Dylan concert kickstarts bid to maintain Steinway piano
MUSIC legend Bob Dylan has kickstarted a fund to renovate the Byron Community Centre's beloved Steinway piano - and the real genius is he probably has no idea he's done it.
A selection of local musicians gathered at the community centre on May 24 to mark Bob Dylan's birthday with a tribute concert, in the process raising enough money to start restoring the piano.
However, Steinways don't come cheap and even the $4000 the acts managed to generate won't cover the cost of renovating the instrument. Community Centre general manager Paul Spooner said the full cost of the work was expected to be around $40,000.
That's not coming up with gold inlay for the keys either. Mr Spooner said that figure was simply needed to ensure the piano was maintained at the concert standard required by top pianists.
"The money raised at the Dylan concert and future fundraisers will ensure The Byron Bay community will have a world class piano many years into the future," he said.
While the piano costs a bomb, the concert itself was something of a two-for-one deal. Not only did it pay tribute to one of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century, it also honoured late local musician Margaret Dods, in whose name the Steinway is being renovated.
"We are all ecstatic about the support for the event", concert organiser Paddy Raleigh said.
"I'm personally thankful to the audience, who braved adverse weather conditions to attend, and also the staff and volunteers at the Community Centre. It's a supportive environment which makes the job of assisting them such a pleasure."
Support for the Dylan tribute concert had been so strong, plans were already afoot for a similar event later in the year.
The next tribute gig would be played in honour of Joni Mitchell, known for songs such as Big Yellow Taxi and Woodstock.
"We're looking forward to a concert in her honour with great anticipation," he said.
The acts that made the Dylan tribute such a hit were: The Starboard Cannons, Deidi Vine, Chris Aronsten, Bill Jacobi, Luke Vassella, Julie Oliver, Jessie Vintila, Tim Stokes, Stu Eadie, Thierry Fossemalle, Alex McLeod and Steve Russell .