Sonoma celebrates the life of Michael Hinton

“I don't want a bunch of people standing around crying over me. I want a party, people talking and playing music and being glad they knew me!”

Those were the words local musician Michael Hinton used when asked what to do if something didn’t go well with his fight against bladder cancer. Unfortunately, things did not go well, and Hinton passed on Aug. 1, 2013, but in respect for his wishes, a party will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building, kicking off at 1 p.m. The list of musicians Hinton played with in his life is far too long to list here, but includes names like Jerry Garcia, Pete Sears, Norton Buffalo, Country Joe, Paul Butterfield and many more. Hinton was raised in Sonoma and legend has it his first band, Blue Smoke, went off to the battle of the bands in Santa Rosa and as a bunch of teenagers, won the event over bands with members that were 15 years their age. Local harmonica legend Dave Chavoya said of Hinton, “Once we heard him play, we knew he wasn’t going to be around here long.”

And that was true, even though Hinton stuck around the Bay Area with most of his acts, he also traveled the world with them. Saturday’s show will feature a combination of musicians, many from his past acts and some from the acts he was currently with at the time of his untimely death. The day kicks off with Keystone Revisited at 1 p.m. that features Tony Saunders, Bill Vitt, Mitch Stein, Stu Allen and guests Tommy Thomsen and Mike Emerson. The Mike Hinton Band will be up next, with members to be announced at showtime, followed by the Barry Melton Band with Barry Melton, Peter Albin, Banana, Roy Blumenfeld, Brad Jenkins and guests Dave Aguilar, David LaFlamme, Linda LaFlamme, Oscar Mooneyhan and Chris Owen. The event is free and open to the public, but there will be plenty of opportunities to donate to a fund to support his children.

Sonoma local Eva Sapper will be performing along with other “Everybody is a Star” performers at the Sunday Blues Brunch to benefit Bread and Roses at the Hard Rock Cafe at Pier 39 in San Francisco on Sunday, Oct. 27, at 11 a.m. Also on the bill is Mark Hummel, Nick Gravenites and Ron Thompson. Everybody is a Star provides special needs youth with a greater sense of self-esteem, confidence and success by creating opportunities to learn from and work with professionals in the music, film and live production industries to create recordings, videos and performances in which they are heard and seen as the true stars they are. Tickets and more info can be found at everybodystar.org.

The El Verano Inn plans another epic punk rock show on Saturday, Oct. 26, that is also a Halloween party. The evening features six acts, kicking off with Twat, followed by Bobby Hollywood and the Quitters, the Randumbs, Workin’ Stiffs, Pressure Point and finally the Roadside Bombs. There is a small cover at the door for the show that kicks off at 8 p.m.

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