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Cruefest Hollywood 2016: Rockers Give Back and Give Fans a Great Show at Whisky on LA’s Sunset Strip

By DONNA BALANCIA – A range of rockers take part in this charity every year and 2016 was no different. Featuring bands from all over the world, Cruefest Hollywood rocks.

Bands on hand were Mick Scott and Se7en Reasons Why; Heartbreak Heroes from Oklahoma and Los Angeles; Snake Bite Whisky from Brisbane, Australia; Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California; Stonebreed; Wreking Crue from Detroit, and Blacklist Union, Lunden Reign, Westfield Massacre, and L.A. Story; all of whom are from Los Angeles.

“This is an event that I really enjoy,” said fan Tom Haggeny from Los Angeles. “We love the raffles, we like winning the T-shirts, you get a chance at some killer guitars and it’s all for a good cause.”

Cruefest Hollywood is held each year to raise funds for cancer research.

“This is our second year and we’re really happy to play Cruefest Hollywood,” said Erik Hatchett of LA Story. “We like to connect with the fans and we really have a good time.”

Bad Boy Eddie, from Northern California, said they made the journey south because they wanted to help out a good cause.

“I love it,” said founder Dave. “We’re having a really good time and meeting really fun people.  We want to help out.”

Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California - Photo by Donna Balancia

Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California – Photo by Donna Balancia

LA Story gets the crowd going - Photo by Donna Balancia

LA Story gets the crowd going – Photo by Donna Balancia

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”60″ gal_title=”Cruefest Hollywood 2016″]

Cruefest Hollywood: Metal Artists With Hearts of Gold Come to Whisky A Go Go and Play for Charity

Se7en Reasons Why - Photo © 2016 Donna Balanci

Se7en Reasons Why – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – The 15th Annual Cruefest Hollywood will be held this Saturday at the Whisky A Go-Go and while it’s a fun concert event, it’s purpose is serious: To help fight cancer.

“Cruefest is one of few events in which the bands involved serve as a reminder of how precious life is — through their music and the common path we all walk,” said Mick Scott of Se7en Reasons Why, who performs this year. “Music serves as a time stamp in which we remember where we were and who we were in a particular point in our lives.”

In addition to Se7en Reasons Why, those playing the event are: Heartbreak Heroes from Oklahoma and Los Angeles; Snake Bite Whisky from Brisbane, Australia; Bad Boy Eddy from Northern California; Stonebreed; Wreking Crue from Detroit, and Blacklist Union, Lunden Reign, Westfield Massacre, and L.A. Story; all of whom are from Los Angeles.

“It’s important to participate because it’s for an amazing cause and it’s one of the best-run charity events in L.A.,” said Erik Hatchett, frontman for L.A. Story.  His band made an appearance on “America’s Got Talent” earlier in the season. “We’re honored to play Cruefest Hollywood two years in a row.”

Frontman Erik Hatchett and L.A. Story at CrueFest - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Frontman Erik Hatchett and L.A. Story at CrueFest – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Since 2001, Cruefest Hollywood has been put on by the fans of the rock band Motley Crue to raise money for cancer charities in memory of Skylar Neil, Vince Neil’s daughter who passed away from cancer at age 4.  Cruefest Hollywood was developed through the goodwill, generosity, dedication and energy of a group of fans from all over North America. The once-small event has grown over the past 15 years with similar charity events also being held in New England, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Canada and Australia.

Over the years Cruefest Hollywood has grown in attendance, funds raised for cancer research, and musician participation — bringing in artists from around the world.  Event supporters and sponsors share their money for a great cause and artists and organizers give of their time and talents to make this event a success.  The mission is to honor Skylar by raising money and awareness through the charitable event. Proceeds from the event go to Letty’s Angels of Hope.

Among those who have supported Cruefest Hollywood over the years are Vains of Jenna, Steven Alder, Daisy De La Hoya, The Erotics, The Lovehammers, and Dirty Penny.  Neil Wharton, Vince Neil’s son, has headlined the event many times. Numerous Hollywood celebrities including Andrew Dice Clay have attended the event.

