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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Surfrider Spreads The Word Through Music

Photo (Right): Mike Childs (Surfrider), Nicole (Surfrider), Randy Schwartz (drums), Brett Dennen (vocals, guitar), Matt Montee (road manager), Jason (Surfrider), Steve Adams(bass)

Photo (Left): Jason holding up Surfrider's Dec 2006 "Making Waves" magazine, featuring an interview with Brett Dennen

By Nicole Parisi-Smith


I volunteer with the Surfrider Foundation’s Washington, DC Chapter, where I am in charge of tabling at Surfrider-friendly shows. This usually involves identifying Surfrider-friendly musicians, watching venue calendars to determine when the musicians are coming into town, and then contacting them to ask if we can table.

But Brett Dennen is far from typical- he is outstanding! Brett has a non-profit coordinator for his “Love Speaks” Tour. Sarita researched non-profit organizations who work in the communities that the Love Speaks Tour would visit, and contacted those organizations to invite them to table at Brett’s show in their town. In addition to tabling, each organization gets to speak on the mic during the show and receives a financial contribution from Brett. This is Brett’s way of giving back to the communities he visits. We (my Surfrider Chapter) were invited to table on Jan 30th at Jammin Java in Vienna VA, and on Jan 31st at Rams Head On Stage in Annapolis, MD.

On January 30th, two of my friends from the Chapter, Mike and Jason, and I set up our Surfrider gear on a table already provided for us, next to a wildlife conservation organization. Brett, Randy Schwartz (drums), Steve Adams (bass) and Matt Montee (road manager) stopped by the tables before the show started to check in and contribute to our Save Trestles Campaign (www.savetrestles.org ). Their interest and support meant a lot to us!

The show was great. It was a sold out seated show, with lots of very appreciative fans. Brett invited us to speak on the mic before he came on stage. Jason got up there and spoke about Surfrider for a few minutes. So great! Brett, Randy and Steve played a great show, opening up with “Ain’t No Reason”. Brett talked a lot between songs, and he was hilarious. Everyone loved it!

After the show the non-proft organization reps caught up with the band backstage. It was so nice to see Steve, and to meet Brett, Randy and Montee. Yes, they are fantastic musicians- but more importantly, they are incredible people. I can’t put it into words- you just had to be there- and SHOULD be there when they come through your town on this tour.

On January 31st, my friend Blake helped me table. This was another seated, sold out show, full of dedicated Brett fans. Montee helped me orchestrate the Surfrider table set up, and made sure to get me on the schedule so that I could speak on the mic about Surfrider. I got up there, told everyone about Surfrider, our chapters, invited everyone to stop by the table to sign the Save Trestles petition, and gave a sincere thanks to Brett and crew. I also mentioned that trash discarded on our streets flows from the curb into the sewers, then into the nearest river, and then flows into the ocean- the stuff is never filtered/cleaned. There is a mass of plastic trash, twice the size of TX, floating around in the Pacific Ocean. Please don’t litter, and if you see litter then please pick it up!

The show was great. Started off with “Ain’t No Reason” and closed with a really nice acoustic encore. The audience was so respectful- no one spoke during the performance and people were looking for Brett to get autographs following the show. It was so nice to see!

Hung out a little after the show ended, helped pack the RV, and then said goodbye. So sad to see them go, but hey- they might be coming to a town near you soon, and so you can experience it, too- def check the show schedule!!
A BIG thanks to Brett, Sarita, Montee, Randy and Steve for all of their support and for being soooooooo great:)!!! Hope to see you all again soon.


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