According to statistics, it is now one in every sixty-eight children who are affected with autism. Chances are, you either know someone with autism or someone who has a child affected with autism. You may even have have a child with ASD such as myself. Whatever the connection may be, I do know that rockers and metal jammers will come out in hordes to support any cause that helps children in need.
The Gaslamp Music + Bar + Kitchen in Long Beach, California, hosted a fully packed shredding house party to raise funds, awareness, and acceptance for children with ASD through Metal Jam 2016. This fundraising party is an annual event and is organized by Joey McCollough, Jeff Fahnestock, Mikey Elms and co-organizer Cindy Spaulding. All proceeds from this spectacular event go directly to Autism Speaks.
A slew of cover bands took turns on stage and ripped through the best of classic metal sounds. Cover songs of Ozzy Osbourne, AC/DC, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Dio and Judas Priest entertained the thrilled audience. The hard sounds heard throughout the night were perfect.
To get everyone on their feet in excitement, an exquisite raffle prize was displayed for all to see. Up for grabs was a bass guitar signed by Slayer's own bassist, Tom Araya. This prize bass was donated by ESP Guitars – Jeff Moore. Several raffle tickets were sold for this highly sought after prize. My group of thirteen friends purchased many tickets ourselves in hopes of securing the autographed bass though sadly we were not graced with the pleasure of winning.
While sitting at the back tables with our children equipped with headphones and an iPad, we enjoyed some great food as we rocked out to some bad ass metal music. Our kids were rockin' with us, headphones and all. This made for a great time had by all.
The level of support shown for this cause put a smile on everyone's faces. Local and non-local cover bands came out to shred for kids in need. This is not the first time we have been here, nor will it be the last. The bands, Damage Inc. (a tribute to Metallica), Just Like Priest, Electric Funeral (classic Black Sabbath), Ed Force One and DIA (Dio tribute) made it all worth the cost. They were on target and had everyone screaming for more. I recommend everyone that loves hard music to attend Metal Jam For Autism at least once. This year's special guest MC was JUNKMAN from KNAC.com pure rock. He took a stage dive and crowd ride all the way to the bar, to down a shot. He then crowd-surfed back to announce the next band. He really made the energy surge through the entire crowd.
I am Dilly Brigs saying, thank you to all who organized and participated in this year's event as it meant so much to so many.