The Gomers, Madison's chameleon-like rock royals, rally around guitarist Steve Burke with this week's happy hour edition of their popular Gomeroke live karaoke show at the High Noon Saloon. The benefit show's name -- "May Steve Burke's Kidney Stones Go Straight to Hell" -- says it all. From 5 - 7:30 p.m. on Friday, fans will have the opportunity to be a rock star, sing a song for Steve and make a donation to help out with some unexpected medical expenses he's incurred.
Fellow Gomer Biff Blumfumgagnge says word of Burke's predicament is spreading quickly, and donations have been coming in already. As of Wednesday night, "we're over $600 in donations for Steve, before the benefit has even happened. It's neat to see donations coming in from different cities. Steve's played with so many people and he's really loved ... a lot of people are wishing him well. It's a unique situation and we're just trying to deal with it the best we can."
The Gomers have been entertaining crowds in Madison for more than 20 years, and Burke joined the band a few years after their formation. He also currently performs with MaeRae and Cement Pond (and often sits in with other bands as well). In the recent past he's played in NoahJohn, Drug Induced Nightmare #4, Blue Herons and many other bands.
For fans who can't make it to Friday's benefit at the High Noon Saloon, donations are being accepted through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org. More details are available on their MySpace page .
Additionally, a second benefit show is coming together quickly as sort of an after party to Happyoke. The Arge and The Low Czars [the writer's group] will perform Friday night at Mickey's Tavern, 1524 Williamson St. Showtime is 10 p.m.
That show will mark bassist Pete Newhall's final show with The Arge before his move to Ireland next week. The band had originally planned their CD release show in September as Newhall's last stand with the group, but the chance for him to play one more show at Mickey's (and for a good cause at that) was enough to lure him out of retirement.