I first met Lenny Gill at a Bye Bye Blackbirds show at the Ivy Room a few years ago. Compared to his bandmates, Lenny was quiet — almost coming off as shy. Before he told me, I could have guessed that he was an educator. His disarming smile projected feelings of encouragement and an infinite well of patience. In an ever-increasingly frustrating and busy world, Lenny created a gentle ambience around him. I could imagine him being great with would-be Ritchie Blackmores and Joan Jetts.
“Lenny was one of the founding members of the Blackbirds. He had played guitar in a band with our original bass player, who knew he played a bunch of instruments, so when we were looking for members his name came up. He was actually our original drummer! I think he was reluctant to play drums in a band, but he liked the songs and thought it was a project worth being involved in. When our guitar player left, he very enthusiastically jumped at the chance to switch to lead guitar! I made him buy a suit, though. You can’t dress like a drummer if you’re playing guitar.” said Bradley Skaught, lead vocalist for the Blackbirds. Since then, Lenny has been adding his talent to lead guitar in the Blackbirds, making them one of the best bands in the Bay.
Unfortunately, Lenny’s employment as a musician and independent music teacher has been paused as he recovers from a recent heart transplant.
To help Lenny as he recovers, the Blackbirds will be playing a benefit show along with bands Cocker Power, Trip Wire, and Krudwerk. “The benefit came about because Lenny is such a beloved member of the local music scene, and has been for so long, that people really wanted to do something to help,”said Skaught. “Sometimes you feel helpless when you’ve got a friend in need, and putting on a show and having some fundraising stuff going on is a way to help and let him know he’s loved and supported.”
Krudwerk, a band comprised of some of Lenny’s former students, will be starting the show that afternoon, going on stage at 3:00. In addition to live music, the benefit will feature a silent auction and record swap. Please come out to support Lenny Gill, one of rock n’ roll’s true gentlemen. His work on stage and in the classroom has left a positive imprint on the Bay area music scene, and I look forward to seeing him back on stage soon.
The Bye Bye Blackbirds, Krudwerk, Cocker Power, Trip Wire
Bottom of the Hill
February 17, 2019
3pm $10-$20 sliding scale