Steve Hideg - Help for an old drummer
Great story by Steve Lopez from LA Times, about a great American, 86 year old Itsvan "Steve" Hideg. Immigrated from Hungary after WWll, fulfilled his life's passion and become a jazz musician, drummer, bandleader. Not a gold rush for everyone in Cali, now living in LA, $1000/mth apartment on $900 /mth SS. Plays little gigs in LA, dressed to the nines, smile on his face, not one complaint. I can't do this justice, please read Steve Lopez' article/watch Francine Orr's video.
Imagine what just a couple of hundred dollars a month would do for this guy. Thanks for any (and I mean any) help. Tim Lawler.
**Update 9/9/17** Quick Steve update. This guy keeps getting more and more gigs. Mentioned about three weeks ago Steve was asked to participate in a musical charity event for high schools. This event, EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live, was on prime-time on all major networks across the US last night. They did a cool version of "Come Together" with every type of musical talent out there (young and old). Our guy Steve got his 4 seconds (at 46 secs in the 4 min video below). Hell, Ringo only got about 20 secs, U2, 15 secs; so we'll take it... Tim
Hi all. Seems like a good time for a Steve update. Just got back to SF (brother Bill and I visited Steve and the band on Fri night). Great night, huge turn-out for Steve. Phillip Williams and his band really put on a show, including Gary Bivona and three other horns masters. Three hour show at Callender's Grill, a great time was had by all.
Couple of super fans showed up including Howard Brodwin who had Steve sign his "Super Drummers" skin, which included royalty of the drum world (and now Steve). Also another great fan presented Steve with a beautiful framed version of the LA Times article. Francine Orr (LA Times Photographer) who helped spearhead this whole thing (and took those great photos and video) was also on hand for the celebration, plus Meals on Wheels (also part of the team).
I tried to load some pics on here as well as some vids I took (have included some links to the vids on YouTube). Steve is a rock star down there; extremely grateful and a very happy man. I'm just happy to be a FOB now... Everyone who has donated or will donate should have a big smile on their face. Was a whirlwind weekend, plus Mayweather fight at a great LA sports bar on Sat; I'm beat; but happy. Thanks to all again, mission accomplished... :) Again, if doable, maybe visit here from time to time, add $5 here and there, spread the word... and a remember, "Find your Steve..." Tim
Bill, Steve and Tim (basically Steve in a Lawler sandwich)
Howard Brodwin had Steve sign his Super Skin (drumming royalty, now including Steve).
A Super Fan presenting Steve with a great framed version of LA Times article.
Some of the "Enablers"... Phillip Williams (Steve's bandleader), Bill, Sara (Meals on Wheels), Francine (LA Times Photographer), Tim
The Crew in action...
**Update 8/17/17 1:53 PM PDT**
Hi all, another update. Chatted with Steve again today. He's hot news in SoCal (even for LA). Numerous charity and social services/orgs have reached out to him in the past week or so, offering assistance, friendship and even some gigs. Tomorrow he is the guest drummer for charity gig in LA (involving Samuel L Jackson, Viola Davis and others). He's literally practicing "Come Together" (Beatles) right now, thinks he'll be ready to perform it for tomorrow’s gig (not an easy piece to learn). Plus, from the LA Times article, this GoFundMe site, and word of mouth, etc, he's been invited to sit in/record with various artists and studios around LA. I told him he's more famous now than 40 years ago. We'll probably end up seeing him on the MTV Awards... ;)
His funds have pushed to his bank account; plus the GFM account will be swept once a week and dumped into his bank account. I don't know what he's more happy about, the money (definitely) or the outreach/attention (he can't believe it).
As I stated earlier, Phillip Williams and his band (Steve, drummer), not playing this Friday at Callender's Grill on Wilshire in LA (closed for renovations); but will definitely be playing next Fri 8/25. My brother Bill and I are heading down to catch him. Would welcome the chance to meet any of you.
That's it for now. As I mentioned, stop by every once and a while, check the account, drop in $5-10 if doable. Actually, the way he's going, Steve may set up a GFM account for us and fund it... Tim
**Update 8/9/17 2:27 PM PDT**
$17K+, Funds to date have pushed to Steve's account, future donations will push weekly. Please come back and visit from time to time. One less latte per month could go a long way for Steve... Tim
**Update 8/7/17 11:58 AM PDT**
North of $10K... amazing. Spoke with Mr Hideg (Steve) a few hours ago, he can't believe this (and that's when it was $6.7K); again, he said he can't thank everyone enough and welcomes all to visit with the band. He now knows he has friends out there and is loved... He's not too tech savy so I'm working with some of his trusted advisors who can help him set up access to GFM to input his bank account info to draw down the funds. Also, I've set up an email address for him:
I'll manage it until we can find a way for him to access emails. Told him a lot of people want to connect with him, told him this is the best way (he wants to learn). If you want to send him an email, go ahead; I will monitor it and give him access when he's ready. Tim
**Update 8/6/17 6:04PM PDT**
My brother Bill and I just chatted with Mr Hideg. Super nice man (just like video). He can't believe this was set up for him and can't believe all of the people that care and have contributed so far. He wanted to personally pass on his thanks. I'm contacting GFM in the morning to see the best way to pass these proceeds to Steve (he doesn't have an email, etc). He has many friends that will assist; we'll take care of him. Thanks to all again. If there's such a thing as karma, you all have a bunch of it now... Tim
**Update 8/6/17 1:35PM PDT**
My brother Bill spoke with Phillip Williams (pianist in article that works with Steve). He mentioned this whole thing to Steve and he is thrilled and grateful. We are going to call Steve later today to set up how best to get him these funds. Keep passing the word...
