Southwest Florida Bands Unite for Scott ‘Scooby’ Bush at Backstreets Sports Bar
Increasing Pain…No Insurance…No money for rent… and no solution in sight.
That was the position local musician Scott ‘Scooby’ Bush was in earlier this summer when passing a a kidney stone became an ordeal that escalated to six surgeries and a near-death experience. Scooby is a professional musician and lead Geek in the popular Southwest Florida party Band The Geek Sqwad, and as his physical problems were mounting his inability to play for money to pay bills was fading faster than his urge to ‘jump on stage’ had.
Tyler Kluesner and other fellow Geek bandmates stood steady, by covering booked dates and chipping in their split of the gigs to help Scooby cover the bills at first…but he was getting worse.
“I really didn’t know what to do to help but knew he needed us. I called Shelly at Backstreets Sports Bar and asked if we could play on a Monday to try to raise some money to help with his rent. Shelly was cool with it but she had Mondays booked until after the rent was was due, ” said Tyler Kluesner. “Of course, we understood and before I could ask what Monday worked best, Shelly asked how much his rent was and told me to pick up a check for a thousand bucks”.
Shelly is Shelly Cranford of Backstreets Sports Bar at 915 S.E. 47th Terrace in Cape Coral, a neighborhood restaurant and bar that is known for their great pizza, that also supports and features LIVE local bands along with steel tip dart leagues and pool leagues every week. With Shelly’s support, generosity and a ‘green light’ Scoobypalooza was scheduled for Monday August 22.
“I just threw a little tease out there on the Geek Sqwad facebook page and the calls from bands and friends started coming,” said an appreciative Kluesner. “From there is was another job to do a good job putting it all together. It came off so much better than I could have ever imagined.”
So many bands came to the call that Tyler and Shelly knew it was going to get big. Three stages welcomed 13 bands and fans from all areas of Southwest Florida showed up.
“Everyone was awesome, the technical side went off really well. Jet Sound Company provided sound inside and Paul Deaver handled the acoustic stage and Joe ‘Valentine’ rand sound outside I was nervous, and wanted it to be cool for everyone, and it was. ” added Tyler who also played with Bush in a band called Dolt before forming the Geek Sqwad. I knew Scooby was in bad shape and we had to do something fast, but Shelly never flinched and stepped up by writing that check…without me ever asking or thinking that she or anyone would do that.”
The bands and the good will poured out in support for Scott ‘Scooby’ Bush and for him it was ‘overwhelming…and very emotional”.
“Emotional…but ‘Blown Away’ is a better word.Tyler, Shelly, the Geeks, all the bands…the people…” he paused, “I had no idea that this many people cared or even knew me…I was floored,” said Bush.
“The bands…man the bands were great, so many of them I just knew of. Since we all work nights and weekends it was the first time I heard many of them and whoever thinks that this area doesn’t have great music is wrong. I’ve played all over and toured and I can tell you I heard great music and we all made new friends. I am so thankful and blessed.” said Bush who claims that he feels better every day following six surgeries and two of them in one day.
By his side the entire way was Bush’s fiance Kim Jackson who managed to hold it together through it all. The bands that were scheduled were A200, Soapy Tuna, DVS, Supernatural, Sinyu, Traffic Jam, Groove Alliance, The Michael King Band, MT40, The Troublemakerz, Push, Long Story Short, Bad Banditos and Backlash along with acoustic acts. Bartenders, servers, and hundreds showed up and packed Backstreets all night long.
Beverage Underground raises a glass to the fraternity of musicians, the bands and the entire hospitality industry and all the friends, fans and supporters of nightlife, live music and safe…but fun consumption of adult beverages. For those that don’t know Scott ‘Scooby’ Bush we assure you that is sincerely a great guy that is loved by his peers and all that see see his smile and hear him play guitar.
For many attending, the news that the band 4:20 Brothers would reunite was all the prompting they needed. Kluesner along with other musicians Ronnie Zurcher, Mike Brophy and Vic Jimenz made up the wildly popular alternative-funk band that was a fixture at the former rock room, Gotham Hall in Downtown Fort Myers. The still remains one of the areas most remembered and favorite bands and Kluesner said it was another thing that kept him up nights before Scoobypalooza.
“We only had a chance to rehearse together once and hadn’t played in a while but it went great…it was really cool, and there is talk of doing it again”, said Kluesner.
The night was a charity fueled by local businesses that contributed gift certificates and merchandise that was raffled off to help offset the nearly $100,000 of medical debt that is expected when its all tallied.
Kluesner continued to show appreciation and praise everyone else in our interview and knows that his fellow Geek Sqwad partner and brother Scooby still has a way to go. “We raised some money and we’ll raise more…and just so you know, Shelly wouldn’t take the $1000 back,” added Tyler.