Sunday’s star-studded night at McCabe’s for Peter Case

Singer-songwriter-producer Peter Case has a wealth of good friends.

The rocker was sideswiped by astronomical medical bills after emergency heart bypass surgery.  His friends got word that the musician was without medical insurance, and rallied to put on a benefit to raise funds to offset his expenses.

Held at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, California, the master of ceremonies T-Bone Burnett, invited comic Eric Idle, singer Katie Melua and folk rock legend Richard Thompson among other surprise guests to the stage on Sunday night .

It was the final night in a series of three sold-out shows benefiting Case.  Burnett’s Sunday night revue also featured Joe Henry, Sam Phillips, Syd Straw, Bob Neuwirth, Carla Olson, Geoff Muldaur, and Case’s former bandmates, the Plimsouls, as well as Case himself who performed “A Million Miles Away” accompanied by the Section String Quartet and “Oldest Story in the World” with the Plimsouls.

Other weekend highlights included Friday’s headline appearance by Loudon Wainwright III; he coaxed Case onstage to perform his signature arrangement of Blind Willie McTell’s “Broke Down Engine Blues.”

Van Dyke Parks invited singer Inara George to join him, while Phranc, the All American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger, dedicated her song “I Like You” to Case, and turned her sing-a-long anthem “Live Lover” into “I’m a Peter Case Lover,” especially for the occasion.

Saturday night’s show was a gathering of old friends: Dave Alvin performed Case’s “On My Way Downtown” while telling stories of the days before he and Case graduated from their bands the Blasters and Plimsouls to become the award-winning and esteemed songwriters they are today. Case pals Stan Ridgway, Ron Franklin and performance artist the Dark Bob turned in startlingly different and sublime sets of their own.

“I’m feeling great and am amazed and humbled by the extraordinary turnout,” said Case on Monday morning.

In 1984, Case made his debut as a solo artist at McCabe’s; in February he was set to celebrate 25 years of performing there.  But just as he was preparing to leave for a European tour in January, he was hospitalized. 

It was following an attempt at angioplasty that he received emergency bypass surgery.

Case’s publicist shared that Peter’s friends, fans and fellow artists have established the Hidden Love Fund to help further alleviate the burden of his medical expenses.  For more information or to make a donation to the fund please visit here

Further information on Case’s 25th Anniversary Show at McCabe’s will be announced soon.

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