On September 16, 2017 the Rock To Recovery 2 concert and fundraiser took place at the esteemed Fonda Theatre in Hollywood, CA in support of the Rock To Recovery program. Wes Geer, former guitarist for Hed PE and Korn founded the Rock To Recovery program in 2012 after his own struggles with addiction. The Rock To Recovery program brings the healing elements of music to non-musicians as a way to heal those battling with addiction, PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self harm and other behavioral issues. Music becomes the medicine and works to transform the lives of people giving them the chance to create and use music as a therapeutic tool.
The sold out event featured an impressive line-up both on the red carpet and on the stage. As everything got underway, the Rock To Recovery band took to the stage featuring David Silveria (Korn), Wes Geer (Hed PE, Korn, Damages), Sonny Mayo (Sevendust, Snot, Ugly Kid Joe), Nate Lawler (Death on Wednesday, Damages), Brandon Jordan (Kill Radio), Clinton Calton (D.I.), Brandon Parkhurst (Kut U Up), William Nephew, Matt Bartosch, Max Venison and Zac Morris. The all-star line-up ripped into a stunning and electrically energized set of cover songs including All My Life (Foo Fighters), Immigrant Song (Led Zeppelin), Don’t Stop Believin (Journey), Sabotage (The Beastie Boys), Santeria (Sublime), Help (The Beatles), Live Forever (Oasis), One (U2) and Breed (Nirvana) and their energy and fire oozed into the crowd. It was apparent that many people in the audience were feeling the strong connection with the band not only through music but also through sobriety. It was a sight to see and it only became more intense as the night went on.
The recent loss of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington has affected everyone whose lives he has touched through music and through friendships. Wes Geer and Ryan Shuck came out to pay tribute with an acoustic and heartfelt cover of One More Light (Linkin Park) but not before Shuck spoke about Bennington recalling his memory of one day they had at the golf course together. Saying “Chester believed in the cause and that the program helps. He wanted to go back to school and help people. He loved everyone.” There was not a single dry eye in the house as the loss of Bennington seemed to have affected everyone there. It was a heavy moment but it was also a moment of magnification on how much Bennington truly gave to others in his life. He will forever be missed.
A short video was shown containing testimonials to the Rock To Recovery program. Success stories of how the program has helped people in such an extraordinary way truly touched the audience and musicians alike, seeing firsthand how much of an impact Rock To Recovery has on those who fight different battles from different walks of life. Afterwards, the live auction began and offered up a signed Fender guitar and a signed Fender bass which sold for a total of $5,000.00 to help the Rock To Recovery program.
The highlight of the evening was when Wayne Kramer (MC5) and Corey Taylor (Slipknot, Stone Sour) were honored. Kramer shared the story of his journey of activism and overcoming addiction and humbly accepted the Rock To Recovery Service Award. Taylor came out and was handed the Icon Award giving a speech that reached everyone to the core saying “It’s been eight years, and you put a lot of shit in perspective. You have a lot of time to think. You have nowhere to go with it. Your trial and error becomes your way of life, who you are is a question every day, and why. And in this industry, that ‘why’ is kind of wrapped up in a lot of weird shit. So the great thing about this program, this organization is it takes away all of that. It takes away the stigma of trying to be a better person, trying to be a stronger person, a healthier person. It takes away the feeling of being alone, surrounded by people who are doing the exact same stuff that you do. And it lets you enjoy it again, which is a hard thing to do when you’re force-fed an idea that it’s only cool if you’re fucked up. It’s not. It’s actually better once you get your head together, or try to.”
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the Kings Of Chaos came out comprising of another monumental line-up with Matt Sorum (Guns n Roses, The Cult, Velvet Revolver), Franky Perez (Apocalyptica, Scars On Broadway), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol) and Robert DeLeo (Stone Temple Pilots). The band put on an out of this world performance with songs by Black sabbath, Deep Purple, Radiohead, Billy Idol and Stone Temple Pilots. The juxtaposition of musicians and their exceedingly prodigious intensity brought the house down. Kevin Martin (Candlebox) came out for a cover of Someday that he had written about his late friend Andrew Wood (Mother, Love Bone). Wayne Kramer joined the band for an expeditious yet legendary performance of Kick Out The Jams that was not complete without a dueling guitar battle between him and Steve Stevens that accelerated the evening even more. Corey Taylor stepped on stage to play Song #3 from his band Stone Sour’s new album titled Hydrograd and delivered a raw, vulnerable and emotional acoustic performance. Followed by a cover of Sex Type Thing (Stone Temple Pilot). The evening ended with a striking performance of Creep (Radiohead) as Franky Perez dedicated this song to the audience mentioning his relation and understanding to their feelings of isolation and the hardships of overcoming addiction.
Rock To Recovery 2 is now in the history books and continues to push its way through to bring an evolution of healing as they save the world through music.
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