Harvey Pekar Benefit, Saturday August 7th

2 08 2010

Unless you’ve been living at the semi-abandoned Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island, you probably know that one of Cleveland’s great figures, Harvey Pekar, had recently passed into immortal curmudgeondom and enlightenment.  His death triggered not only mourning, but a sense of local pride and a renewed urgency in seizing the Cleveland summer in all its warm, joyful diversity.

In a sense, his demise–and subsequent recognition–couldn’t have been timed better.  Should such a dear soul exit this plane, at very least he should make a statment.  Recognition of Pekar–and all things good, gruff, and Cleveland–ended up overshadowing the Lebron James fiasco named “The Decision”, which had even non-sports fans holding their heads shamefully as James and his marketing team nationally hung us all out to dry.  “Screw him,” we said, “at least we had Harvey.”

Certainly Pekar couldn’t average a triple double per game.  But he and his work represented our culture’s gritty resiliency, more so than one of the NBA’s ballyhooed stars who folded in the post-season and cashed out.  Harvey wouldn’t have folded; though he definitely would have appreciated a healthy pay-out, like any good Cleveland workingman should.

To that end, the Beachland’s decided to help Pekar’s payout in the afterlife. To quote Beachland co-owner Cindy Barber,

“Okay, here’s the deal. Things are complicated in the aftermath of our friend Harvey’s life. According to his wife/writing partner Joyce Brabner  he didn’t really finalize a will, and there was no burial plot. So one Coventry do-gooder went to Lakeview Cemetery and found what he thought was a perfect spot, next to an old friend, but things happened and that ended up not working out….but now Harvey’s sort of moving on up and the urn carrying his cremated remains will be laid to rest close to Eliot Ness thanks to the Lakeview folks. Some friends have talked to Joyce about creating a statue of Harvey (hands in his pockets, shoulders shrugging no doubt), but she says it will have to be inscribed with “What Do You Want From Me?” There is indeed something very poetic and Cleveland about the idea of tourists in Lolly the Trolley coming by Eliot Ness’s grave, and finding out favorite homegrown curmudgeon. So Joyce is not broke of course, but cashflow is an issue and we want to help. We have this Saturday night open and are bound and determined to celebrate Harvey’s honest down-to-earth spirit and raise a little cashflow since he just spent time at the Beachland on July 3 when his pals Brave Combo played. This is not the official send off, but just an effort to lend a hand.”

To this end, the Beachland has booked friends Cats On Holiday, Yiddishe Cup, and a very special performance by Pere Ubu’s David Thomas on Saturday, August 7th at 8 pm. It’s a late breaking event, folks, so we don’t have all the particulars yet. Let’s just say if you’re feeling charitable, come on down, and either buy a ticket to this event ($10) or make a donation.  Updates will be posted on http://www.beachlandballroom.com, or call the club at 216-383-1124.

If you haven’t heard this yet, local NPR affiliate WCPN did an excellent feature on the life and times of Harvey Pekar.  Listen up!  Here’s an interview with Pekar about his passion, avant-garde jazz; and here’s a piece that sheds light on “The Pekar Project”, which deals with Pekar’s still-unpublished works.


What You Missed:

Not always the most up-to-date section, but hey, feel free to repost pics of Beachland shows you’ve attended on our Facebook account.  Or at very least, tag us, won’t you?

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: