The Be Loud! Sophie Foundation holds in-person annual concert this Saturday
The foundation works with the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to support teenagers and young adults facing overwhelming illness. It's named to honor the memory of Sophie Steiner, a Chapel Hill teenager who died of cancer in 2013, and was founded by her parents Niklaus and Lucy Steiner.
The concert, called 'Be Loud! Calling' will feature four bands covering The Clash's 1980 masterpiece "London Calling." Each band will play one side of the double album. The bands are local supergroup Preesh!, punk legends Pine, John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff, and a reunited Snatches of Pink who haven't played together since the 1990s.
Andrew McMillan from Snatches of Pink and Niklaus Steiner from the Be Loud! Sophie Foundation joined me recently to talk about the festivities.
Niklaus, I'm told "London Calling" is one of your all-time favorite records.
Niklaus Steiner: The Clash was definitely one of my very favorite bands of all time and we thought, 'Well wouldn't that be amazing if we could somehow pay tribute to this amazing album by this amazing band ... and so it's just so wonderful to be able to do this and with these four amazing bands that are also friends of ours.
What's your favorite Clash song, Andy?
Andrew McMillan: I'd have to go with 'Revolution Rock' which is a cover song that they sort of completely transformed. And it's a really feel-good kind of thing and appropriate for Be Loud! I think.
How has the foundation adjusted with the pandemic making health care even more challenging over the past year-and-a-half with crowded hospitals?
Steiner: Yeah, it's been extraordinarily rough for the team to do their work, of course even harder for the young adults that they see. One thing that they discovered is that technology even though of course, it's not as good as seeing patients in person, did have an upside because some young adults were just finding it too hard to come for a checkup, driving two and a half hours from Roanoke Rapids or whatever. But telemedicine has helped a lot.
As you might remember, we started this just thinking we would focus on teenagers. But then when Lauren Lux, who is the program director of the UNC Gateway program started working five years ago, she quickly realized that the young adults in their 20s and 30s we're even a larger population, the young parents who have children, the mother who is sick and needs help taking care of them, or the soldier from Fort Bragg.
So it's grown tremendously in terms of the age population we've covered. And therefore the team has grown. We were just that one person five years ago, and just this summer, we're now at seven. Lucy and I are so amazed and grateful that this is now being recognized as one of the most comprehensive and largest programs in the country.
Did Sophie like The Clash or was that her dad's band?
Steiner: Sophie was loud and she definitely appreciated The Clash. But she was fun, she enjoyed a lot of my music. She was a huge Beatles fan. She had a wide range, she loved REM, but she loved ABBA, 'Mamma Mia' was a big hit in our family we'd watched that movie many, many times. So from The Clash to the Beatles to REM to ABBA, Sophie did it all.