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benefit 2006



Leader Post article - A band of brothers: Music community celebrates Dave and Danny Stephenson


Gerry Krochak, Special to The Leader-Post
Published: Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Rock 'N' Roll Show In Support of the Stephenson Family (with Into Eternity, Geronimo, Activate, Plastic Bastard and Avarice To Lace)


The Distrikt


- - -

There won't be any crying allowed at A Rock 'N' Roll Show In Support Of The Stephenson Family on Friday night at The Distrikt. But, under the circumstances one or two tears will be acceptable.

It's been a horrible time for the family and friends of Dave and Danny Stephenson. In what can only be described as the most cruel coincidence imaginable, Dave passed away on Sept. 21 from complications of the cancer he had been diagnosed with six months earlier, and Danny is battling pancreatic cancer that he was diagnosed with three months after Dave first became ill.

Dave was well known among the local music community. He could be found at just about every hard rock, metal and punk show at every venue that hosted live music. He was a huge fan, friend and supporter of local international metal act Into Eternity (as evidenced by the giant tattoo of the Into Eternity logo which adorned his left forearm).

Guitarist Tim Roth has donated his road-weary S Series Ibanez guitar as part of the rock memorabilia auction and raffle that will be taking place during Friday evening's concert and celebration of music, courage, community and friendship.

Roth was on the road in the U.S. on the Gigantour when Dave took a turn for the worse and suddenly passed. Roth's first instinct was to leave the tour to come and be with the Stephenson family But Dave's parents, Carol and Ken, Danny and sister Lisa wouldn't hear of it because they knew it's not what Dave would have wanted. With a heavy heart, Roth trundled on through the tour.

"Tim would consider Dave to be a part of the band except he couldn't play anything," chuckles longtime friend and organizer of tomorrow's event, Marlin Marynick. "Dave has toured with Into Eternity, selling merch and he would have been with them on the Megadeth Gigantour if he was feeling up to it."

Danny is every bit the fan Dave was, but his enthusiasm for music went even further as drummer for The Radfords, and sometimes concert promoter with his great friend and roommate Marlin.

"I've been friends with Danny for 15 years and I met him through music," Marynick says, marvelling at how going to gigs and supporting bands leads to the greatest friendships one could ever hope for. "I first met him at some shows and when he would come and see my band (Deaf Children At Play).

"Music has always been about community and that's the reason to be into bands and into music. Danny and I used to book shows at clubs, at the Utopia and in basements. Both of us know what it's like to have multiple musicians sleeping on our floor!"

It's ironic that Stephenson and Marynick have teamed up on benefit events in the past which have raised money for everything from the Regina Women's Centre to fire victims of low-income families.

Although it hardly seems like a time to celebrate, Marynick says that it's times like this that friends and the local music community always pull together.

"I guess everyone is trying to make sense of what's been going on," he says. "There's definitely an element of anger that goes along with it and that's where the punk rock ethic and the aggression of the music comes in. You let that anger go and then you don't have to think about it as much."

In addition to Into Eternity playing a homecoming gig for the ages, groups such as Activate, a reunion for Avarice To Lace, Geronimo and Marynick's band Plastic Bastard will perform. In addition to Roth's guitar, other goodies up for auction and raffle will be autographed items from The New York Dolls, Iron Maiden, Trivium, Queensryche, and Everclear, as well as numerous CDs, DVDs and other assorted memorabilia.

Marynick says tomorrow evening's event will be a release and a celebration for the friends and family of Dave and a rallying point for Danny.

"The way that people have pulled together is incredible," he says. "And that's what happens in tough times.

"I've been thinking a little bit differently lately. I sure am thankful for everything -- the friendships, the accomplishments, the shows. In life there is no security and you have to live in the moment.

"You have to understand what's important before this kind of stuff happens."

The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006

Leader Post article - Supporters showing their love


Gerry Krochak, The Leader-Post
Published: Thursday, October 19, 2006

It's been almost a month since Dave Stephenson passed away, but I still fully expect to see him at just about any gig at any club in Regina in the coming days, weeks, months and years ahead.

It's always been a given that you would see Dave or his brother Danny --- usually both -- every time you walked through the doors of any hard rock, metal or punk show at places such as The Distrikt or The Exchange.

I hadn't seen Dave in a while and I would have remembered if I did. I always enjoyed chatting with him and the other "regulars" at most live shows in the city. Dave was a very kind and gentle person, loyal to his many friends and a huge music fan and local scene supporter. I was shocked and deeply saddened when I saw his obituary in the newspaper late last month. Dave had unexpectedly succumbed to complications from the cancer he had been diagnosed with six months earlier.

Losing a 36-year-old son, brother, friend, constant companion to girlfriend Jamie Dobson and father of a nine-year-old daughter wasn't easy to accept. But sometimes life just doesn't make sense. Sometimes it's cruel. Sometimes it just stinks.

The day after Dave passed away, with a few close friends by his side, his younger, less quiet and extremely good-humoured brother Danny began chemotherapy treatments for the pancreatic cancer he had been diagnosed with three months ago.

The next time you think you've had a bad day consider the kind of days that Carol, Ken and Lisa Stephenson (Dave and Danny's mother, father and sister) have had recently. If not for the overwhelming outpouring of love, friendship and support of these fine, fine people, things would have seemed even harder.

Many of the same folks that packed the Regina Funeral Home to pay respects, and sign and paste band stickers on Dave's plain wood casket late last month are now rallying around Danny and the entire Stephenson family.