Jack Cash with Downtown Attraction and Stevie D. of Buckcherry - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Jack Cash with Downtown Attraction and Stevie D. of Buckcherry – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Scott said the volunteers and the folks who put the event together are owed a vote of gratitude.

“The people involved in Cruefest help make memories more vibrant through the selfless work they do in bringing this all together,” Scott said. “I’m happy they’ve asked me to be involved.”

For any last minute sponsorship opportunities or to donate an item to our raffle, send an email to cruefesthollywood@yahoo.com.

For information on tickets, bands, sponsors, prizes, hotels, etc. visit the Cruefest Hollywood website at www.hollywoodcruefest.com.

Follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cruefesthollywood.

For more information on Letty’s Angels of Hope go to www.lettysangels.org.

When and Where: Cruefest Hollywood takes place at The Whisky A Go Go on Saturday. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. with the first band starting at 5 P.M.

Local Band, L.A. Story, Nabs Cutaway Segment on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Erik Hatchett's band L.A. Story trying for America's Got Talent - Photo courtesy Erik Hatchett

Erik Hatchett’s band L.A. Story trying for America’s Got Talent – Photo courtesy Erik Hatchett

L.A. Story: ‘Keep Rock Alive’

By DONNA BALANCIA – Local “feel-good” rock band, L.A. Story will have a shot at the big-time when the guys do a tryout Saturday for the NBCTV hit show America’s Got Talent.

“This is a really great opportunity for exposure,” said Erik Hatchett, whose 1-year-old band has toured around the U.S., but calls Los Angeles home.  L.A. Story is comprised of Hatchett on vocals, Carmine D’Amico and Aaron Lee on guitar; Carlos Pagen on bass and Chris Bozadzis on drums.

“We play ‘feel good rock’ and people seem to like it,” Hatchett said.

The guys will go to the L.A. Convention Center and will play the first round with acoustic instruments.  They get 90 seconds to impress the America’s Got Talent producers and if they nail it, move on to the celebrity judge round which won’t be televised.  If they get the celebrity judges to like them, they move on to national TV.

Hatchett said the band will play their song, “Five Girls,” and he’s hoping for the best. But regardless, the band also has a “cut-away” interview that will most likely air on the prime time show.

“We’ve been rehearsing three days a week to get all our notes in a row,” Hatchett said. “If we don’t get the go it’s not a problem. We have some tours in the works and a show the day after our audition.”

Hatchett, whose band performed at CrueFest at the Whisky said the goal of trying for America’s Got Talent is to get the band out there and to help encourage other musicians to keep rock music alive.

“Our main goal is to just get to the next level of our careers and bring rock back to the LA spotlight,” Hatchett said.  “We’re not trying to be the next Green Day or One Direction, we just want to play rock music that makes people feel good and dance a bad day away!”

CrueFest Hollywood 2015: Metal Shows its Golden Heart at Charity Event

Graham Bonnet Band rockin' at CrueFest - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Graham Bonnet Band rockin’ at CrueFest – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

CrueFest Hollywood Raises Cash to Help People With Cancer

By MALIA BALANCIA – Rock and Roll may never forgive, but it knows how to give back.

The stage at the Whisky A Go-Go was rockin’ at Cruefest Hollywood 2015, featuring bands including Downtown Attraction, L.A. Story, and the Graham Bonnet Band.

Steve Talbott of Gutterboys at CrueFest - Photo © 2015 Donna Balanci

Steve Talbott of Gutterboys at CrueFest – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

The event is a charity fundraiser to benefit Letty’s Angels of Hope Foundation. See CrueFest Hollywood for more information.

Steve Talbott of the Gutterboys was emcee and became everyone’s favorite guy, as he threw T-shirts and guitar picks into the all-age audience that came to rock and raise money.  His band is fun and he’s got a hard-charging attitude.

There was too much talent to mention with highlights of the night including Downtown Attraction’s Jack Cash and Matti Jade teaming up with Buckcherry’s Stevie D. in an amazing set that blew out the Whisky.

Cash is remarkably agile and he is practiced at his performance.  Downtown Attraction moves forward in its success in a low-key manner but these guys are bound to break out in a big way.

