Instead of 'wishin' and hopin' that aid comes to those affected by the recent Lilac Fire, Grammy Award-winning composer/songwriter/singer Burt Bacharach is taking matters into his own hands.
On Jan. 17, 2018, Bacharach will team with fellow Grammy-winning rock icon Elvis Costello, along with some other celebrity friends, to host a fundraiser at the Belly Up billed as "An Evening of Music To Support the Victims of the Fire at San Luis Rey Downs Training Center."
It's hardly the first time the two music legends have joined forces. In 1998, Bacharach and Costello collaborated on the album, "Painted from Memory," a successful pairing that earned the two the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals for their song "I Still Have That Other Girl." Before that, Costello -- a long-time Bacharach fan -- had recorded several popular cover versions of the famed composer's songs, including "I Just Don't Know What to Do With Myself" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" (most notably featured in the film "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me").
Bacharach -- a horse owner and racing fan for more than 50 years (and who spends summers at his Del Mar house) -- was horrified when the Lilac Fire in North County ravaged the horse-training facility in Bonsall and resulted in the deaths of 46 horses and serious injuries to several of their caretakers.
“Horses and horse racing have given me nothing but pleasure for the last half-century,” Bacharach said in a Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) press release Wednesday. “The horrible circumstances around the San Luis Rey Downs fire cry out for aid in so many ways. This is my way of giving back to the horse community.“
The event will be emceed by actress Bo Derek (a long-time horse advocate and former commissioner of the California Horse Racing Board), and both Derek and Academy Award-winning actress/animal activist Anjelica Huston will preside over a live auction set to take place prior to the show.
Belly Up Entertainment President Chris Goldsmith explained to SoundDiego that the venue was thrilled when Bacharach approached them about the fundraiser and was eager to help.
"The benefit was Burt’s idea, because of his love of horses and the people who care for them," he said. "[Bacharach] has played the club on his own but for this event, he wanted to make it more than a regular concert so he invited some of his personal friends to help make it an 'event.' He succeeded in a big way!
Goldsmith added: "Burt has been a great part of the Belly Up’s history and we’re pleased to be able to provide a home for this amazing event, especially if it helps out such a tragic situation as what happened at San Luis Rey Downs."
Solana Beach's Belly Up, which normally holds about 600 patrons, will be "seating only" for the fundraiser -- which will only allow for approximately 400 tickets to be sold. General admission tickets are $250, and the venue's reserved loft seating will be $450. Furthermore, if you're feeling extra philanthropic, seats in the first three rows will be $1,000 each -- which also include an after-show Champagne reception with Bacharach and friends.
All proceeds from the event will be equally split between the California Thoroughbred Horsemen's Foundation and the California Retirement Management Account. According to the DMTC press release, "funds generated during the evening will be used for people such as the trainers, grooms and stable help who helped at San Luis Rey and were displaced by the fire," and added that "funds raised from the evening will be used specifically for the ongoing aid and care of the horses impacted by the fire that day."
The Lilac Fire, which started on Dec. 7 and was 100 percent contained on Dec. 16, burned more than 4,100 acres, destroyed 157 structures, and forced more than 10,000 residents to evacuate in the communities of Bonsall, Oceanside, Vista, and Camp Pendleton.