eonmusic; “it’s really exciting. I’m seeing multiple generations of players; those who were around before me like Rudy Sarzo [Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake], up and coming players, and it’s very communal! Everybody’s hanging out, and when we do these things it doesn’t matter; we’re all here for music and for the cause, and there’s no egos.”
With a night jam packed with music and one-off collaborations featuring the likes of Richie Kotzen, Jeff Scott Soto, and Kris Barras, the highlight arrived when guitar legend and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robbie Krieger took to the stage to perform a brace of Doors’ classics including a scorching ‘L.A. Woman’ and a hazy ‘Soul Kitchen’.
With the event raising money for charity, GBTM co-founder explained; “we love and embrace the MusiCares mission, ‘to help the humans behind music because music gives so much to the world’. We’re so aligned as partners, because we empower music fans to give back and with this concert, to raise money for artists in need. We are especially drawn to the work they are doing to help fight hardship, by offering mental health and addiction recovery programs”.
Give Back Through Music is a Los Angeles based non-profit with the mission of producing exclusive music and event experiences that empower music fans to help charities advancing human and animal welfare.