Sunset gathers for giant rock show

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Jim Quely

Jim Quealy has been kicking around West Orange County and Sunset Beach, playing piano, guitar and singing for years.

The longtime musician and songwriter always found a home for his music in the Sunset Beach scene. He and fellow musician and singer Nola Shepherd have performed numerous shows as a duo and with Jeremy Long as the band Red Rock.

Now, with Sunset Beach’s independence threatened with annexation by Huntington Beach and perhaps heading into history, Quealy and some of his fellow Sunset Beach area musicians are giving back to the community in a celebratory manner fitting what has become a hotbed live music scene in West Orange County.

It’s a show billed as the “Sunset Beach Music Review.”

With a little help from his friends like Tom Golden, Quealy has rounded up a mixed bag of the usual “suspects,” local rock musicians and players for what may be the largest group of bands and musicians ever assembled for one Sunset Beach area show with a cause right out of today’s national  headlines.

So far the review will include musicians and bands, Led ZepLand, Dick Delux, Erick Munzer, Road Kill Kings, Shakedown, Sons of Mothers and Robby Armstrong as the evening’s emcee. More acts may be added.

The show will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., six hours of live music on stages inside Don the Beachcomber at 016278 Pacific Coast Highway in Sunset Beach. Admission is $20.

There is only one Sunset area venue that could hold such a show and that would be Don The Beachcomber.

According to Golden, the event’s total net proceeds will go to children and families of re-deployed men and women serving in the military in the Iraq War. It’s a cause that is close to the heart of former US Marine Art Snyder, who bought Don the Beachcomber when it was still under the name Kona. It had previously been the home of Sam’s Seafood Restaurant for many years and its buildings are considered local icons.

Golden said the idea for the concert came out of a show Quealy and friends were doing at the Galaxy Theater in Santa Ana last year.

“I checked it out and put together a bus of about 40 people who hang out at Harpoon Harry’s (in Sunset Beach) to ride up to the show,” Golden said. “That turned out pretty well and someone said we ought to do something locally and there really is only one venue in town that could work for it and that’s Don the Beachcomber.”

Snyder, a former attorney, Los Angeles City Councilman and restaurateur and entrepreneur, has said the hardest thing about creating an atmosphere at Don the Beachcomber is filling up its restaurant, bar and a handful of large areas for private parties and receptions.

Golden said he was next introduced to Peter Marshall, who heads the Navy League Council in the Seal Beach and Long Beach area. That helped the group putting on the concert to decide a cause. They said helping military folks was a natural considering the proximity of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station as well as the adjacent Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. Service people are heartily invited to joining in the evening’s fun, nostalgia and dancing to classic rock and blues.

“Jim (Quealy) put the bands together,” Golden said. “He knows the musicians that play there and he’s played that music scene for a long time.”

The public is invited to attend and find out in the words of Eric Clapton “what it is all about,” whether the party kicks in for them before or “after midnight.”

“This is a show that will sum up what Sunset’s music scene has been about for so many years,” Golden said.

For more information on the charity event, see the Web site www.nmcrs.org. Tickets for the show will be available at the door. For more information, call Jim Quealy at (562) 253-1835.

The mission of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is to provide, in partnership with the Navy and Marine Corps, financial, educational, and other assistance to members of the Naval Services of the United States, eligible family members, and survivors when in need; and to receive and manage funds to administer these programs.

Founded in 1904, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society is a private non-profit charitable organization. It is sponsored by the Department of the Navy and operates nearly 250 offices ashore and afloat at Navy and Marine Corps bases throughout the world. The Society was incorporated in the District of Columbia and has its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. It is managed by a Board of Directors whose members are active duty or retired members of the Naval Services, or spouses of active duty or retired members of the Naval Services.