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Benefit Concert to be Held for Ailing Warehouse Founder Bill Johnston

In the ’70s and early ’80s an abandoned cotton warehouse located at the corner of Felicity and Tchoupitoulas streets was the cornerstone of New Orleans’ rock scene. The concert hall known simply as the Warehouse saw icons such as Bob Dylan, the Who, the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band, David Bowie, the Clash and the Police play its stage.

On September 10, 1982, the Talking Heads — on the verge of releasing their career-defining effort Speaking in Tongues — delivered the venue’s final show, singing its swansong to the shape-shifting rhythms of “Take Me to the River” and marking the end of an era with the eerie echo of the encore “Crosseyed and Painless” fading into the night.

Bill Johnston, Warehouse founder

Warehouse founder Bill Johnston is currently battling throat cancer.

Today, slightly more than 32 years removed from that fateful eve, Bill Johnston, the man whose vision founded and steered the Warehouse, is ensnared in a yearlong struggle with throat cancer, 35 radiation treatments in and 13 weeks of chemo therapy deep. Though recent biopsy findings show sings of improvement, remission remains a state yet sought from the marvels of modern medicine and the well-meaning promise of prayer.

On Thursday, January 10, 2013, Ground Cover Productions will present a benefit concert in Johnston’s name at the Joy Theater. Entertainment from R&B troupe Joint’s Jumpin’, indelible Kenna-brahs the Yat Pack and commedian/emcee Jodi Borrello are set to welcome the evening’s main attraction: The Warehouse New Orleans… Revisited, a musical tribute performed by the band SMOKE PATROL in the spirit of the decade of coming-of-age moments that came to pass under the Warehouse’s roof.

Tickets are $35, go on sale this Friday, November 23, and can be purchased online via Ticketmaster or by phone at 1-800-745-3000. Doors will open for a silent auction beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Persons wishing to contributed to, get involved with or find out more about this benefit are encouraged to email Louie Duet. Donations can be made directly by mailing a check to:

Benefit for Bill Johnston
2213 General Pershing St
New Orleans, LA 70115