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Sando Raises Thousands For Blackie

Michele Madden @ The Sando for Blackie's Benefit. Pic by Andrew Pittman
May 24th 2012 | 3:32pm | Dan Condon
Last night's Sandringham Hotel fundraiser for Hard-Ons guitarist Blackie has raised $3800 to be donated to the Aussie punk rock legend who was bashed by two youths in Sydney's outer suburbs last week.

Blackie, who also performs solo, was driving his cab when a 16-year-old boy and 14-year-old girl attacked him in Crows Nest last Thursday night. Since the incident the Australian music community has rushed to raise funds for the legendary guitarist, with people around the world chipping in with PayPal donations and benefit shows to raise money to help with his recovery.

Last night's performance saw Michele Madden, Simon Day, Mo Fkn Mayhem and Marcus De Pasquale performing in the Sando's main room for 250 devoted fans and friends. A relieved and energised Madden, member of bands such as Tourettes and Meldrum and last night's organiser, spoke with today.

“I've played with some of the biggest bands in the world but this was one of the best nights of my life, it tops everything,” she said. “There were no hipster fucks and rubberneckers which really impressed the shit out of me. I saw some heads that I hadn't seen in a really long time but as a working musician you kind of expect that. It takes something really big to put down the bong and surgically remove yourself from the brown couch.

“It was about 250 people on a Wednesday night, so I'm flabbergasted.”

Of the money raised, $1900 came from the door, $1365 from donation buckets and a keg of beer supplied by microbrewery Young Henrys and $550 from a raffle that was run on the night.

Madden spoke to Blackie this morning and confirms he is out of hospital and healing well.

“He's at home, which is just the best thing because he was going nuts at the hospital,” she says. “They tore his mouth open on the left hand side… he said it's really funny when he sculls water it comes out the holes. But he's healing incredibly well but that's testament to his fitness and the fact that he's a lifelong vegan.”

There have been countless stories traded in recent days of how Blackie and the Hard-Ons have inspired bands and musicians over the past three decades, Madden admits that it was Blackie who convinced her to perform again after her split with fiancé Nick Oliveri.

“Blackie got me back into playing after a really bad broken heart; my fiancé and I split up and I moved back to Australia and I never wanted to play music again. Blackie, who has been my brother and my best friend for as long as I remember – he's so stoic and so Australian – he was like 'you're fuckin' playing'. He saw that I needed to get back on my feet again.

“We've been doing these gorgeous Wednesday nights in my tent at the Sando and they've been going fucking great guns.

Madden and Blackie have already plotted his return to performing, with Wednesday 4 July at the Sando set to be when it happens.

“We're starting it up again on July 4th, Independence Day, Blackie's independence from being a fuckin' headcase,” Madden says.

Elsewhere, the auction run by Tym Guitars in Brisbane, for which operator Tim Brennan will offer two pedals of the winner's choosing to the highest bidder, has stalled at $1500. Due to the high price hit so far, Brennan has opened up a raffle as a more affordable way for people to donate, tickets are $5 and available here.

Karova Lounge in Ballarat are set to announce details of a benefit show happening in place of the scheduled Hard-Ons date on Friday 8 June.

Keep up to date with other benefit events right here and let us know if there's one you'd like added.


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