Legendary Dayton musician Steven Shockley and his wife, Brenda Lutz, have organized a very funky "consolation prize" for those who want to help area residents bounce back from the 15 Memorial Day tornadoes.
For the first time, five of the biggest funk music acts to emerge from the Gem City will perform at the same concert.
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Shockley said supporting Daytonians as they heal is the key reason for 937-Live: Hometown Legends for Relief set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd. in Huber Heights.
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“That was first and foremost, and we were like a consolation prize,” he said. “You show up. You donate your $63, your $43, your $33 and you get all of this.”
All of this includes performances by the Ohio Players, Zapp, The Original Lakeside and Steve Arrington.
Faze-O, featuring Grammy Award-winner Keith Harrison, will open the concert. His home was damaged during the storms.
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To top it off, the concert will be hosted by Bootsy Collins and Peppermint Patti Collins.
Tickets range from $33.50 to $63.50 and are on sale now at rosemusiccenter.com.
Funds raised from the concert will benefit the Dayton Foundation's Greater Dayton Disaster Relief Fund. It was established to assist those impacted by the tornadoes.
More than 2,200 structures in Montgomery County alone were destroyed or damaged.
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The concert marks the first time Shockley, a member of The Original Lakeside, has promoted a show. The concert fit into the bands’ schedules. Shockley said the Rose donated the venue.
“It is almost like promoters didn’t see the picture of how big this could be if we all play together,” Shockley said. “I don’t know what made me think I could do it, but we had some incredible help.”
Lester Troutman, the leader of the Zapp Band, said his home escaped damage, but people who live about a quarter of a mile away were not as lucky.
He said lives were turned upside down.
Troutman said he and his bandmates could not pass up the opportunity to help when Shockley made the call.
“We just want to give a little bit back. It’s not everything, but it’s something just to let everybody know, as my nephew says, Dayton’s strong.”
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WE ARE DAYTON STRONG
We asked Troutman and Shockley and Steve Arrington, an artist known for his work with Slave and Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, about what Dayton Strong means to them.
“Dayton, that means home. That means family. That means the people that I grew up with. That means all the old stories that we can sit around and talk about. That’s Dayton. And strong (flexes muscles). We are here. We are together. And when one of us falls, all of us have to pull that person that fell back up.”
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“Resilient. Bounce back. You know, tornadoes. We had the mass shooting. We come together, the funk community, as Lester said, to give back. Steve had the vision. I got the call. I was in L.A. at the time working on a new album. And I said, ‘listen, man, count me in.’ So we are here together. We’ve known each other so many years, long before we were national and international acts. Like Lester said, we have the stories coming from when we were dreaming. We give that back to our city for some others to dream, even in the midst of chaos. Resilience.”
“I’ve seen Dayton go through changes since the ’60s. And every time we were resilient enough to pull ourselves out of it. Even though I rode by a bunch of devastation the other day. And it is still devastated. I said, this is going to go on for a while. I know FEMA is supposed to be here and all these people. But I see Dayton is still pulling itself together. Just like all the people who bought tickets for this concert. No matter what the devastation is, we are going out here to see our people, and have a good time and donate some money.”
ABOUT THE BANDS
The featured acts are among the bands that helped Dayton earn its Land of Funk nickname in the 1970s and ’80s.
The Ohio Players lead by original member James "Diamond" Williams has hits that include "Skin Tight" "Fire," "Sweet Sticky Thing," "Love Rollercoaster," Funky Worm," I Want to Be Free and "Pain"
Zapp is now lead by Lester Troutman.
It is known for a string of hits that includes “More Bounce to the Ounce,” “Doo Wa Ditty,” “I Can Make You Dance,” “Heartbreaker” and “Computer Love.”
Lakeside’s songs include “It’s All the Way Live,” “Fantastic Voyage” and Steve Arrington is best known for the songs “Watching You” and “Slide.”
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WANT TO GO?
What: #937-LIVE, Legends for Relief Concert
Where: Rose Music Center, 6800 Executive Blvd., Huber Heights
When: Sept. 18, 2019
Cost: $33.50 to $63.50
More info: Website