Sunday, April 22, 2007

Can you believe what happened last night????

It's been a long time since I posted here, mostly because the elegant and talented Caroline has been here to spread the news. But this is one time that I have to share my excitement with all of our friends.

Last night we witnessed one of the greatest examples of selflessness and pure giving in the history of charitable events. Scores of friends and associates gave us little pieces of themselves - their instruments, clothing, photos and other memorabilia - to auction to a crowd of ardent supporters of Music Rising (and U2). The greatest contributions came from Darren Julien of Julien's Auctions who put this incredible event together at considerable personal expense; from Henry, Caroline and all the folks at Gibson who pulled out all the stops in getting donated instruments and memorabilia from artists from all over the world; from our dear friends and supporters who paid more than anyone could have predicted for all of the items on auction and made it possible for us to sell more than $2.4m worth of stuff IN ONE NIGHT!

But perhaps the greatest thanks has to go to my dear friend and partner, Edge, as well as Bono, Larry and Adam for so generously providing us with the greatest collection of U2 memorabilia ever offered to the public. Sometimes people don't realize this but every item the members of U2 gave us to auction was something that they were personally attached to in a fundamental way. And in the case of the instruments, these were their actual creative tools and extensions of their musical identity. This wasn't just a case of some celebs signing 8x10's or cheap new guitars and putting them up for sale. This was a group of committed, giving artists who put their prized possessions behind their convictions for the benefit of others. How amazingly cool and impressive is that? I have never been more proud to be in the same trench with someone. I told Edge that last night after the sale was over. I'm telling you too because you should know that about the man and his band mates. There are no better people anywhere.

Caroline will no doubt write about the experience of the auction. I couldn't be there because of an illness in the family, but I watched and participated online - plus folks were calling me from the floor of the auction to let me hear what was going on - so I had a small sense of the excitement in the room. The reports were uniformly ecstatic.

This money and the rest that we have been raising through the kindness of Gibson and Musicians Friend by selling the new Epiphone Music Rising Guitar as well as from numerous other sources will give us the wherewithal to make good on our commitment to bring the music back to the Central Gulf by providing instruments for its musicians, churches and schools, and through the music to help the essential process of community building in the region.

There's so much more that I could say about this but I'm going to close with a simple "Thank You" to everyone who participated in, and helped to support, this amazingly successful event.

Think we should do it again? Let us know.

Best wishes to all!