Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum and others performed at a musical benefit and live auction on January 12 for Adopt The Arts, a Los Angeles-based charity that preserves and creates arts programs in U.S. public schools. The event at legendary Hollywood club The Roxy raised more than $106,000 to fund music programs in L.A. elementary schools.
The benefit, which also served to honor ZZ TOP guitarist Billy Gibbons and ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND member Butch Trucks, also featured appearances from ex-BON JOVI guitarist Richie Sambora, TOTO guitarist Steve Lukather, Edgar Winter, THE CULT axeman Billy Duffy and more.
Adopt The Arts was founded by Matt Sorum, former GUNS N' ROSES and VELVET REVOLVER drummer.
Speaking to VintageRock.com at the event, Sorum said (see video below): "Being in a charity is a lot like being in a rock and roll band. It's the same thing: you've gotta keep at it, and you can't give up. You've gotta do as much as you possibly can to get the word out there with events like this, so people know what's going on."
He continued: "A lot of people don't even know what's happening with the political system.
"The reality in California is we're ranked No. 48 in education in the entire country, which is not good. And we're broke as a state. So the first thing they cut is music and art. So, people say, 'Hey, that's not right.'"
Sorum added: "Even if we don't do all the schools ourselves, if people keep pushing and show up and say, 'We want music in our back,' that will happen. So that's why I'm doing it."
The musicians played two sets, one of ZZ TOP classics and the other of ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND favorites.
Attendees also enjoyed a live and silent auction featuring generous donations and vacation packages from Adopt The Arts supporters.
Sorum played with Slash and McKagan in both GUNS and VELVET REVOLVER.