Written by Jeremy Copp.
Ask any musician, and I’m sure they’ll agree… Rockstars and beautiful women were meant to go together. Like chocolate and peanut butter, or bacon and just about anything, the pairing of rock musicians and models just makes sense. On Saturday, November 23, the two got together for a rather noble cause, The Sweethearts Salute/Wounded Warrior Project Benefit hosted by Groove International at House of Blues in San Diego.
Sweethearts Salute is a non-profit organization founded with the sole purpose of giving back to our nation’s veterans. Started in 2011 by photographer Victoria Ortega-Allen, the pinup project sells calendars, skateboards and iPhone cases featuring pictures of their models, all of whom donate their time and energy to the cause. T-shirts, tank tops and hats with the Sweethearts Salute logo are also available for purchase. All proceeds go to the Wounded Warrior Project. Victoria and her husband Marc, who is currently serving in the Navy, fund this endeavor completely out of their pockets.
From the soulful, bluesy alt-rock of De Novo Blvd to the crunching, in-your-face metal of No Name Gang, there was a little something for everyone in the rock-n-roll genre. No Name Gang is a San Diego band to keep an eye on. Formed in 2012, their crunching riffs and energetic live shows are starting to build quite the following for the band. And of course, they are not far removed from the underlying theme of the night, as vocalist Justin Hendrick is currently serving in the Navy.
At its heart, San Diego is still a military town. As they continue to host shows at the House of Blues in San Diego, it is easy to see how the people of Groove International would continuously work with either current or former members of the military. The stage manager for the night was a former Marine. One of the models of the evening, Erin Fischer, was very adamant about being a part of the event. Her mother suffers from PTSD after two tours in Iraq and helped set up a division of Wounded Warrior at Camp Pendleton. Erin lamented the lack of awareness of PTSD and Wounded Warrior Project. Groove International founder Jon Avila agrees, noting that they have already hosted two such events this year and plan to host several more next year.
For one night, Groove International proved that musicians and models are capable of getting together to promote ideals more worthwhile than sex, drugs and rock and roll. With such dedication from those putting their time and energy into the cause, you better believe that it will continue in the future.