Frontman Erik Hatchett and L.A. Story at CrueFest - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

Frontman Erik Hatchett and L.A. Story at CrueFest – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

L.A. Story is one of the new bands on the scene with a fabulous theatrical appeal.  Frontman Erik Hatchett and his partner in crime, Jason Barajas, are a team for the ages with onstage antics that compel the audience to join in.

L.A. Story puts on an interactive performance, simultaneously taunting and charming the crowd.  The band is headed out on tour throughout the midwest to wrap up the summer.

A highlight of the night was the Graham Bonnet Band.  The guy still cooks along after all these years and brings the audience to a howling pitch and concert-goers cheer on the performance.

CrueFest Daisy DelaHoya and Black Star Electra - Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

CrueFest Daisy DelaHoya and Black Star Electra – Photo © 2015 Donna Balancia

An unlikely if not mezmerising hit was Daisy DelaHoya, the sexy frontgal of Black Star Electra.  She’s best known for her reality TV stints, but this woman can belt it out.  Her moves are amazing and she had more photographers snapping her than bees around honey.  She’s one to watch — on several levels.

CrueFest 2015 was a hit and well worth the $20 admission for an all-day-long affair with plenty of chances for giveaways and live auction.  Appreciation to the Whisky A Go Go and the many who gave donations and product giveaways.[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”14″ gal_title=”CrueFest Hollywood 2015″]

Rock Show — Not Freak Show — at California Institute of Abnormalarts

Jewel Steele of Stereo Love - Photo © Donna Balancia

Jewel Steele of Stereo Love – Photo © Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – When popular Los Angeles bands Stereo Love, L.A. Story and Rebel Hotel have a rock show at a freak show museum, you get big bang for the buck.

The three bands blew away the embalmed bodies — as well as the warm bodies — at the well-known freak show museum California Institute of Abnormalarts in North Hollywood last week.

“We thought this would be a really cool place to book a show,” said Judd Steele, who with his two daughters are the band Stereo Love. “We have a different approach to rock and roll.”

Stereo Love is getting quite a bit of attention not only for being fun rockers but rockers with a family angle.

“We get a lot of mileage out of the family thing,” said Steele.  “But also it gives me a way to be close to my family and today it’s really important to connect with your kids.”

Rebel Hotel has an interesting story and could represent one of the most international bands playing Los Angeles today.  Frontman Ricky Ohrn is Swedish, Aaron Lee is British, Satoshi Ichiyanagi is from Japan and drummer Carl Marinelli is from the U.S.

“We have a bit of international flavor,” said Ohrn, who brings a supercharged attitude to his music.  The guys are on our list of favorite rockers.

CIA - Rebel Hotel - Photo © Donna Balancia

CIA – Rebel Hotel – Photo © Donna Balancia

Erik Hatchett is an interesting component of the band L.A. Story.  He’s an entrepreneur, an investor, a surfer and really has fun when he performs.

“We love bringing our music to the crowds,” Hatchett said.  He’s big into charity work and is quick with a smile when he talks about giving back.

Catch L.A. Story at the Whisky A Go Go Saturday night at Cruefest, a benefit to fight cancer.

As for the host venue, The California Institute of Abnormalarts is much more than the “Best Place to Find a Dead Clown.”

It’s a cool music and historical venue in North Hollywood.

“We’ve always had an interest in freak shows and attractions,” said CIA co-owner Carl Crew.  “People love it here and we get some great bands.”

At CIA - LA Story Photo © Donna Balancia

At CIA – LA Story Photo © Donna Balancia

You can’t miss the North Hollywood attraction, its outside is painted in wild circus colors with a smiling clown face summoning you inside.

Inside, there is at once a tribute to punk rock and circus arts, including skulls, embalmed bodies, a fairy and notably the only dead clown on display in Los Angeles.  Or anywhere that one can think of.

The CIA is worth a visit.  Give a call.  For more information check out the Facebook page HERE.

 

PHOTO GALLERY FROM CIA:

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”13″ gal_title=”CIA Rock Show”]

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