The premiere concert of Legends and Prodigies, featuring former MÖTLEY CRÜE frontman Vince Neil and SOUND AND FURY, played to a sold-out audience last Saturday night (Nov. 13) at the Key Club in Hollywood, CA, raising over $1400 for AWARE (Alliance for Worldwide Alcohol Research and Education) and drawing attention to AWARE's message and programs promoting alcohol responsibility (Photo#1, Photo#2). Despite some skepticism posted prior to the concert on rock and roll message boards about heavy metal, and Vince Neil, promoting the message of alcohol responsibility, the concept proved to be a great success, with Key Club guests cheering on the AWARE Designated Driver program and demonstrating responsibility while enjoying the evening's performances.
The message of alcohol responsibility seemed to resonate with Hollywood, as the event attracted a diverse cache of celebrities, including those who are not particularly huge heavy metal fans. "Alcohol awareness is an important issue and I like the idea of heavy metal doing its part to cure the ills of drinking. And the event sure proved to be a big success, exceeding all of my expectations!" commented Olympic Gold medalist and former NFL star Willie Gault, who attended the concert with friends and fellow AWARE supporters.
John Castellanos, star of CBS daytime drama "The Young and the Restless", also joined the sold-out crowd in support of AWARE's message. "I feel it's important to support AWARE and endorse the anti-drunk driving message, especially in light of the recent drunk driving accident involving Allen ('The Young and the Restless' cast member Allen Maldonado). We're all grateful that no one was seriously injured (Maldonado and three other pedestrians were struck by a suspected drunk driver on November 12 in Sherman Oaks, CA.), and this near-tragedy reminds us that driving under the influence of alcohol poses a serious risk to our society."
"Legends and Prodigies is a brilliant idea, in that it provides both an outlet for discovery of new musical talent, and an arena for musicians to endorse alcohol responsibility while having a good time. Those messages are especially powerful when they come from a person who can say, 'Been there, done that. It's not worth it.' This year's legend, Vince Neil, is one such person," says Mandy Barton, Director of California-based AWARE.
As part of the evening's alcohol responsibility theme, attendees who chose to wear a Designated Driver button were given free non-alcoholic beverages throughout the evening, and Barton thanked the Designated Drivers in the audience for their participation before Vince Neil took the stage.
Key Club president and co-owner Keith Pressman was especially enthusiastic about the crowd and response from the event. "The first event of Legends and Prodigies is clearly a success! I've never seen the club so packed!" Keith observed. "The message of alcohol responsibility really resonated with the audience, too. Everyone was very cool, staying within their limits, and the designated drivers wore their buttons with pride and were well received."