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Angora Benefit Concert marks a new day for a holiday

Tim Parsons, Lake Tahoe Action
Angles Camp, California, Calaveras County Fairgrounds, Mountain Aire Renaissance Faire and Music Festival, June 1974. Dave Mason, Elvin Bishop, Livingston Taylor and Dan Hicks Presented by RockÕn Chair productions. Photo by Al Golub
Golub Photography | Golub Photography

June 24, 2007, was South Lake Tahoe’s worst day. June 24, 2008, might be the best.

The one-year anniversary of the 3,000-acre-plus Angora fire, which destroyed 254 houses, will be recognized with the Angora Benefit Concert, in an outdoor pavilion behind the Horizon Casino Resort.

The Angora Benefit Concert, in an outdoor pavilion behind the Horizon Casino Resort, will mark the one-year anniversary of the Angora fire, which destroyed 254 homes.

Elvin Bishop and nine more acts will perform. A $20 donation will benefit the Locals for Locals fund. All emergency workers and fire victims get in free.

At least a dozen businesses plan to close early to let employees attend the concert, which starts at noon and will continue until 10 p.m. An after-party will follow in the Horizon’s new sports bar, the former site of the sports book.

Some of the musical highlights will be the reunion of Bishop and Johnny “V” Vernazza, who played together on six albums in the 1970s, Bishop’s most commercially successful time. Grammy winner Star Nayea is on the bill, and Davin Kangas, who fronts Cash Only, will get to play original material. Bruce Brown, a South Shore guitarist and engineer who put the entire lineup together, will make his first public appearance in 30 years. Brown’s upright bass player will be Paul Dunn, who has spent a year as Tahoe Daily Tribune editor putting out ” as well as starting ” fires.

“There has been a tremendous amount of support from the community,” said event organizer Brian Gogue, who lost his house to the fire.

While many Tahoe properties are vacation homes, full-time residents lived in the fire area, the Mountain View Estates and Tahoe and Boulder mountains. Firefighters were able to save the homes on Gardner Mountain, Fallen Leaf Lake and in the Tahoe Keys.

Gogue said firefighters have been grateful to receive tickets.

“I tell them, ‘Hey, we’re doing this to thank you guys for your efforts,’ ” Gogue said.

Emergency workers and anyone who lost their homes can get tickets to the show by calling Carrie Reiter at the Community Disaster Resource Center at (530) 542-4656.

Horizon marketing manager Tom Davis said the casino was happy to provide the venue. The stage will be in the employee, or “C” parking lot, which backs up to the Harveys Outdoor Arena.

“They’re doing all the work,” Davis said of Gogue and his company, Think Tank Promotions. “I hope the community comes out and shows their support. For a 10-hour show, that’s the best entertainment dollar you can spend. That’s $2 an hour.”

Because he’s no longer mayor, ex-city mayor Davis can’t officially declare Tuesday a city holiday.

“I’m the mayor of the Horizon, so I’ll do it anyway,” he said.

Brown said Nayea has a great voice.

“I was blown away when I heard her,” he said. “She’s a cross between Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin.”

Chris Seal plays in the style of Jim Croce, while Brown and Dunn will add a jazz fusion flavor to the White Towel Band.

The concert opens with a one-man guitar performance by “Lenny, a card dealer from Lakeside Inn.”

Nuevo flamenco duo Martin and Vargas will be joined by special guests, and Deep Fryed Mojo’s version of “Fire on the Mountain” will be a highlight. The Trey Stone Band always gets people dancing.

Kangas will play alongside his longtime drummer W.L. Pearson; Raybob Bowman, lead guitar; Jonathan Sills, cello; and new bass player Nate Alcorne.

Pearson, whom Brown calls “David Clayton Crocker,” will sing his 1962 composition “Yesterday’s Music,” a tribute to David Clayton Thomas of Blood Sweat & Tears. He also is expected to sing Albert Collins’ “Too Many Dirty Dishes,” a song about infidelity.

Mike Bennett of Mountain Music Co., the new music store on Kingsbury Grade, has donated a replica of Bishop’s 335 Gibson.


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