“Backyard Concert” Nets Magical Moments and Millions for TCA

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 20, 2018) – Last Friday, on a balmy Southern California evening, a private home in the Pacific Palisades area of Santa Monica was the setting for rock n’ roll history and millions raised for UCLA Health and Teen Cancer America (TCA), the national non-profit founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who.

Photo by Lorenzo

Van Morrison, Ed Sheeran, and Rick French, photo by Lorenzo

TCA’s “Backyard Concert” featured a remarkable line-up of iconic performers including Daltrey and The Who band, Jewel, Van Morrison, Don McLean and the incomparable Ed Sheeran. Howie Mandel and Judd Apatow served as hosts and auctioneers for the event which raised over $3.5 million for UCLA Health and the TCA mission of serving adolescents and young adults fighting cancer.

The show opened with a soul-stirring performance by Jewel followed by Morrison, McLean and a stunning one-man pop tour-de-force by Sheeran. The evening was closed by Daltrey and crew who unleashed “Pinball Wizard,” “I’m in Tune,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” “Teenage Wasteland,” “My Generation” and other epic tracks, reminding the world why The Who is arguably the greatest rock band of all time.

Photo by Lorenzo

Photo by Lorenzo

Among many memorable moments,McLean, who performed his anthemic “American Pie,” was called back to the stage by Sheeran. “I have three favorite songs,” Sheeran told the delighted crowd, “and Don McLean wrote two of them.”  They then performed a duet of “Vincent,” McLean’s haunting ode to Van Gogh. The artists, who had never met, were introduced only minutes before by TCA board member Rick French, who worked with TCA board co-chair Rebecca Rothstein and Peter Bradley, Jr. of the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, to make the performance happen. French captured an impromptu backstage rehearsal on video, which has gone viral around the globe.

A highlight of the fundraising effort was the sale at auction of a Buddy Holly replica guitar featuring the autographs of 75 of the world’s greatest living musicians, including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, Brian May, Brian Wilson, Dion, Donovan, Peter Frampton, Graham Nash, Don Everly, Elvis Costello and many others, donated by the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

Photo by Lorenzo

Don McLean and Ed Sheeran, photo by Lorenzo

Other auction items included a refurbished Bally Pinball Wizard machine, circa 1975, built to coincide with the release of The Who’s rock opera film, “Tommy.” The rare item was autographed for the event by many of the stars of the movie, including Daltrey, Townshend, Elton John, Tina Turner, Jack Nicholson and Ann-Margret. Additional auction items included a limited edition The Who motorized scooter and highly collectible pieces from famed contemporary street artist RETNA. The auction was conducted live and online by Heritage Auctions.

Photo by Lorenzo

Roger Daltrey, photo by Lorenzo

Prior to Friday’s show, after five months of planning and coordination with TCA, CBS Sunday Morning wrapped taping with Roger Daltrey and Sunday Morning correspondent Jim Axelrod, including a visit with teen cancer patients at UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. The segment, tracing Daltrey’s career with The Who and his role as co-founder of TCA, is expected to air in October.

It was a week of emotion, excitement, friendship, philanthropy and musical history for the ages.

Photo by Lorenzo

Jewel and Don McLean, photo by Lorenzo

About Teen Cancer America

Every hour another 13-25 year old is diagnosed with cancer in America. Teen Cancer America transforms the lives for this under-served patient population by working with our country’s leading cancer treatment and research centers. They create specialized clinical care programs, offer therapeutic experiences and provide access to individualized support and resources. This completely unique organization works with the leading healthcare institutions to build state-of-the-art Teen and Young Adult “Social Zones” for both in-patient and out-patient treatment settings. The work of Teen Cancer America has impacted over 5,000 young people and their families nationwide during the last six years.

 About UCLA Health

UCLA Health is among the most comprehensive and advanced health care systems in the world. Together, UCLA Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA redefine standards of excellence in health care. Consistently ranked among the best in the nation, UCLA Health is on the cutting edge of biomedical research, and their doctors and scientists do pioneering work across an astounding range of disciplines, from organ transplantation and cardiac surgery to neurosurgery, comprehensive cancer treatment, autism and a multitude of other physical and neuropsychiatric conditions and diseases. Support of this event will provide funding for a number of UCLA Health high-touch patient programs and support services specific to cancer treatment and autism. 

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Media Contact:
Charles Upchurch

Aug, 21, 2018