Wednesday, May 28, 2008

For My Friends, Lowen & Navarro

Two of the nicest, kindest and most talented songwriters I know in Los Angeles are a duet named "Lowen & Navarro." When I was at my sickest, back 1994, lying in the hospital deciding whether to live or die, it was the middle of the night. Suddenly, unexpectedly, Lowen & Navarro came on the TV and it was like friends appearing to me out of the night. I remember lying there crying my eyes out, looking for any reason to continue. And they became a part of it.

Sadly, Eric Lowen, a tall, handsome and brilliant musician and singer, has been struck down with ALS. But he and Dan have battled together over these years, keeping the band together and they've recorded a new CD, even. Now comes this note.

Hi guys --

Most of you are friends and colleagues of long standing. You all probably know my 28-year partner in Lowen & Navarro, Eric Lowen, was diagnosed in March 2004 with the progressive neurodegenerative disease ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. Though he can't walk or play anymore, he sure can sing, and we are still touring. And recording. We're releasing a new album, "Learning To Fall", in a couple of months on our own label, Red Hen Records.

Last November, Eric and I gathered 30 or so people whose lives have been affected by ALS -- PALS (People With ALS), their families, friends, supporters and caregivers -- to sing on the recording of the title track of our new album. The song "Learning To Fall", written by Eric Lowen and Preston Sturges (son of the famed 1940s film director) chronicles Eric's struggle with ALS and life as he's known it.

Among the friends was Five For Fighting's John Ondrasik, who last year launched a website devoted to promoting charitable causes and generating click-through donations for those causes. The site is, named after his similarly-titled hit song.

The event was captured by director Mark Waldrep and his wife Mona, and recorded (as was the entire album) by Grammy winning producer and engineer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Dixie Chicks, Foo Fighters, Wilco, Sting) at his private studio in Valencia. The resulting music video is currently featured on Ondrasik's site, and will be parked there, indefinitely.

When you view the video, you log a credit that earns the benefited charity -- in this case, Augie's Quest, an ALS support and research group associated with the Muscular Dystrophy Assn -- a buck or so for each click. You can also donate directly to the central donations clearinghouse, the California Community Foundation, if you so desire. But this is NOT a request for a donation, and you need not donate to be of help. Just give the video a view and you will make a difference.

Or click here:

Thanks so much for listening. Hope you enjoy the vid, and the music. The album will be out in July.

Post a Comment

The Steve Show #screamcry

My first show since my surgery. With Blake Zolfo.