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San Diego Spotlight

POP MUSIC : Taking the Shirts Off Stars' Backs for Charity

March 14, 1990|THOMAS K. ARNOLD

If you want to get something on your chest, here's your chance. The fourth annual Celebri-T-Shirt Auction will be May 4 at the Kona Kai Club on Shelter Island. Once again, more than 250 T-shirts autographed by celebrities, most of them pop stars, will be auctioned off to raise money for the Storefront, San Diego County's only emergency shelter for homeless youth.

Proceeds from the first auction, in May, 1987, were used to finance the February, 1988, reopening of the Storefront. The downtown shelter--jointly operated by San Diego Youth and Community Services, Catholic Community Services, and METRO, the social-service agency of the United Methodist churches--originally opened in October, 1985, but was forced to shut nine months later due to a lack of funds.

Last year's auction boosted the Storefront's coffers by nearly $50,000. The five priciest shirts, and their winning bids, were those signed by the late Roy Orbison ($1,275), Jimmy Buffett ($725), the Beach Boys ($650), the Grateful Dead ($625), and Hollywood Rat Packers Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, and Frank Sinatra ($600).

At this year's affair, Storefront volunteers will put more shirts signed by Orbison (two), Buffett (two), and the Beach Boys (one) on the auction block. Other pop stars whose autographed T-shirts will be up for bid range from Chet Atkins to Ozzy Osbourne, from the Fabulous Thunderbirds to the Fine Young Cannibals, from the New Bohemians to New Order.

"Typically, we go through the business managers of the pop stars," said event coordinator Cynthia L. Perry. "We write them, explain what the cause is, and just make the request. For the most part, we do OK; we have stuff coming in all the time."

Also scheduled to be auctioned off is an assortment of rock 'n' roll memorabilia, including autographed photos of De La Soul, Debbie Gibson, Billy Joel, Elton John and George Michael; a soccer ball signed by Rod Stewart; an autographed Doobie Brothers concert program, and a pair of drum sticks and drum gloves used by Motley Crue's Tommy Lee.

"I just called Madonna to see what she'd be giving us, and we're hoping for a bustier, fancy bra, something slinky," said Storefront volunteer Salli Stiner, who's in charge of acquisitions. "And we're 90% certain we'll have a Fender guitar autographed by Eric Clapton.

"I also just got off the phone with Bob Dylan's people. I was initially thinking of getting this book that contains all his artwork, poetry and songs, and having him sign that, but then his press people said, 'Why don't we just let Bob pick out something he thinks will be wonderful?'

"It's kind of exciting--I'm just sitting here waiting, wondering what it's going to be." An auction preview party will be May 1 at Tom Fat's Tropical Cafe in Middletown.

LINER NOTES: January and February were busy months for Hit Single Recording Services, the local studio in the basement of the Marketplace at the Grove shopping center in East San Diego. Polydor Records recording artist Mildred Douglas from Holland stopped in to cut basic tracks for her next solo album. Guest session-men included singer Greg Walker and drummer Walfredo Reyes of Santana and ex-Weather Report bassist Alphonso Johnson. Then came Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, overseeing post-production of an upcoming live album by the Pleasure Barons, a touring revue he fronted last year with ex-Blasters guitarist Dave Alvin and fellow San Diegan Mojo Nixon. In the meantime, local bands the Harpoons, the Tell-Tale Hearts, Healing Arts, and the Holy Love Snakes dropped by to record demonstration tapes. . . .

Alligator Records, a tiny independent blues label from Chicago, has just released the third album by San Diego roots-rockers the Paladins. Saturday night, the trio is throwing a record-release party at San Diego State University's Backdoor. They'll be performing live versions of most of the 12 songs on "Let's Buzz," an invigorating blend of rockabilly, blues, rhythm-and-blues and country. The album was recorded in Los Angeles, at the private recording studio of 1970s soulster Leon Haywood, who topped the charts in 1975 with "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You." Haywood plays keyboards on the album; other guest stars are legendary New Orleans saxophonist Lee Allen, currently with the Blasters, and Los Lobos saxist Steve Berlin. Berlin co-produced "Let's Buzz" with Mark Linnett. . . .

A May 5 performance by Julio Iglesias kicks off this year's second annual concert series at the Starlight Bowl in Balboa Park. Two other confirmed bookings: George Strait, June 10, and Tom Jones, Sept. 13. Expect from 12 to 20 shows by the time the season ends in October or early November. . . .

Milli Vanilli has just been booked for a May 25 appearance at the San Diego Sports Arena. Opening the show will be Young M.C. and D-Mob. . . .

The Delbert McClinton concert originally scheduled for Friday at the Belly Up Tavern has been canceled. . . .

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