Last Saturday Tom DeSavia, head of creative services at Songs Music Publishing, was sick of the naysaying from detractors of the now-ubiquitous Ice Bucket Challenge which, according to Forbes, has increased donations to the ALS Association by 3,500% over last year, from $2.8 million to over $100 million.
“I got pissed — peoples’ main complaint was that [the Ice Bucket Challenge is] vanity,” DeSavia tells Billboard, “but who cares? Last year the ALS Association raised $2.8 million, and now this year it’s a ridiculous amount of money. It’s not like we bought ‘We Are the World’ because it was a good song!”
DeSavia took his ire at the cynics of the world and directed it towards benefitting something positive — MusicCares. The organization provides assistance for artists and industry workers for a wide range of problems — addiction, illness, homelessness — that can creep up unsuspected on anyone, especially those without healthcare and safety nets, a situation many industry workers find themselves in.
“This year,” DeSavia tells Billboard, “a really good friend of mine, Richard Edwards, was going through some serious health issues — and he’s a musician, so he has shitty insurance. He was suffering from really bad stomach pains and was also in the middle of a sold-out tour. MusicCares not only got him a diagnosis on this mystery illness that had gone undiagnosed for like five years, but also treatment and compassion. I watched this happen and watched this guy’s life transform, and now he’s going to be fine — because of MusicCares.”
The conceit is simple — find a record you love, take a picture of yourself with it, donate a minimum of $5 to the organization and then nominate your friends — or, if you like, those who had a part in making the record you chose.
The challenge has been steadily picking up steam since its inception almost a week ago — below find some of those who took part. And go find your favorite record.
Donations to MusicCares can be made right here.