The times may be a-changin’, but the music that changed American culture is still having an impact today.
Bob Dylan’s birthday is coming on May 24, and Whippersnappers in Londonderry is hosting The Third Annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash from 7:30-11 p.m. The show will feature live performances of Dylan’s music from talented local and international musicians.
Bobby Livingston of Amherst has been putting these concerts together since 1995, and is excited to have another year to bring people together to celebrate Dylan’s 50 years of performing.
“I’m a music lover and musician, and the quality of his work is undeniable,” said Livingston. “I think he is probably one of the greatest songwriters of our time.”
Livingston plays in his band called Napoleon In Rags, which is joining over 15 other performers to celebrate Bob Dylan’s music.
“The most important thing I want to get across is that it is an unbelievable assemblage of talent from Southern New Hampshire, Boston and the world,” said Livingston. “You are not going to see these artists in one room often, and it supports some great causes.”
Tickets do not need to be purchased for the concert, but $20 donations will be accepted at the door.
Half of the proceeds from the concert will go to the Brad Delp Foundation, which awards music related grants, scholarships and funding for school music programs. Brad Delp was the lead singer of the rock band Boston.
The other half will go toward the Crohns & Colitis Foundation of America, which is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to finding the cure for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn's disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that usually affects the intestines, but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the end of the rectum. The symptoms can be severe and include abdominal pain, diarrhea, continuous vomiting and skin rashes. There is currently no cure.
Livingston said that he chose to support the CCFA because it is a lesser-known disease that needs more public attention. He said that he knows several people with the disease, even one of the performers, Michael Troy, suffers from it.
He is looking forward to a great turnout this year for people who want to celebrate Bob Dylan’s music career, love great music and want to do their part for others.
“It is a win-win-win situation for everybody,” said Livingston.
Living With Crohn’s
Nichole DeClercq of Amherst is one of these individuals afflicted by Crohn’s disease, and is helping out with the benefit concert this year to help others like her.
“All of my experiences, even horrific at times, I would not change for the world,” said DeClercq . “I call it being blessed because I am now at a point where I can educate others, even if it is just one person at a time. I used to ask 'why me,' but now the answer is clear.”
She is currently in remission after almost 15 years of dealing with her disease and is grateful that she feels much healthier than before. Now, she wants to raise awareness of an affliction that many would rather not talk about.
“Everybody knows somebody who is affected, and what needs to happen is we need to bring the disease out of the shadows,” said DeClercq. “I want those of us in the digestive disease community can feel normal by spreading awareness and supporting each other.”
While the CCFA is looking for a cure, she wants to do her part to keep the research alive and support those who need the life-saving medications. She knows by experience how they can make a difference.
“Even if somebody wants to drop in and drop a buck in the bucket, every single penny counts.
And, of course, she is also huge Bob Dylan fan and music devotee.
“We are going to celebrate his life and music,” said DeClercq. “Come one, come all!”
For more information, please visit the Third Annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash Facebook Page.