Just like everyone else in the Northeast who endured Hurricane Sandy, Dean Ween (aka Mickey Melchiondo) was glued to the news for storm reports and footage from the New Jersey coast.
“Unfortunately,” recalls the New Hope, Pa.-based musician, “all of the towns that were the most special to me seemed to be the areas that were the hardest hit.” They include the south end of Long Beach Island, where he owned a trailer and where he and Gene Ween wrote and recorded the Ween albums The Mollusk, White Pepper and Quebec; Belmar, where Dean’s boat is usually moored; and Normandy Beach, where his fisherman friend Nick Honachefsky lives.
“Nick stayed at his house during the storm as long as he could,” Dean Ween says. “Not two months after he got back [from living in Florida], Sandy came along and his house burned to the ground and washed away with the tide, taking all of his worldly possessions with it.”
Ween’s immediate reaction to learning about Honachefsky’s losses was to call up some friends and put together a benefit show, which will take place Nov. 28 at The Saint in Asbury Park, N.J.
“I’ve played there many, many times and feel quite at home there,” Ween says. “[Owner] Scott Stamper and I have a long working relationship and friendship, and we take care of our own. He lives just steps away from my boat.”
Ween adds, “If you have the privilege of being in a band with any kind of following, then you are empowered with an opportunity to reach people and make a difference with your popularity. I have hosted and participated in a lot of benefits over the years, and it is understood among my fellow bandmates that when it’s time to step up, you just do it.”
The Ween-organized Honachefsky benefit on Nov. 28 (originally scheduled for Nov. 11) also will feature performances by longtime Jersey-based musician Chris Harford, among others. Look for Ween to offer a taste from his latest projects.
“I was already in the process of recording the new Moistboyz album and my solo record simultaneously and have a lot of new material [that I can play],” he says.
— By Chris M. Junior