On November 24, 2020 a free, virtual, and historic benefit concert, presented by producer, philanthropist and recording artist John “SohoJohnny” Pasquale was presented to the world via iconcert.tv. The concert was designed to raise funds and awareness for anti-bullying through #IAMNOJOKE and Creative Visions and two huge bullies COVID-19 and cancer.
In the words of Lord Acton “History is not a burden on the memory but an illumination of the soul.” The artistry of the performers and the inspiration of the words and sentiments of over 75 superstars truly brightened the souls of the 10,000 fans who joined to view the extravaganza. The titanic, six-hour concert was historically the biggest virtual presentation during the corona isolation. It welcomed the darkness of night as a canopy where the stars shined and brightened the sky.
Hosted elegantly by the gentle yet animated SohoJohnny, the first hour blasted off with performances and salutations from the iconic Suzi Quatro, Martha Davis (The Motels), Tony Moore, Leon Robinson (The 5 Heartbeats), Bonfire and The Moody Blues’ John Lodge who world premiered his new song “In These Crazy Times.” He presented the song with Jon Davison from “YES” and his wife Kirsten and son Kristian. AnimazeX blew us away with their heavy metal Disney songs and singers Xharlie Black, Linda Gambino, Natalie Shay and the popular Jasmine Kara certainly delivered. October London, Ilo, DJ Scribble, and Baby Carrots also appeared.
The second hour held the attention of the masses as we were thrusted into the #IAMNOJOKE segment of the concert phenomena. The biggest stars in the heavens appeared including Sir Patrick Stewart, Slash, Jane Lynch, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Steve Vai, Charlie Sheen, Cedric the Entertainer, Elie Samouhi, Jeff Goldblum, Cairo Knife Fight, Chad Smith, Henry Rollins, Josh Homme, Andrew W.K. and live streamed sensational performances by Rachel Lorin, Beverley Knight, Julian Lennon, and creator of #IAMNOJOKE, Andrew Cole. There was also an appearance by the late Lemmy from Motörhead. The hour also included a performance by rapper Tè Atana,
and a wild and charged Rick Wakeman from YES played “Eleanor Rigby” in the midst of a church. After hearing Rick perform I have to wonder how anyone else in the music business can make a living…
Hour three was topped with 3 very cool songs from singer April Gabrielle, along with presentations from Drmagon, Jupie, Sari Schorr, Versa, Roxiny Rivas, and the talented Sonia Leigh. There were shout outs and appeals from our own Jimmy Star and Ron Russell as well as the iconic bassist Leland Sklar and The Immediate Family and Think:EXP including Scott Page (Pink Floyd, Supertramp and Toto), Kenny Olson (Kid Rock), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), with friend Dave Moss and Manager Sheila Conlin and Fred Schnieder frontman of the B-52’s premiered his new video Fruitcake.
The forth hour heated up with the legendary drummer for John Mellencamp, Kenny Aronoff, with a rockin’ drum solo, a special performance by Kim Sledge, and Verdeen White from the super-group Earth, Wind, and Fire. An amazing shout out and performance from Tommy James was one of the most talked about events of the evening. Rocker and Allied Artists recording superstar Rocky Kramer also made his mark as well as adorable R&B/pop artist Ian Guerin. Thomas Claxton, Arizona Lindsey, Ken Knox, Ray Detone, and comedian Ike Avelli also shared the majesty of the hour.
The audience numbers continued to rise during the fifth hour with Latin band Juliana, Scream Queen Sadie Katz, long-time host of “Profiles”, Mickey Burns, the biggest press agent in history Howard Bloom and iconic singer Tony Moore. Emcee Monte, Iridescence, Mark Newman, Sophia Angelica, Los Vegas, TV Host Brian Sebastian, Will Crewdson and Star Hanson also added to the brilliance before the final hour.
The final hour included, words and inspiration from celebrity photographer Billy Hess, hair designer Mark DeAlwis, rapper and poet Nate SoundZ, pysche band Revolushn, Actress Laurene Landon, FM radio host Kenny Wilkerson, Ron Coke of the Drifters Review, Lori Diamon & Fred Abatelli, Maxim Model Sherry Nelson, Screamin Rachael, Wendy Stuart Kaplan, Hannah Lee Thompson, Nicole Stallone VP, Rose Wakely, David Martinez, Tym Moss, Ken Miller, singer Jessica Heim, Kristy Kay and ShaNaNa’s Jocko.
Then came the outstanding grande finale with repeat performances by John Lodge and the flawless and phenomenal Rick Wakeman. Again I was in awe of Rick Wakeman’s presentation, as was the rest of the planet watching. The close of the show featured legends Ten Years After performing one of the musical tracks powerful enough to change the world “I’d Love to Change the World.”
Kudos to Producer John Velasco-Mills CEO of MD25 Entertainment. Velasco is no stranger to the music world having worked with the Fifth Dimension, Tony Orlando, Thelma Houston, ABBA, ELO, and many others. He represented and worked with the likes of Tina Turner, Tommy Boyce, John Denver, Marvin Gaye, Hal David and Davy Jones. Also special thanks to the backstage team who worked endlessly until the very last moment, editor Paul San Filippo, line producer Christian Velasco-Mills, streamer Chris Pati, entertainment ssistant Gayle Serle, web-masters Ryan Doran and Mike Berardi. Personal thanks to my partner and co-owner of World Star PR Jimmy Star who kept the boat afloat. And of course, SohoJohnny who without his vision, encouragement and faith, this never would have been possible.
The show to end all shows was a heart-stopping anomaly which unfortunately was a one-time presentation. For those who missed it a compilation might be available soon, and a heads up for the next event will soon be found at SohoJohnny.com.
“ And those who were seen dancing with thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music“…. Frederick Nietzsche