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ALL FOR FRANK BANGO

Musicians join forces for benefit concert

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When it comes to memorable moments at Manhattan’s Bowery Ballroom, singer/songwriter Frank Bango can recall quite a few from his days working there as a bartender and manager.

There was the time he and Jonathan Richman played Wiffle ball following a concert. And then there was the night he served Arthur Lee a bloody Mary.

On Aug. 26, Bango, who has been battling cancer since March 2007, added a batch of Bowery memories to his list. That evening, Richard Buckner, Victoria Williams and others performed at the hip venue as part of the Frank Bango Bone Marrow-thon/Stem Cell-abration benefit.
Here Bango shares with Medleyville.us some of what he felt made it a special night.

Most interesting song choice:
“For me, it was Richard Buckner doing a version of ‘Don’t Be a Shy Nurse’ from my new record [The Sweet Songs of Decay]. He sang it beautifully against a backdrop of loops and delays.”

Biggest surprises:
“The whole night ran right on time every step of the way, and Sean Eden, formerly of Luna, joined Dean [Wareham] and Britta [Phillips] onstage for a rousing rendition of ’23 Minutes in Brussells,’ one of my all-time faves.”

Coolest gesture:
“A fan who came donated the money that she raised by selling two Yankees/Red Sox tickets. I’m not even into sports, but I know that’s a big deal. I was incredibly touched.”

Notable backstage banter:
“Maybe it was Victoria Williams explaining how she sells back all her extra solar power back to the power company in Joshua Tree, Calif. She still insists that she’s getting ripped off. I also got a lesson on dyeing wool from Richard Buckner’s fabulous girlfriend Jill.”

— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior