Seattle band Brad hasn’t played live in three years, but its Oct. 17 concert in New York is about much more than shaking off the cobwebs. In tandem with Billy Bragg, Steve Earle, Tim Robbins and as-yet-unannounced guests, Brad will play Webster Hall to raise funds for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster.
The event hits particularly close to home for Brad/Pearl Jam guitarist Stone Gossard, whose wife’s mother, brother and grandfather have suffered with Huntington’s. Woody Guthrie is the most prominent name associated with the disease, a rare neurological disorder that is somewhat akin to Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis.
There is no cure for Huntington’s, but symptoms can be managed with medication. “There are so many people in the HD community that don’t have the care they need,” Gossard tells Billboard.com. “We wanted to support both the care that people get for HD through local chapters and any scientific breakthroughs that may be on the horizon.”
While in New York, Brad will play a separate headlining show on Oct. 16 at the Highline Ballroom. Gossard has also finished tweaking a batch of material the band recorded in 2004 but is just now ready to release, comprising the songs “Every Whisper,” “Rush Hour,” “No Regrets,” “Price of Love,” “One Love Remains,” “Low,” “Bless Me Father,” “Believe in Yourself,” “Oh Goodness,” “Luxury Car” and “Holiday.”
In addition, the band has acquired the rights to its first two albums for Epic, plus albums from connected groups such as Satchel and Malkfunksun, and is hoping to reissue the projects at some point in the future. “We’re trying to figure out how to play a little bit more often,” Gossard says. “We want to keep the band alive.”
Meanwhile, Gossard says rumors his pre-Pearl Jam band Green River will reunite in the summer of 2008 for a Sub Pop 20th anniversary concert are indeed true. “Pearl Jam has toured with Mudhoney, so we played with [former Green River members] Mark [Arm] and Steve [Turner],” he reports. “But we haven’t played with Alex [Vincent] and Bruce [Fairweather] in quite a while. They’re both excited about it, from everything I’ve heard.”
And as for Pearl Jam, the group is taking a break following a summer European tour. A live DVD filmed by photographer Danny Clinch, “Immagine in Cornice,” was released last week. “We’re in that period of time where we actually allow ourselves to not know what’s going to happen next, which is great,” Gossard says.