A couch, clothes, and a crib were among the belongings of late 10,000 Maniacs guitarist Rob Buck auctioned off in Great Valley, N.Y. (about 50 miles southeast of Buffalo), to help pay his debts. Buck's estate raised $36,700, said auctioneer Corey Brown. "We really didn't have a choice," David Bauer, the lawyer for Buck's estate, told the Post-Journal of Jamestown. Buck, 42, a Jamestown native, died Dec. 19 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center of complications related to liver failure. His friends and fans gathered Saturday to bid a final farewell. "I'd like to take a little bit of Rob and spread him around if I can," said 10,000 Maniacs bassist Steven Gustafson, whose buys included Buck's paintings, 10,000 Maniacs records, and a lava lamp. He was outbid for Buck's favorite performance guitar -- a Silver Jet-Gretsch -- that went for $1,100. Jamestown resident Erol McNallie bought Buck's 1958 Studebaker for $5,100. Buck formed 10,000 Maniacs in 1981 with Gustafson, Dennis Drew, John Lombardo, and Natalie Merchant.
Conservative Senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), who recently attended his first rock concert, received his first thank you note from a rock star. Helms, 79, attended a U2 concert on June 14 in Washington, D.C. U2 front man Bono set up Helms and his grandchildren in a sky box and invited them backstage before the show, where Helms met U2 guitarist the Edge. "Senator Helms, Dot, and the hundred and seventy-nine grand children," the note said. "Hope you had fun at the concert. We are really confusing the cynics with our friendship and our action in Africa. You are blessed, (and) I am to know you. Love, Bono." Helms said he enjoyed the concert, but had to turn his hearing aid down because it was too loud. Helms and Bono struck up a friendship last fall when the singer lobbied the senator on international debt relief.
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