Boston Music Community Raises More than $40,000 in Safe and Sound Benefit Series

Aerosmith Tops Off Fund with $5000 Donation

BOSTON, Feb. 7, 1995: In response to the December shootings at three women's health care clinics, an unprecedented grassroots effort by Boston's music community raised more than $40,000 through nine shows last week. Morphine, Throwing Muses, Letters To Cleo, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Kevin Salem, and Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom were among the musicians who donated their time and played February 1-5. Aerosmith band members, who were also moved by the tragedy, donated $5000 to the fund, bringing the total raised to $45,000.

Through a series of shows called Safe and Sound: A 5-Day Benefit in Response to the Brookline Clinic Violence, 37 artists performed at seven area clubs to raise money for the Friends of Shannon fund. The fund was established in memory of Shannon Lowney by her fiance, David Keene. Lowney worked at the Brookline Planned Parenthood clinic and was one of two women killed in the shootings on December 30.

Keene said the benefits "have given me a little hope back and I am forever grateful for that. The bond that brought everyone together was Shannon and music, and that was probably the best tribute that could have been given to her. She lived her life musically. She drew strength from it." He stressed that Lowney believed "everyone has a right to their long as they expressed it nonviolently."

During the show at Avalon on February 2, Keene was presented with a proclamation from Governor William Weld's office, designating January 29-February 5 as Friends of Shannon/Clinic Awareness Week. Organizers of Safe and Sound hope to celebrate that week next year with another series of benefits. The Massachusetts State Senate has also passed a resolution commemorating the life of Shannon Lowney, noting her efforts as "a dedicated volunteer to numerous causes," including tutoring children, assisting people with AIDS, and "tirelessly fighting for women's reproductive rights."

Future fundraising plans include an auction and the release of a CD, which The Mighty Mighty Bosstones have volunteered to release on their new independent label, Big Rig. The Bosstones announced on Saturday, February 4 that they would perform that night at T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge, and donated all proceeds to the Friends of Shannon fund.

Both Lowney and Keene were roommates of Jeff Cawthorne, one of the organizers of Safe and Sound and the drummer in the Boston band Planet Jumper (formerly Plush), who opened for Letters To Cleo on February 4 at The Rat. Kay Hanley of Letters To Cleo also helped to organize the series, along with Sarah Reitkopp of Planet Jumper and Jules Verdone, who also performed at the same Safe and Sound show.

A full roster of the artists who performed is as follows:
Wednesday, February 1
Scarce, Dirt Merchants, Kevin Salem, Mary Lou Lord, and Miles Dethmuffen at T.T. The Bear's Place in Cambridge, MA, USA

Thursday, February 2
Morphine, Bill Janovitz of Buffalo Tom, and Machinery Hall at Avalon in Boston, MA, USA

Throwing Muses, Gigolo Aunts, Janet LaValley, The Barnies, and Ukla downstairs at The Middle East in Cambridge, MA, USA

Heretix, Cobalt 60, Grind, Milkmoney, and Frosting upstairs at the Middle East

Friday, February 3
Only Living Witness, Tree, Still Home, Savalas Youth, and Roadsaw at Local 186 in Allston (Boston, MA, USA)

Saturday, February 4
Letters to Cleo, Planet Jumper (formerly Plush), The Gravel Pit, Jennifer Trynin, and Jules Verdone at The Rat in Boston, MA, USA

The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Mung, and Roadsaw at T.T. The Bear's Place

Sunday, February 5
Letters to Cleo, Smackmelon, Scatterfield, and Beezwax in an all-ages show at The Rat
Duck and Cover, The Allstonians, and Skavengers at Mama Kin in Boston, MA, USA
The Friends of Shannon fund was established to give financial assistance to health and human services programs, with a focus on health care, safety, and education for women and children. The fund will be administered by seven trustees as requests for money are received. Examples of requests that might be funded include the hiring of personnel or the purchase/installation of a metal detector. People may send contributions to:
Friends of Shannon
P.O. Box 348
258 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02146
All e-mail correspondence may be directed to or to the Letters to Cleo address,
Safe and Sound Benefit