Madison Square Garden literally buzzed Thursday night, as more than 7,400 rock fans armed with kazoos supplied by Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan’s band JD & The Straight Shot, smashed a record previously held by a crowd of British opera lovers.
Dolan, whose band opened for the Eagles at MSG Sept. 18, had previously said if the crowd was able to break the record for Largest Kazoo Ensemble, previously set by the BBC in 2011 at London's Royal Albert Hall, he would donate $100,000 to the ALS Association.
According to MSG, 7,422 concert-goers buzzed along to the Straight Shot’s rendition of Governor’s Blues, which includes a kazoo solo by Dolan, officially shattering the previous record of 5,190 who hummed along to Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and Eric Coate’s Dambuster’s March.
Dolan and his band took the stage at 7:15 p.m. Sept. 18 and later were joined by such celebrities as New York Knicks stars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Rangers all-star goaltender Henrik Lundqvist and tennis legend John McEnroe to play Governor’s Blues. After a brief tutorial by Dolan on how to play the instrument – it apparently is more involved than just whistling, Steve – fans joined in.
“I’m honored to make this donation to ALS, and very proud that Eagles fans came together to make this moment happen,” Dolan said in a statement. “I want to thank Carmelo, Amar’e, Henrik and John for taking the time and having so much fun with us on stage, and to the fans at The Garden on Thursday for making this such a memorable event for an important cause.”
Dolan first announced his intention to break the kazoo record after submitting to an ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from former New York Knicks star Patrick Ewing. After Dolan literally took the plunge, he said he would donate $100,000 to ALS if he could shatter the kazoo mark on Sept. 18.
ALS, which has raised more than $114 million through the Ice Bucket Challenge, was grateful for Dolan’s support.
“We are grateful to James Dolan and his band JD & The Straight Shot for this very generous donation and the awareness he has helped raise for this important cause,” said Dorine Gordon, President and CEO of the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter in a statement. “The Ice Bucket Challenge has been a true phenomenon and we are grateful for the outpouring of support that our organization has received. We have a long way to go to reach our goal of finding a cure for this devastating disease. We continue to not only push for research but also to make treatments and care accessible and affordable for all ALS patients as well as the families of those living with ALS right here in the NY/NJ area.”