Hope it's not necessary, but just in case, I'm a real person (not a Russian bot): https://www.linkedin.com/in/tim-lawler/
**Message from Tim on 2/8/17**
Hi all, Tim (Steve's original GFM organizer) here. I’m sure you’ve all seen Steve‘s recent note about the hearing loss. I mentioned way back when, to all of you very generous donors, may be necessary to occasionally stop back here for some additional help for Steve. As you know, and I’ve gotten to know over the past six months, he’s a humble guy. It’s criminal that a musician like Steve is losing his hearing. I did some quick off-the-cuff math; if all 328 original donors average a $17 donation, the drummer gets his hearing back, simple as that... I’ve covered three via $50. Anything you can give will help. As always, thanks. Tim
We had already gotten off to a good start, and had been able to give some up-close experiences to several disabled and sick children. (One highlight was Louie offering a visually-impaired girl a chance to feel and play the upright bass, experiencing the fusion of sound and touch on an instrument twice her size.)
About halfway through our set, a mother brought her child up close to where we were performing. He started moving a lot more and making some sounds, and I asked if he was all right. "Oh, yes. He loves it!" replied his mother. "He is a drummer, too!"
Suddenly, the Hospital's fire alarm went off and we were made to evacuate the building in the middle of our set, leaving our instruments behind. A small fire had broken out in the basement of the hospital (see https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Fire-Evacuation-of-Childrens-Hospital-Los-Angeles-521624791.html ).
The hospital staff and the fire department handled the situation perfectly. We were so very grateful to these heroes for getting the situation under control professionally and quickly. Although it was a very hectic scene, we were all kept safe and shaded as we waited outdoors.
The mother of the young drummer stayed and talked to us, and asked to take a picture together for us to share. She mentioned how very important it is to have music events in the hospital and how big a difference music therapy has made in her son's life. She showed us pictures of her son playing the drums with a band. Drumming is mental, physical, and spiritual therapy for me, too, and helped me to live my best life, so I felt a sense of spiritual brotherhood with this young man and was very touched.
Eventually, the hospital was reopened and we were all able to head home safely. Thankfully, there were no injuries from the fire and no children were in danger. We're already booked to finish our interrupted concert in the first part of October – and we'll wear the same fun clothes (as requested by our coordinator Cynthia) to brighten the children's day.
Thank you all for your ongoing donations and support that allows me to continue my musical activities! This is how we are able to continue these free concerts while I keep the bills paid and the lights on.
I wanted to wish all of you a very happy Fourth of July. This holiday takes special meaning for me as a refugee from the 1956 Hungarian revolution. The price we paid in Hungary for our freedoms was made all the more clear to me when I came to the United States and was able to make some of my wildest dreams come true. America turned out to be exactly as I had imagined it from behind the Iron Curtain. I am proud to be a Hungarian-born American, and owe my thanks to the good people of this country who welcomed me with open arms and never let me down.
One of the songs I hold dear to me is Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." I'm also fond of "Yankee Doodle Dandy." I hope your holiday will be fun and full of love and music as we remember the ideals and dreams that gave birth to our society.
I hope your Springtime has been wonderful.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you all so much for your continued support. It warms my heart to know that our campaign is still going strong. As you probably know, rent and cost of living are both increasing rapidly, and every contribution you make helps me to keep going. The support you've given so far towards my medical and living expenses has been a godsend, and is always appreciated.
I'm happy to say that I have booked another charity gig (with the Continentals, my Hungarian-American trio) for this August at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. I'll keep you all posted as the date approaches and will be sure to share some photos of the event as always. I'm also putting together a collection of recordings from the Continentals that I will let you know about soon.
I hope that the Summer ahead is fun and exciting for all of you.
Your donations made yet another concert at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles possible this April 1st. Although it was April Fools' Day, we took the responsibility of sharing music with the children very seriously. Special thanks to my fellow Budapest jazz brothers Lou Kaboc (who I went to high school with!) on the bass, and Prof. Emeritus of LA City College Laszlo Cser on the piano. The three of us form a trio I call "The Continentals" because we are all from the Continent of Europe.
We love playing for the Children at CHLA and are already in talks to perform at another volunteer gig this summer. At our recent concert, a young mother brought her toddler over to the drumset. I handed him my brushes and we taught him how to play the cymbals. Even though he's not yet old enough to speak, he now knows how to express himself through music!
These are the moments that you make possible for me and for the community by helping me to continue to cover my expenses and the high costs of living in this beautiful, hopeful city. Thank you for giving whatever you can, whenever you can, in order to support my work.