, TRIBUTE BAND TO RESCUE
January 08, 2012
Autographed ax donated by real rockers to local ones
By Steven H. Foskett Jr. TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Despite a shipping mix-up, a local KISS tribute band is continuing its effort to raise money for the children of Worcester Firefighter Jon D. Davies, who died Dec. 8 in a fire on Arlington Street.
Hundreds of items of memorabilia related to KISS, the longtime arena rockers, litter the pages of eBay. There are posters, plaques, and even a listing for a 34-year-old combination guitar pick/bloody towel thrown by lead singer Gene Simmons (“USED BLOODY TOWEL from DECEMBER 16TH at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN KISS ALIVE II TOUR,” the description reads). And among these is a brand-new Washburn guitar, signed by all four members of KISS: Mr. Simmons, Paul Stanley, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer. Bidding had reached $5,400 as of tonight.
Keith Leroux, webmaster for the band's official website, KISSOnline.com, is an area native who attended Holy Name High School in Worcester, one year ahead of Firefighter Davies. He said he didn't know Firefighter Davies, but when he found out members of local tribute band KISS Forever were looking to have a fundraiser for the Jon Davies Children's Fund, he got in touch with KISS, whose members agreed to sign the guitar to be auctioned off for the fund.
The guitar was sent with expedited shipping to the band so it would arrive before the Dec. 16 fundraiser at J.J.'s Sports Bar & Grille in Northboro. But something went wrong, and the guitar got lost in transit.
“Nobody was upset that we weren't able to auction it off,” said KISS Forever member Asa Asadoorian, who lives in Weymouth but grew up in Paxton with bandmate John Saner of Gardner, a nurse in the St. Vincent Hospital emergency room in Worcester. Pete Sussman and Steve Reilly round out the quartet, and the band dresses in the full KISS regalia for their shows, complete with makeup and larger-than-life costumes.
Despite not having the guitar, the band still raised around $1,300 for the Davies charity, Mr. Asadoorian said.
He and Mr. Saner both said KISS has long been generous with charities, and Mr. Leroux said when he told the band the circumstances of Firefighter Davies' death, they jumped at the chance to help out, particularly upon hearing that Firefighter Davies had a son serving in Afghanistan.
The guitar auction is scheduled to end Sunday. After just a few days late last week, the bids were up to more than $5,000.
Mr. Asadoorian said helping a firefighter's family is a way of giving back for him; his grandfather, Oscar Asadoorian, died in 1996 after he was severely burned in a kitchen fire in Worcester. He said he has always been thankful that firefighters rushed in to his grandfather's Morningside Road home to help.
“This is just a little thing we could do for the firefighters,” he said.
For more information on the guitar auction, go to the band's website, kissforeveronline.com.
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