{December 27, 2013}   The Christmas Dogs Of War Benefit

Every year at Christmastime there is magical musical tradition in my hometown of Sayreville NJ, a Benefit called The Dogs Of War.
Unfortunately, most of us know someone with cancer. It’s an ugly painful horror for anyone to go through, whether it’s you or a family member, a friend or neighbor, cancer has it’s way and there is nothing we can do but offer support and be there for our loved ones.
One day, over 25 years ago, a young man lost his Mother to cancer. He lived with that loss, as we all do when we lose someone we love, but he turned his pain into something that grew and grew over the years, leading us to the point of this post: The Christmas Dogs Of War, a benefit where every single dollar is handed over that very night to a local family affected by cancer.
This year there is a young family, the husband has cancer, his wife is pregnant, and her Father also has cancer, who can use our help.
I can’t imagine the horror they are going through, I saw my Mom go through breast cancer, she had just reached the 5 year mark of remission the month before she died, and I did the only thing I could do for her by going with her to each and every one of her treatments yet still I felt helpless. My Mom had excellent health insurance but she was lucky for that, so many people are in need these days and don’t have the benefits she had.
Hence The Dogs Of War. In the words of Mike Grau, the young man that dreamed up this yearly benefit:
The Christmas Dogs of War Christmas Cancer Benefit has been around a long time and it raises money for a local family dealing with this terrible disease. ALL the money raised goes directly to the family in CASH it’s that simple. It’s an evening of dreamers and screamers and strange holiday music. Al Muzer will MC this year’s event as well as offer terrible things for people to give money to own. Scheduled to perform (but obviously not limited to); Schnitzel,Bongo Jones, The Trip Dogs , El Muchacho,Joe Canzano , The Marbles ,The Pretty Goats, The Dead Pony Cats,Keith Beck, The Molecular Blues Machine, Bullet Train, The Whale Ashtray, Marty and the Great Unwashed Music Band, Rachel…etc etc etc
It’s a great night and everyone will have fun until Schnitzel performs

And it is a great night, always. Good music, a million bands including {blatant self-promotion} my band Bullet Train, crazy auctions, 50/50’s etc. In one of those magical coincidences, the weekly newsletter promoting the bands each Saturday just showed up in my email. Written by Mike Grau, the Einstein of musicians and organizer/inventor of The Dogs Of War, please allow me to share his newsletter with you, and believe me, it’s well worth the read:

Good People of Metropolis;

“Every time a bells rings an angel goes to their neutral corner.”
Christmas has been turned into a conveyor belt. A line stretching out as far as the eye can see waits to board the belt two weeks before Thanksgiving. Angry wrinkled business men with bald heads and thick eye glasses operate the belt. Hapless, hopeless Americans, exhausted from their workweeks, hop up on the conveyor belt because the media told them to “go”. Happily confused and unaware of the financial pounding they are about to receive the belt drives them toward a monolithic mall owned by Disney, some cable companies, Adolph Hitler and a shell company owned by members of Congress. Along the route gigantic billboards remind the dimwitted masses that “There is no God”, “Jesus was an Ancient Alien” and “Do Not Say Christmas…. Say Holiday”. At the end of the belt stain covered families flop into the lobby of the Mega Mall. They are presented with amazing choices for their hard earned public assistance checks. They can buy plastic things that promise to make their sedentary lifestyles easier. They can purchase huge sweat suits for their fat bodies and double wide television chairs to place near mammoth snack trays filled with high calorie, zero nutrient goodness in the shapes of their favorite Hollywood heroes. They can be places in motorized chairs and rolled within inches of low cost jewelry which can be altered to fit their bloated unhealthy American saturated fat fingers. They can gaze in wonder at electronic devices that promise adventure and freedom and creativity but deliver only eye strain and further estrangement from their fellow man. It is “idiot world” and the conveyor belt keeps flopping stained clothed, unthinking, hypnotized, bloated, Americans into the Mega Mall. The meaning is lost or broken. This country and it’s people should pray one last prayer together. We should all come to together and pray for a great famine. A famine that leaves crops unharmed but eats through every television in our country. A famine that poisons the internet, murders smart phones and ends social media. A famine that shortens the workweek, bridges misunderstandings between family members and reminds us all that we need each other. A famine that reminds us of God , shines bright light on the manipulators and removes power from the wicked. A famine that reminds us that love is all that matters. A famine that brings us clarity of thought. A famine that mends broken hearts and brings about the use of the phrase “I’m sorry that I’ve hurt you.” A great famine that unifies Americans and erases the puppeteer hatred brought down on party lines.

I want that famine.

And speaking of the “unspeakable” This Saturday Night @ Buddies Tavern it’s The Christmas Dogs of War !!!
Over 1 million bands and people who think they are in bands will swarm down onto Buddies Tavern at 8 p.m., pay their 20 dollars and see what has never been seen before.
So come on down and give some money to a great cause. All money raised will be handed to a family in Sayreville who is dealing with cancer 24 hours after you hand it over…. And that’s a guarantee.
See you at the show
Mike Grau
And because I want to have the last word, I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who lives close enough to attend to come on down, see a bunch of great bands including me singing, and give to a family in need. We can’t beat cancer, but we can make a difference, however small, by raising some money for a young Family in need. Your heart will grow at least 3 times larger. Click on the link below for more information as to directions and time, etc. Go on, click!!!
dowThis is Schnitzel, do not be afraid.


JMC813 says:

What an awesome event. Truly what Christmas spirit should be about. Eclectic mixes of good loud music, charity for charities sake, and the spirit of love. Awesome (redundant but no better word right now ((some writer huh?))). BTW I gotta know now. Which band on the bill do you sing with?
Keep Inspring.


There’s never too much awesome in the world John lol Bullet Train is my band and we only do originals; it’s a ton of fun for a good cause but truth be told, I’m slightly nervous, I put us on hiatus for 2 years to take care of my folks after the hurricane so this is my first time singing since, but hey, it’s only rock and roll 😀

JMC813 says:

Whaddya mean only rock n roll? Is there anything else? What a cool event to make your reintroduction to the live scene tho. And if you were meant for the stage, the nervousness will disappear as soon as the music kicks in. It will all come back in rehearsals as well. I am sure you will be right back in the groove immediately. And much respect for putting all that on hold to take care of the important stuff. Way too cool. Good luck to you and keep inspiring.


John, you just gave me all I need to get through tonight, thank you so much for your support, wish you could be there but you’ll be there in my heart ♥ and pictures will be posted ASAP (and possibly video 😉 )

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