While on the road supporting the release of its third Epic album, “#3,” which debuted at No. 13 on the Oct. 27 Billboard 200, The Script was overcome with emotions as the Ireland-based pop/rock trio watched reports of people grappling with their losses and the devastation left behind by Hurricane Sandy.
“Had this hit Ireland, we would’ve been wiped out,” Script guitarist Mark Sheehan says. With Sheehan and the band’s lead singer Danny O’Donoghue each the youngest of six in their respective families, they know a bit about fighting for whatever’s needed. Many of the Script’s songs deal with loss and struggling to overcome obstacles in the face of adversity. O’Donoghue jokes (we think), “I always say our music should come with a bottle of wine and a razor blade.”
It hit close to home for the Dubliners when they saw that New York’s Long Island, where they were scheduled to play on Dec. 5, was one of the areas most severely hit by Sandy. Especially jarring: Script drummer Glen Power has family that lives there. The band decided that it had to do something to help the people in the area during these dire times.
The threesome arranged with the Paramount theatre in Huntington, located on the north shore of Long Island, to move its scheduled date up to Nov. 8, which O’Donoghue says was “supposed to be a rest day,” and donate all the proceeds to those in need. “How could we rest when so many were in such need? America has been so good to us and has enabled us to have a global career. We felt we had to do something to show our appreciation and give back and help,” he says.
All proceeds earned from the show’s ticket sales, merchandise (a special t-shirt commemorating the event was even created) and even the band’s fee are being donated to the Long Island Red Cross to aid in the Sandy relief efforts on Long Island. “We hope that by stepping forward, others will do the same. And, we hope we (brought) some much-needed fun and enabled the people dealing with such a loss to escape and enjoy themselves for a bit,” O’Donoghue says.
In the wake of the hardships being faced by many Long Islanders, the Script’s current will.i.am-assisted single “Hall of Fame” (which bullets at No. 46 in its sixth week on the Billboard Hot 100, bounding from No. 53), takes on new meaning. Per the song’s opening line, “You can be the greatest/You can be the best,” that’s just what these unselfish lads have shown. They are true champions and leaders, and this Long Islander is eternally grateful.
Alex Vitoulis is Billboard’s associate chart production manager and a lifelong Long Island resident.