On January 12, 2013 at the Davis Square Theater in Somerville, Gloucester resident, Willie “Loco” Alexander celebrated his 70th birthday. Unbeknownst to the “god-father of punk,” his wife Ann Rearick had put together a small army of musicians to help Willie celebrate his special day. The theater was filled with 17 to 70 year old rockers from Cape Ann to London all pumped to get on stage and perform from Willie’s prolific songbook. Writers Ted Widmer, Amanda Cook and Jim Dunn provided some personal history of the School Street resident. Even Governor Patrick chimed in with a birthday greeting.
Bands and players included: Dave Saginario, Roger Miller, The Boom Boom Band, The Bags (with Jon Hardy on Bass and vocals), Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Boby Bear, Peter Wolf, Roger Miller, Andrea Gillis, the Nervous Eaters, Mike Tucker, Mission of Burma, Barrence Whitfield, Persistence of Memory Orchestra with Ken Field and Marc Chenevert, Manzie, Dennis Brennen, Randy Black, Ed “Moose” Savage, Frank Rowe, John Roy, and Jon Macie, Reddy Teddy, The Darlings, The A-Train Orchestra with Alek and Rikki Razdan, David “Doc” Vincent , Dan Whalen and Ken Demaine, John Powhida and David Minahan & the neighborhoods.
The extravaganza was produced, shot and edited by Henry Ferrini as a part of the Gloucester Writers Center video archive. Ferrini said, “This is the kind of event that usually happens when you’re dead, Willie deserves it while he’s still kicking. Didn’t I hear he was going to be Gloucester’s next poet Laureate.”
The hour-long show will be cablecast on Cape Ann TV Channel 12 on Tuesday, March 26 at 9:00 p.m. and Friday. March 29 at 9:00 p.m. Don’t touch that dial, this show is immediately followed by an encore airing of Local Music Seen with Allen Estes featuring Willie Alexander as Allen’s guest. Willie talks to Allen about his life and music, he also plays his keyboard and sings more of his songs.