In the long tradition of band leaders and kazoo masters like Spike Jones, Freddy Mercury and Frank Zappa, Cablevision Systems CEO and JD & the Straight Shot front man Jim Dolan is offering a unique twist on the popular ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge,” passing out thousands of kazoos at Madison Square Garden Thursday night in an effort to raise $100,000 for the charitable organization.
Dolan, who also serves as executive chairman of Madison Square Garden Co., will attempt to break the world record for largest kazoo ensemble, set in 2011 by the BBC at Royal Albert Hall. At that record-setting performance, 5,190 kazooists (as they are called) played Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries and Eric Coates’ Dambusters March at Royal Albert Hall. Dolan will pass out about 6,000 kazoos (emblazoned with his band’s logo) and will be joined by several celebrity guests as he attempts to soundly break the record.
Dolan and his band are scheduled to be the opening act for The Eagles at The Garden on Thursday, Sept. 18. They are expected to hit the stage at 7:15 p.m. The kazooing will commence with the song “Governor’s Blues,” which includes a kazoo solo by Dolan.
Dolan and his band performed Tuesday on Fox station WNYW’s Good Day New York morning program to help prmote the effort. Here’s a clip.
JD & The Straight Shot, which just released its latest CD – Where I’ve Been – would be the latest in a long line of Rock N’ Roll kazooists. Several top rock acts have used the instrument – or its cheaper comb-and-tissue paper equivalent – including Jimi Hendrix (in Crosstown Traffic); Frank Zappa (in Hungry Freaks, Daddy) Queen’s Freddy Mercury and Roger Taylor (in Seaside Rendezvous) and Pink Floyd (in Corporal Clegg).
The ALS ice bucket challenge has been a runaway Internet hit for the ALS Association. As of Sept. 16, more than 3 million people have taken the challenge – posting videos on Facebook dumping ice water over their heads and asking friends to do the same or donate to ALS – and have raised an estimated $113.6 million for the organization which funds research and provides assistance to people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Dolan is no stranger to raising money for good causes. He is on the board of directors of The Lustgarten Foundation, an organization he founded and wich is dedicated to finding a cure for Pancreatic Cancer, a disease that claimed his friend and mentor, former Cablevision vice chairman, in 1999.