When Billy Morrison heard his friend, bassist Scott Ford (Twilight Singers, the Gutter Twins, Camp Freddy), was suffering from an advanced bone loss medical condition resulting in severe blood infections, the guitarist and former member of The Cult sprung into action. The result is the Scott Ford Benefit show, which features a who's who list of Los Angeles musicians getting together Sept. 26 at The Roxy. All money raised will go towards Ford's mounting medical bills.
"It came together really quickly," Morrison tells Billboard.com. "I haven't spoken with Scott in a little while, and I was having a conversation with Duff (McKagan). He asked if I heard what happened to Scott Ford. From there, we just launched into what we do, which is get a bunch of friends together, put a set list together and try and raise some money for them. I called my tour manager who got us the Roxy as a venue. And once we had a date and a venue, I started reaching out for people I played with in various forms. It came together really quickly."
Greg Dulli (Twilight Singers, Gutter Twins) adds, "Scott is one of my best friends and has been the bass player in my band for the last six years, so there's really a whole lot I wouldn't do for him. He's really a great guy who is stuck in an unenviable situation. So I think it's a great thing that his friends have rallied around him to do this."
The list of guests include McKagan (Velvet Revolver, Duff McKagan's Loaded), Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction), Scott Shriner (Weezer), Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver), Chris Chaney (ex-Jane's Addiction), Dulli, Morrison, Kenny Aronoff (John Mellencamp) and Wayne Kramer (MC5). Also appearing are emcee Donovan Leitch (actor) and Steve O ("Jackass").
The common denominator among the guest list appears to be Camp Freddy, a high-profile Los Angeles-based cover band that formerly had a weekly radio show - mostly hosted by Morrison or Navarro - featuring a revolving door of high-profile guests. Despite the fact Morrison stressed the benefit concert is not a Camp Freddy event, there will be similarities to the show.
"The way I worked Camp Freddy is that it's not as thrown together as people might think," Morrison says. "I try to imagine who would be best on what song. I try to make all of the songs crowd favorites. There's no point in playing things for our sake. The idea is when you play covers is that everyone has fun. So I think about songs I'd like to play, and I ask other guests what do you want to play and we work it out. I try to place the right guests in the right songs. So it'll be a fun night of jamming and this time it's to help a fellow musician out."
"It's one of those things that when you get a bunch of good players like that together, it's always good," says McKagan, who plans to tour Duff McKagan's Loaded overseas later this year. "And you don't want to rehearse too much because you'll lose the brashness and the special-ness of coming together that evening and sorting it out on stage. It's a great group of musicians and Scott Ford is a great guy. It's a positive thing."