I’ve long been a fan of the Love Hope Strength foundation ever since I met founder and CEO James Chippendale at Park one night as he was sipping cocktails with a couple guys from The Cult. Any charity fighting against cancer by way of extreme adventure climbs and rock star concerts held on daunting cliffs is going to be in my top three of, well, pretty much anything. If you’re against the former and a fan of any of the latter, I suggest you become a fan too.
From Wednesday through Sunday, LaGrange, the Belmont Hotel and NBC5 were joined together to raise money for Love Hope Strength and Children’s Medical Center. The kickoff began at LaGrange in Deep Ellum, where James Chippendale’s documentary “Everest Rocks” was shown highlighting the organization’s first charitable climb, followed by a Rock N Roll raffle. Day two included a phenomenal unplugged set at the Belmont with Babyface Enterprises’ Jackie Leigh together with Grammy Award winning artist Miles Zuniga of Fastball, followed the next day by the NBC5 2nd annual Guitar Hero Championship, for the best of the amateur rockstars in the area.
The main event Saturday night took place at LaGrange, where 2009 Shiner Bock Rising Star Winner Grant Jones and the Pistol Grip Lassos took the stage, followed by Backporch Mary, Boys Named Sue and headliner Fastball, a long-time partner with Chippendale and LHS. The night ended with famed ’80s cover band Le Cure for some great danceable covers.
And, on Sunday, the LHS crew and their rock n roll enthusiasts enjoyed a day of rest at the Belmont pool, noted city-wide for its stunning view of downtown from the Oak Cliff vantage point. DJs Jennifer Miller and Paul Paredes kept the energy lively, possibly sparking the bikini-clad girls’ chicken fight that triggered, by my calculations, quite a lot of iPhone photos. But that’s rock n roll, right?