Hello Lover, Jim Suhler, The Mike Haskins Experience, The Marfalites, Dog Company, Here Holy Spain, The Assassins, The Phuss and Houston's The Sellouts are the first nine bands confirmed for the first annual 45 Fest, which will honor late Spector 45 members Frankie Campagna and Adam Carter, on Friday, October 21.
The aim for the event, says Frankie's father and event organizer Frank Campagna Sr., is simple: "The concept behind 45 Fest is to raise awareness of mental heath for both artists and musicians."
The younger Campagna and Carter both committed suicide earlier this year.
"Having lost two prominent musicians earlier this year to suicide," Campagna continues, "we at the Deep Ellum Community Association feel this issue needs to be addressed. In an attempt to steer people in the proper direction during [Frankie and Adam's] wakes, we invited Suicide Prevention to distribute information. The materials they provided were generic and difficult to even find the phone number on. The blasé nature of their pamphlets is understandable due to the fact that they may be read by a 13-year-old who got a pimple just before the big dance or an 83-year-old who recently lost their spouse of 50 years. But a specific audience and the root of the problem is what we seek to address, this bigger picture being mental health.
The realization that 'artists' are an excessive, emotional bunch that tend to feel more puts them in a high risk category of their own. They should be served with quality, easy-to-read awareness materials, geared towards their kind."
Along these same lines, 45 Fest will market itself directly toward potentially affected musicians.
Just up the street from Dada, as the concert at Dada (where Frankie worked) is taking place, Campagna Sr.'s Kettle Art Gallery will hold an art exhibit in conjunction with the event, featuring guitars painted and customized by area visual artists.
"We expect this become an annual event much like the Art of Skateboarding," Campagna says.
Guitar Center donated 20 of these guitars to the cause; more donations are welcome. The hope is to have, fittingly, 45 guitars on display. These pieces will then be sold off in a fundraising effort for future events.
Interesting as this all sounds, the cause spurring on the event is Campagna's top priority. Adds Frank: "Printed literature will be available at both venues that clearly point out options for those who may be or know someone who is upset, depressed or unstable."
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