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Musicians Band Together to Benefit Original Tirebiter Member

February 22, 2016 Arts and Entertainment No Comments
Gary Gidman

Gary Gidman

By John Fitts 

When Gary Gidman suffered some medical setbacks in the early 2000s, his fellow musicians in The Tirebiter Band continued to play – figuring their talented vocalist, composer, arranger and guitarist would return eventually.

“We were hoping that whatever was happening would get fixed and he would come back,” said Tom Moran, Canton resident and drummer for the rock n’ roll group. “We played as a four piece waiting for him to come back but he never did.”

On Feb. 27 (Feb. 28 snow date), The Tirebiter Band and a host of other well-known area musicians, including The Fountainhead Band, Eight To The Bar, Beatles Forever and  “Ozone” Pete Willett, will play a benefit show for Gidman at The Parrott Delaney Tavern in New Hartford. 

In 2002, Gidman, an original member of the popular area rock band, suffered a stroke. Shortly before it happened, Gidman wasn’t quite himself, Moran recalled.

After the stroke, Gidman spent more than 10 years in an assisted living facility. In 2014 he had another setback when doctors discovered he had an inoperable tumor wrapped around his spinal cord. Since then he has undergone chemo and radiation therapy and is paraplegic but even with his medical issues, remains passionate about music and rock history.  A few years ago, he was even able to put out a second CD of original music with the help of Tirebiter bassist Jeff Ladd.

“I’m so amazed at the fact that Gary can remain optimistic after all these things have happened to him,” said band manager Cheryl Scott, also a resident of Canton.

It’s all show how vulnerable life can be, said Moran, adding that he hopes Gidman can make the show.

“Any one of us could be in his same situation,” Moran said. “I’m happy we can do something for him. If he can make an appearance that would be great so he knows people are still thinking about him.”

Tirebiter got its start 1973 and quickly became known for its work ethic, live shows, wide array of musical covers and styles, original songs and harmonies. Gidman loved the harmony of bands such as the Beach Boys and was sometimes called the Brian Wilson of The Tirebiter Band.

Moran roomed with Gidman for several years. He recalled Gidman’s skills at cooking and multi-tasking. Gidman would often listen to music on headphones, read a book and watch a movie on TV, Moran said.

In addition to his talents at writing, composing and singing, Gidman could make his guitar sing as well, Moran said.

Scott is hopeful that the benefit can help Gidman enjoy his musical endeavors.

“The one joy he has is his music,” she said. “I just want him to have a little bit of money to continue to do what gives him joy.”

The show takes place from 7 to midnight on Feb. 27. If the snow date of Feb. 28 is necessary, music will take place from 5 to 11 p.m.

Tickets are $15 and will include Gidman’s first CD. His second one will also be available for $10.

The Parrott Delaney Tavern is located at 37 Greenwoods Road, New Hartford.

For tickets call at (860) 379-0188.

Slated band times:

  • Sounds of Frank Trio 7-7:30
  • Ozone Pete Willett 7:30-7:45
  • The Fountainhead Band 7:45-8:15
  • Ozone Pete Willett 8:15-8:30
  • Eight To The Bar 8:30-9:00
  • Ozone Pete Willett 9:00-9:15
  • Beatles Forever 9:15-9:45
  • Ozone Pete Willett 9:45-10:00
  • Creedence-Fogerty Tribute Band 10:00-10:30
  • Ozone Pete Willett 10:30-10:45
  • Steppin’ Out 10:45-11:15
  • Ozone Pete Willett 11:15-11:30
  • The Tirebiter Band 11:30-12:00

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