Danny might be in for the fight of his life, but he has an entire army of friends, family, relatives and the local music community behind him.

The first interview I ever did with Danny's band, The Radfords, will easily go down as one of the funniest Q and A's I have ever experienced with a local group. But what else could I reasonably expect from, "800 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal"? The band is a trio, incidentally.

During a telephone conversation last week, Danny was, of course, funny, but also graceful, thankful and resilient as he spoke about his fight, his brother, his friends and some music he had been enjoying lately. His voice didn't crack once when he spoke about cancer and what he has been doing to take care of himself, but he did pause quietly when he talked about how, "every friend I have ever had has been right there for me and my family."

Although his sense of humour, passion for music and ongoing experimentation with facial hair might be the first characteristics you notice about Danny, his toughness and his willingness to help others in need aren't far behind.

So it stands to reason now when Danny needs a little help that friends, volunteers, numerous bands, record company representatives and a whole bunch of people that he's never even met are stepping forward for what is simply being billed as A Rock 'N' Roll Show In Support Of The Stephenson Family on Friday night at The Distrikt.

Stellar acts such as Into Eternity, Geronimo, Activate, Plastic Bastard, Avarice To Lace and many more will perform. As well a major rock memorabilia auction and ticket raffle featuring dozens of music prizes and autographed items will be taking place with all proceeds going directly to the Stephenson family.

Into Eternity guitarist Tim Roth is a great, great friend to Dave and his donated S Series Ibanez guitar is just one of the items that will go a long way in aiding the cause.

Danny will be there mostly because he never cares to miss a gig, a celebration and a big party. Tomorrow night will be all three.

"I'm going to get better," he told me. "I'm taking some acupuncture and getting some massages while I go through the chemo. I'm also getting ready to go to a First Nations sweat lodge -- I'm really looking forward to that.

"People are going to see me at lots and lots of shows for a long time to come."

- Gerry Krochak's column appears Thursdays in What's On. You can reach him by e-mail at

The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006

Leader Post article - 'Band of Brothers' won't be forgotten


Gerry Krochak, The Leader-Post
Published: Thursday, November 16, 2006

It was the e-mail I was dreading, but knew was coming. Everyone who called Danny Stephenson a friend was hoping he could hang on just a while longer. But it was time to go.

After enjoying a tremendous evening of family, friendship, some of his favourite bands and an unflappable and incredible feeling of unprecedented love and brother and sisterhood during A Rock'N'Roll Show In Support Of The Stephenson Family at The Distrikt last month, Danny tried even harder to stick around for all those who cared so much. But it was time for sleep.

Just six weeks after Danny's brother, Dave, passed away from complications of the cancer he had been diagnosed with six months earlier, Danny succumbed to pancreatic cancer last Friday.

Those connected to the Regina music scene knew them both as genuine, kind people and huge supporters of live music. Buried side by side on the east side of the Regina Cemetery, they will forever be known as "A Band Of Brothers."

They were the guys you could always count on to never miss a gig. No matter what show at which venue, you were always bound to see one -- usually both. Music and the music community were the centre of both of their lives and neither would apologize for it.

Danny also played drums in The Radfords -- a two-chord punk trio which consistently boasted of its "800 pounds of twisted steel and sex appeal." His sense of humour and his smile were absolutely infectious. If you saw Danny walking toward you with that grin on his face, you knew you would be laughing at more than just his most recent facial hair experiment within moments. I think it's fair to say that Danny loved dumb funny, rather than funny funny. Those who knew him know what that means.

So wide ran his music tastes that you were just as likely to hear him listening to rootsy outlaw country as classic and punk rock. Danny loved KISS, Aerosmith, Tesla, Hammerlock, Anti-Seen, Jawbreaker, Screeching Weasel and the late-not-so-great shock rocker G.G. Allin. G.G.'s brother Merle called Danny from New York a day or two before he died and so eloquently offered up these words: "Danny, ya' scumf--k! I'm not gonna say I'm sorry or anything cause I know you're gonna kick cancer's ass!"

Merle didn't know that Danny already had kicked cancer's ass.

No matter what belief system you subscribe to, none of this has really made any sense and no one knows why Danny (33) and Dave (36) had to be taken away, leaving a huge, unwanted void in so many people's lives.

But the human spirit has already proven itself to be a force more powerful than cancer ever could be. Carol, Ken and Lisa Stephenson (Dave and Danny's parents and sister, respectively) had likely always suspected that their sons and brothers had a lot of friends, knew a lot of bands and had made some sort of impact on the people they had known.

But they really had no idea. The family of Danny and Dave Stephenson have been constantly blown away by the show of support they have experienced since being struck by the cruelest coincidence and twist of fate imaginable.

The cards, the letters, the donations and the Web site postings have lessened their pain in ways that are immeasurable. Since Danny's passing, the event that was held at The Distrikt on Oct. 20 holds even more significance. As Carol so courageously stepped up to the microphone and addressed the packed house in gratitude, it must have been abundantly clear how the lives of her children have impacted so many.

The event raised over $6,000, but now the focus will shift on helping others. You see, that great night inspired -- a Web site under development by sister Lisa and friend Sandy Olson. Every year, from now on, there will be a Band Of Brothers benefit concert which will aid cancer families and remember Danny and Dave.

Cancer can't stop that. The memory of The Band Of Brothers will live on forever.

n Gerry Krochak's column appears Thursdays in What's On. You can reach him by e-mail at

The Leader-Post (Regina) 2006