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Thursday, 18 July 2013

St.Vincent marketing director remembers Stephen Stills


BY DAVE DEER
ST.VINCENT HEALTH SYSTEM DIRECTOR
MARKETING AND CREATIVE DESIGN SERVICES

I’ve been a guitar player, music collector and a restorer of vintage guitars for most of my life. The most memorable performing experience I was involved in was about the time I started with St.Vincent 15 years ago participating in an event called ‘KidStock’ – a locally produced event performed at the Vogue Theatre in Broad Ripple to raise money for local children’s charities. At the time, I was the lead guitarist and backup vocalist for a local rock band called Dad’s Weird Friends (DWF), which opted in to perform with our money raised to support the former St.Vincent Pediatric Rehabilitation Hospital.

Dave Deer (front row, right) and his band open for Stephen Stills at KidStock.
There was really no headliner scheduled for this event, but the organizer arranged for Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay to perform. The bands drew straws to determine the playing order and DWF drew the opening act.
We performed our usual fare of Beatles songs and other hits of the ‘60s and ‘70s to a standing-room-only house at the Vogue. As I was leaving the stage to put my guitar away in the dressing room, Jim Irsay took the stage for his performance. Backstage, I noticed a shadow of someone sitting next to my guitar case smoking a cigarette. He looked like Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash, and I thought that couldn’t be him, but the closer I got, I knew it was Stephen Stills. As I was putting away my guitar, we chatted a bit and I had him sign our DWF song list for the evening (now memorialized in my home music room).
Meanwhile, Jim Irsay was performing a few songs and he went into a very rough rendition of the Buffalo Springfield version of the Stephen Stills hit “For What It’s Worth.” Jim stopped midway through the song and said, “You know, I really can’t do this song justice, but I know someone who can put it right.” At that moment, Stephen Stills took the stage to the surprise of the audience. He went on to do a great set that I have captured on tape. This was truly one of those rare moments.
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