Charlie Pickett, the Bikes, and Rad Raffle Prizes at Benefit for Boise Bob and His Backyard Band's Lori O'Quinn

Imagine a big, loud family Christmas dinner, or Passover meal, or whatever. There are good and bad jokes, lots of laughter, calls for another beer, good music, and warm hugs. It's a smooth sort of chaos, one filled with love. The Saturday night benefit for musician Lori O'Quinn was much like this, a family affair. 

We entered the Pompano sports bar Play by Play through the adjoining liquor store, beckoned in to the party by a Bostonian. When we left, we were driving Boise Bob home with his guitar and amp. In South Florida, the musical community is more than bunch of people who've sung and strummed together. Many of the area's fans and friends came together for O'Quinn in her time of need. A recent car accident deeply affected her life, the life of bandmate Dan Hosker, and the future of their band Boise Bob and His Backyard Band

To raise money for O'Quinn, friend Jessica Kross organized a pretty awesome raffle, gathering prizes from a range of supporters. There was a To Be Hated care package, Iron Forge Press posters, musicians and the musically minded offered their instruments, art, and other valuables to help O'Quinn out. A 12-string guitar donated by local legend Charlie Pickett ended up going to his videographer Karen Levine. Pickett joked that the instrument tunes itself. Levine might have to grow another arm to play that beast. 
Though the bands performing offered entertainment, the raffle got the biggest laughs. Sometimes New Times writer Alex Rendon took it upon himself at some point to play Vanna White, reading off winners, and himself winning a tank top donated by local act The Riot Act -- which he immediately donned -- and a guitar given by the Bikes. He "bro-ed" it up and made jokes, like an impatient, "Uh, I think they close at 2 a.m., man" when someone dawdled. 

The night kicked off with Nightly Death Shade, continued with Boise Bob, playing not with his Backyard Band, but with other seasoned talents. They warmed the crowd up as the bar filled with a crowd who knows how to have a good time. The Bikes played '90s influenced hard rock reminiscent of Pearl Jam, but way cooler than Pearl Jam because instead of a bass, or another guitar, the third band member made crazy sounds with his violin. The singer said, straight-faced to our delight, "This song is called 'Cunts.'" They finished off with an extended "Pinball Wizard" medley. 

The bar had all of the things necessary to sooth the soul of one afflicted with attention deficit disorder. There were two dollar PBRs, TVs, pool tables, darts, a bartender juggling flaming liquor bottles, and then there's that liquor store attached. Something for every mood. 

Charlie Pickett wrapped up the night with a very laid back, quirky country-blues rock performance. It was, again, like Christmas with the family. He joked on his jovial friends in the crowd, complimented the ladies, wrote instructive notes for his drummer, asked us "What do you want to hear?" 

There was something about playing a song called "I Don't Give a Fuck," of which he said, "is kind of my motto sometimes." A song about Marlboro Country got O'Quinn with Pickett on the mic singing the "Hang On Sloopy" chorus. "American Travel Lust," Pickett announced, was about Huckleberry Finn and literary criticism and stuff. He even tried to use the stripper pole in the room as a slide for his guitar. Pickett joked about the crazy laser lights from above that left psychedelic trails and lines on those near and on the stage. "Sometimes Bill has a red dot on his pecker," he said, and it made him laugh at odd times. 

There was dancing, fun, but also there were serious moments. Everyone knew we were there to support a part of our community that is ailing. Hopefully, some of the love and laughter friends provided on Saturday night will contribute to healing, a speedy recovery, and, soon again, the live sounds of Boise Bob and His Backyard Band. 

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