Rockin' the Elders is a benefit concert of old-timers playing for old-timers.
The Buddha Magoo, headlining tonight’s benefit show, is not a senior citizens’ band. But it is made up of venerable musicians who span musical eras.
“This is a pretty newly formed band of a bunch of old-time Olympia musicians who’ve played all over the place,” said Peter Tucker, singer and guitarist.
How old-time are they? The guys all met in the ’80s, even though the band has been together only for the past year and a half.
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“Although The Buddha Magoo is young in its present inception, it has a very old soul,” the band’s bio states. “Altogether, this band has over 175 years of performing experience.”
Rounding out the band’s lineup are singer and guitarist Danny Kelly, the front man of Heliotroupe for 20 years; drummer Tom Shoblom, who played with Pet Products; keyboard player Joe Cason, a longtime member of the No Toy Boys; singer and keyboard player Denny Hoffer; and bassist and singer Galen Martindale, formerly of Test Pattern and The Factory Girls.
“You have the story of Olympia music in the band, basically,” Tucker said.
Both The Buddha Magoo and opening act Shameka Gagnier & Press are donating their time for the concert, and the Olympia Film Society is donating the space.
“Every penny of the $10 ticket is going to feed hungry elders,” said Dawn Warren, development director for Senior Services for South Sound, which feeds seniors through Meals on Wheels and at seven sites in Thurston and Mason counties. “The dollars from the concert will go directly to our scholarship fund for people who cannot pay.”
“Seniors have really been hit hard,” she said. “That’s what the concert is all about. It’s about giving people nutritionally balanced hot meals.”
Senior Services also has been hosting benefit film screenings at Capitol Theater.
The idea, Warren said, is not only to raise money but to increase awareness of Senior Services and its programs, which include senior day care, activity groups and trips as well as meals.
“You want to support as many people as you can,” Tucker said. “There’s nothing better than having your music actually help the community and especially the vulnerable.
“We all got excited about that.”
The members of Buddha Magoo also are excited about working on their first CD.
“We play all originals in a bunch of different styles,” Tucker said. “I like to think of our music as post-punk psychedelic folk.
“It’s rock music, basically.”
And what about the story of the band’s name?
“Philosophically, I like to think of us as stumbling blindly into enlightenment,” Tucker said. “I’d like to be the Buddha, but you know how (Mr.) Magoo always had a really good attitude because he completely misapprehended the situation.”