Story and photographs by Jimmy Steinfeldt
Los Angeles, CA (The Hollywood Times) 10/3/21 – Last night I attended an amazing event to benefit The Columbus Children’s Foundation. They hosted The Ultra Rare Celebrity Jam featuring: Joe Bonamassa, John Oates, Keb’ Mo’, Eric Gales Jared James Nichols, Molly Shiveley and other wonderful entertainers. I was able to interview and photograph many of these great talents who gave of their time to benefit the kids.
Jimmy Steinfeldt: Joe you made today’s event possible. Tell us about it.
Joe Bonamassa: There’s less than 100 kids who have this illness. They live short lives and parents don’t know what to do, and it costs a fortune to go through the traditional hospital system. It was a no-brainer to get involved in helping raise money. I was invited by a cancer patient to St. Jude about 5 years ago. He played guitar so we gave him a Gibson guitar. I toured St. Jude and learned that it’s a unique program. The doctors and staff are at eye level with the kids. It’s not like the kids have to look up to this imposing doctor figure. I left that experience thinking there’s no such thing as a bad day. If you think you are having a bad day think of children who have never had a chance at life. The parents live in constant turmoil, dread and fear. I’m not a parent but to see the look on the parent’s faces when their kids get such great treatment is everything.
JS: Can you speak about today’s venue the Sunset Marquis Hotel?
JB: Our band stays here. It was our home away from home for a year back in 2008. I actually lived here. I think several of us here today have lived here at one time or another. It’s always a welcoming place. You see some of the most famous people in the world here but they drop their celebrity at the front door. People from all walks of life mingle here. Professionals, entertainers, actors, or tourists who simply come to hang out at the pool. Everyone’s treated the same. It’s the most un-L.A. place in L.A.
Jimmy Steinfeldt: Please tell us how you got involved in today’s event.
Eric Gales: Joe Bonamassa produced my new record and Keb’ Mo’ is a co-writer. We managed to get it done during this pandemic. It comes out January 28th with the single “I Want My Crown” and accompanying video dropping October 21st. Joe Bonamassa and I are in a boxing ring. When it’s time for our solos we jump in the ring and we’re going at it. Looks like we are in a heavyweight fight. Keb’ Mo’ is the referee!
This idea came from a YouTube clip of me and Joe playing during his famous “Keeping Blues Alive Mediterranean Cruise”. That clip went viral (millions of views in a week). It was a fun little jam we did and so I asked Joe to produce my record.
I come from Memphis where St. Jude is. Anything to help the kids, I’m there for them. When there’s a young child in pain and they can’t express that completely we have to be the voice for them. We can generate funds to help with better medical research and find cures. I want to play a part in helping these disadvantaged kids.
JS: Can you comment on the Sunset Marquis Hotel where the event today is being held?
EG: Dude, I’ve learned about the history of this place. I’ve heard so many things about it and now I see all the Rock N Roll photography that is on these walls. Everything from Jim Morrison to JAY-Z to Ray Charles. It’s insane. I can’t believe that this moment in time has put me here in this place for this great cause. An intimate setting with acoustic guitars to bring smiles to people’s faces who are kind enough to have made a donation for the kids.
Jimmy Steinfeldt: Please tell us about your involvement in today’s event.
John Oates: I have a soft spot in my heart for children’s charities. I’ve participated in a number of them. St. Jude, Denver’s Childrens hospital among them. I’m a father and so I recognize how important these children’s charities are. When I was asked to participate in today’s event it was easy to say yes. With Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Keb’ Mo’-who’s a friend of mine. It’s going to be a lot of fun and a good time.
JS: Can you speak to this great setting of the Sunset Marquis Hotel?
JO: We’ve been staying here for over 25 years. My son grew up here. The people here feel like a family. I feel comfortable. There is no gawking. Everybody treats you very well. Also there is a recording studio downstairs run by Jed Leiber. We actually produced two records together.