Letter To The People - October 2017

Publisher's Commentary
by Rökker

Nikko in back on bass drum

Nikko in back on bass drum

This issue is dedicated to the memory of concert goers in Las Vegas who were killed or wounded in the attack. We also tip our hats for Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Grant Hart of Hüsker Dü and Tom Petty. RIP.

Ben Masel: Madison’s legendary civil rights activist Ben Masel passed away in 2011. Ben was mostly known as the founder and organizer of Harvestfest and running for governor nude. A book could, and should, be written about his accomplishments, but that will be for a different day. Back in 2012 we held a benefit concert at the Barrymore Theatre that raised $618 for a fund to erect a headstone at Ben’s gravesite. Over the years, other donors followed suit and the family was able to erect a headstone and had an unveiling ceremony on September 25th. Even in death Ben was able to protest with marijuana leaves gracing the front of the stone and Ben’s famous phrase, “We don’t need no stinkin’ permit” on the back. Thank you to all who lent a hand to make this happen including Ben’s daughter Semilla, her mother Ruth and a few of Ben’s friends like his old roomie Elliot Stokes, Happy Jack, and Elliot Iver (rip).

You can visit Ben’s grave on your own in the Jewish section of Sunset Memory Gardens at 7302 Mineral Point Road in Madison. As in Jewish tradition, leave a small stone on the headstone to show you were there.

Full Compass: Congratulations to Full Compass for 40 years of business in Madison. Full Compass has been an industry leader in sales of audio and musical gear.  Owners Jonathan and Susan Lipp have been instrumental to the success of the Madison music scene from their unrelenting work as philanthropists and fundraisers to their business success that has kept many musicians employed over the years. Stop out for their celebration happening in-house on October 27-28 from 10am-5pm. Check out the amazing facility and enojoy learning sessions with over 40 vendors. More info at FullCompass.com.

Adventures with Nikko: Black Star Drumline marched in the parade at the Willy Street Fair in September. I was able to walk behind the group and take in the fair goers who smiled and cheered as the Drumline passed them by. You can also catch Nikko playing in the pep band for Madison East Homecoming at Breeze Stevens Field on October 13th. 

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