01.08 LOOKING FOR CHANGES:

Local Bands “Come Together” for McCartney Tribute to Benefit the Animal Rescue League

By Rebecca Carter

When local musician Rick Blaze (of Rick Blaze and The Ballbusters fame) was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, he found solace and the inspiration to heal through the music of Paul McCartney. “I had to take liquid chemo for all of 2006 into March of 2007,” he explained. “My wife bought me the Paul McCartney Collection, [which includes] Wings and all of his solo albums. There were some very emotional songs that I hadn’t heard before and the music helped me to heal.”

Following his recovery, Blaze came across an article in the Telegram & Gazette about the Animal Rescue League, and “…wanted to help the animals.” The Worcester Animal Rescue League (WARL), which has been in operation for approximately 95 years, depends heavily on volunteer work and donations, and the endowment that it had received in the ‘50s is being rapidly depleted. Drawing the connection between the music that had inspired him and McCartney’s own work for animals, Blaze concluded what better way to help WARL then with the music that had helped him.

“I’m a transplanted New Yorker and know some industry people that got me in communiqué with Paul McCartney,” he explained. “I asked him if I could produce a tribute CD and give the money to the Rescue League.” Blaze then set out to gather local bands who were willing to chip in for a good cause ~ for $100 each, the bands could contribute to the album and get a total of 1,000 discs pressed. To date, Blaze has collected contributions for the tentatively titled ‘’LOOKING FOR CHANGES [a loving tribute to Paul McCartney & A Benefit for Worcester Animal Rescue League]” from bands including Thinner, Huck, Pet Rock, Bees Knees, Carry the Zero, Shaun Revoltah, Hats-On-Drinking Wine, [Bulgarian group] Vex and the Voxtones, and Musclecah, to name a few; additional artists have signed on to play the coinciding benefit show.

From tribute bands to blues and traditional music to “sleaze metal,” “LOOKING FOR CHANGES” promises to offer a cross-section of artists delivering their take on McCartney-penned songs. Take, for example, Carry the Zero’s contribution of “Every Night.” Says CTZ’s Matt Erhartic, “It was a song that my dad played around the house when I was kid. The song sounds phenomenal; McCartney has always been a huge influence on me.”

“I knew Rick and his wife Deb from years of playing around town in The Balls and Red Army. We thought it would be something that made sense to get involved with,” says Brian of Switchblade Suicide, one of the harder bands that will be planning the benefit show. “We were toying with covering “Medicine Jar,” but were really pressed for time. We decided to play the benefit because we wanted to be part of this in some way even though we couldn’t contribute a track.”

The benefit show is scheduled to take place at the Lucky Dog in Worcester on January 26th, with Musclecah, Bees Knees, Rick Blaze, Hats-On-Drinking Wine, Carry the Zero and Switchblade Suicide, plus additional bands TBD. All profits from the show will go to the WARL, as will proceeds from the CD ~ which could potentially raise a much needed $6,000 for the Rescue League.

Bands interested in participating in the project should contact Rick Blaze at RickoBlaze@aol.com

For more information on the Animal Rescue League or to make a donation, contact PetSavr@aol.com or visit www.worcester-arl.org.

Photo:  Rick Blaze