One for the heart 

A strange thing happened to 26-year old bass player and local rock fan Jeff Hardin this year. In a chain of events stemming from an extreme case of pneumonia, the young man almost died. To Hardin’s surprise, he learned that the virus had not attacked his lungs, but his heart, nearly destroying it. It was so damaged that Hardin had to have an emergency transplant. It was a success.

Though he’s been holed up in a Cleveland hospital bed for the last few months, Hardin’s a lucky guy. But luck doesn’t pay the hospital bills.

Old friend Lindsay Menard is at the top of the list of empathetic supporters. "We’ve been friends since high school," she says. Menard, a local music lover-novice promoter, put together a two-night fundraiser to help Hardin with the mounting medical debt. "I am happy to do it," she says. "He has insurance; it’s just not good insurance."

With the help of Alvin’s bar, Menard has booked two nights of deep-dish rockin’, food, raffles and fun. In addition to contributing the venue, Alvin’s will donate one dollar from every Jim Beam and Coke (Hardin’s favorite drink) sold.

"Friday night’s lineup is comprised mostly of Jeff’s friends’ bands," Menard says. "Natives of the New Dawn always pack in a bunch of people." Other bands to perform Friday night include in-your-face party-mongers Downtown Brown, the Chasers, the Furious Styles, Boys in Suits and Joiya (Hardin’s brother’s band). Saturday’s lineup offers up some of the D’s heavier hitters, including Heads Will Roll, Ganon, Carolina, Rescue, the Sirens and Holy Fire.

Melody Baetens, local music scribe and Sirens lead guitar player, was shocked to hear about Hardin’s ordeal. She’s known Harden since high school and remembers a very important meeting. "It was at the 1994 Lakeview High School talent show," Baetens says. "I remember Jeff and Eric Herbon played ‘Fade to Black’ by Metallica with just bass and guitar. Jeff was the coolest guy in the world to me that day. Soon after that, I went out and bought an instrument." Now Baetens can repay the favor.

While all of the musicians are happy to donate their time, Menard is the brains behind this event. Without pause, she says that her hard work is well worth the effort. "This is the kind of thing Jeff would have done for anyone. He is really that kind of a guy. He’d give you the shirt off of his back."


Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4. Alvin’s, 5756 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-4577. $15 for a two-day pass or $10 each night.

Eve Doster is the listings editor for Metro Times. Send comments to

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