Guitar legends Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, OZZY OSBOURNE), John 5 (ROB ZOMBIE, MARILYN MANSON) and Nuno Bettencourt (EXTREME), along with drum powerhouse Mike Portnoy (THE WINERY DOGS, DREAM THEATER), bass icon Billy Sheehan (THE WINERY DOGS, MR. BIG) and keyboard phenomenon Derek Sherinian (DREAM THEATER) joined forces last night (Saturday, December 12) to play a benefit concert for guitar and keyboard virtuoso Tony MacAlpine, who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer.
Fan-filmed video footage of the show can be seen below.
The benefit for Tony MacAlpine took place at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, and featured performances from JOHN 5 & THE CREATURES, Zakk Wylde with Mike Portnoy, Billy Sheehan and Derek Sherinian; Steve Vai and band, and culminating in an all-star jam with house band Portnoy, Sheehan, Sherinian, and featuring special guests. Eddie Trunk served as master of ceremonies for the night.
In addition to this extraordinary musical event, Steve Vai, John 5, Paul Gilbert, Joe Bonamassa, Steve Lukather, Steve Stevens, and Joe Satriani all graciously donated personal guitars to be auctioned during the event. In addition, Rudy Sarzo offered private lessons as an auction item, and Simon Phillips donated a signature snare. Tony’s gear manufacturers Ibanez, Hughes & Kettner, EMG, Ernie Ball, Source Audio and Voodoo Lab also generously donated equipment to be raffled.
Tony’s cancer diagnosis came on the heels of his wife’s diagnosis with breast cancer in June, making the situation even more trying for Tony and his family.
“Tony is a dear friend, an absolutely sweet human being and one of the most talented musicians I’ve ever worked with,” said Mike Portnoy prior to last night’s event. “We are coming together to help raise money and awareness to help him fight his battle and come out on top!” Added Steve Vai: “It’s a great privilege to take to the stage with my friends Zakk, John, Mike and Billy in support of our dear friend Tony. Tony has always been blessed with an exceptional talent and more so, he’s an exceptionally cool guy. It’s a great cause and will be a magical evening of guitar extravaganza.”
“Tony has been such an inspiration to me,” said John 5. “He is an incredible musician and an unbelievable talent. Please let’s all come together and beat this!”
“Tony is our brother. We look forward to making a historical night, and raising a lot of money to help our friend in need,” said Derek Sherinian.
Tony MacAlpine is widely known as a guitar virtuoso who is just as skilled on the keys. “Edge Of Insanity”, his classic debut album, was recently ranked by Guitar World magazine as one of the Top Ten Shred Guitar Albums of all time. Aside from his solo work, Tony has also been part of several rock supergroups including PLANET X with Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donati; PSMS (Portnoy, Sheehan, MacAlpine, Sherinian); as well as the Grammy-nominated CAB with bassist Bunny Brunel and drummer Dennis Chambers. MacAlpine also spent seven years playing guitar and keys in Steve Vai’s touring band THE BREED.
Tony’s most recent album, “Concrete Gardens”, was released in May. Tony toured the U.S. in June to promote the album, but was forced to cancel tours of Asia, Australia and Europe when his health deteriorated.