This Day in 2010: The Rascals Reunite
Eight years ago this very evening, The Rascals reunited on a New York City stage in the name of charity, which is – as reasons for reunions go – about as good as it gets.
The performance in question took place at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Grill with a goal of raising money for the Kristen Ann Carr Fund, but it was also an event where –not in any way coincidentally – Steven Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen, were being honored.
The story of the Kristen Ann Carr Fund is best told by the organization itself, but for the purposes of this piece, here are three key moments from their secret origin, as lovingly borrowed from their website, Sarcoma.com:
• 1990: Kristen Carr, a 19 year-old journalism student at New York University, learns that she has sarcoma. Her doctor, world-renowned Sarcoma expert Murray Brennan, explains to Kristen how much is still left unknown about the disease. When Dr. Brennan tells Kristen, “We need more doctors and researchers”, Kristen responds, “Let’s hire some.”
• 1993: After losing Kristen earlier that year, her friends and family organize a landmark sold-out benefit concert at Madison Square Garden in June, featuring Bruce Springsteen and other artists whom Kristen admired. The event exceeds all expectations and allows the newly-formed KACF to begin funding the training of sarcoma experts almost immediately.
• 1995: Kristen’s friends form a committee to host the first annual benefit party, later known as A Night to Remember, in New York City. The benefit begins to grow and evolve with each year to become a premier event with a dedicated and enthusiastic following.
As you may have guessed, the evening of April 24, 2010 was when that year’s A Night to Remember took place, and given how long it had been since The Rascals had played together, it’s fair to say that the evening lived up to its name. It was a particularly special evening for Mrs. and Mrs. Van Zandt, since they’d been after the band to get back together since… Well, to put it into an appropriate frame of reference for the charity beneficiary of the event, Kristen Ann Carr was only 10 years old at the time.
As Steven Van Zandt said in a statement at the time, “We first met around 1980 to discuss reuniting the band and have tried every five years or so. Maureen suggested we give it one more shot and, sure enough, it took Kristen’s amazing spirit to finally get it done.”
“I speak on behalf of the band when I say all the money offers in the world could not entice the Rascals to reunite,” said Gene Cornish, guitarist for The Rascals. “But four phone calls from Stevie and without hesitation we enthusiastically and immediately agreed to both support this wonderful cause and honor Stevie and Maureen.”
Here’s the set list from that evening:
1. I’ve Been Lonely Too Long
2. In The Midnight Hour
3. I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore
4. You Better Run
5. A Beautiful Morning
6. Love Is A Beautiful Thing
8. A Girl Like You
9. How Can I Be Sure
10. Come On Up
11. What Is The Reason
12. People Got To Be Free
13. Good Lovin’ (with Bruce Springsteen)
Did you catch the parenthetical guest star on that 13th song? Man, when a charity can not only reunite The Rascals but also score a Springsteen guest appearance, you know it’s a good cause!
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