President Jennifer Mazzocchi desired the event to be more of an entertaining, music-centered concert than a quasi-political presentation. I took that to heart, dug down deep to have fun on the stage, and played one of my livelier sets. It meant a lot, because they were so welcoming and gave such great hospitality. They refused to let me pay for anything, from meals, to hotel, to a visit to the Musical Instrument Museum. With that in mind, it was a big relief that turnout was fantastic and generous in terms of revenue. (The last thing I want to do is cost them.)
Ironically, I made more money playing “for free” than I ever make gigging here in Hollywood. How? I sold a ton of CD’s. (Almost all were The Song Clearance ’cause it contains Pit Bull Blues.) When I play a benefit, I like to donate part of the profit, but Jennifer insisted that support was abundant on this particular evening.
Speaking of Pit Bull Blues, my set was planned with a short interlude of before & after videos of rescued dogs (which was both heart-breaking and uplifting.) I would play the song to introduce the video–and again as my closer. This breaks one of my 3 rules: Never play a song twice in a show. But I obliged with delight by busting out a ukulele version. I even raised the key so that women could sing along.