Gadi’s Bar & Grill April 13, 2019 2 p.m.

By Noe Gutierrez

Recently in Joshua Tree, Champion, a pit bull mix, was shot in the face with buckshot and beaten so badly he was taken to Malibu Coast Animal Hospital for surgery to remove the pellets that were embedded into his skull and several teeth that had to be removed due to the severe beating he endured. The High Desert, Coachella Valley and Orange County music communities are as strong as ever and are rallying around Champion by organizing a benefit concert where 100% of the proceeds will go to covering the ongoing medical treatment for Champion. Three pieces of buckshot remain deep-seated in his skull and still have to be removed. The show will take place at Gadi’s Bar & Grill and is ALL AGES! Suggested donation is $10 but the organizers will gladly take any amount that you are able to give. Gadi’s is located at 56193 Twenty Nine Palms Highway (Highway 62) in Yucca Valley, California. The show will begin at 3 p.m. with acoustic artist Dana Larson and close out with desert metallers ORMUS! The full line-up:

3 p.m. – Dana Larson (acoustic)

4 p.m. – Jetta King (acoustic/electric)


4:45 p.m. – Desert Queens (AKA Sticky Doll acoustic)

5:30 p.m. – Perlüm (classic rock covers)

6:15 p.m. – Firebug (acoustic/electric)

7 p.m. – Karr (alternative rock)

8 p.m. – Frozen Charlotte (gothic rock)

9 p.m. – Call Upon Your Gods (melodic death metal)

10 p.m. – Instigator (desert thrash metal)

11 p.m. – Ormus (desert metal)

Coachella Valley Weekly is supportive of benefit organizer Greg Gendron and friends stepping up to help Champion. We spoke with Greg for the backstory and a few of the artists performing to get their take on the show and feelings about the resilient Champion.

Greg Gendron (Desert Queens & event organizer):

“So one day I get a text from my singer Cynna’s sister who is in Oregon saying ‘have you seen this?’ It was a link to a post by a mutual Facebook friend on March 11th that was asking for help for this poor dog who was found shot in the face point blank and had prior been brutally beaten in the head. Shortly after, I saw the article in the Desert Star all about the incident and life threatening seriousness of the dog’s injuries and the help needed with donations to cover the absorbent veterinary cost. The woman who found the dog on her property made a call to the founder of Animal Authority Rescue Team (AART), Kristal Mackie. She is a one-woman show who helps rescue many animals in need out here in the High Desert. Kristal was the one who went to get Champion, (which was on a weekend after hours so no regular vet up here was open), and got him the special service down the hill he needed in order to have a chance to live.”

“When I read the post in the news article I was so infuriated, I was beside myself with anger and really felt like I wanted to do something. I don’t have a lot of money but I do have a band, and I am a major animal lover. I knew that we could do something to raise some money somehow. So I put together the April 13th benefit at Gadi’s and reached out to all my STICKYFEST bands and personal friends I have here in the High Desert and made it happen.”

“According to the event page on Facebook it’s going to be largely attended which means hopefully a lot of good donations for Champion’s surgeries and medical after-care bills which are over $5,000! 100% of proceeds will go directly to his medical bills and AART. We hope you can come out and help however you can, even if it means just being there and having the awareness of what goes on in our community, and the importance of reporting any time you see ANY type of animal abuse.”


“Here’s what we’ve gotta say, we’ve always had a real great experience working with Greg on gigs and events in general. Not to mention the ultimate bad-ass-ery of events like Stickyfest itself!”

“With regards to animal rights, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no reasonable opposition as to why animals shouldn’t be treated kindly and with respect! The fact that our local music scene can come together for such a great cause, following such a dramatic example of pure animal abuse, is a great quality in itself. Cheers to our scene for coming together!”


“We were asked by Greg if we were available to perform at the benefit for Champion and of course we said yes! We are against animal abuse! It is cruel and most of all evil to inflict such suffering on an animal, in this case Champion the dog. We are happy the proceeds from this benefit will go to covering the medical expenses for Champion’s recovery.”

Call Upon Your Gods:

“As for our participation, Greg happened to catch our first show at The Hood last month and was impressed with our performance. We were more than happy to accept his request for us play the benefit for Champion. This will be our second gig ever so we are planning a special treat for our set.”

“As for animal rights, everyone in the band are animal lovers. We all have pets. Animal rights are just as important as human rights. Every living creature deserves respect. It was heartbreaking seeing the photos and hearing about the terrible things that happened to Champion. So this benefit is really something special and we hope to see all our friends and family out for this one.”


“We can honestly say that animal abuse isn`t something we tolerate. It goes without saying, that it’s cruel, evil, immoral, and all else that applies. We are gratefully proud to be part of this event in support of such a great cause. It’s a cause to aid Champion’s medical expenses, and it’s a cause in the fight against animal abuse, and to extend and solidify animal rights.

”We only wish for the kind of abuse Champion received to cease. It’s awful to see a living creature be tortured like Champion was. Whether it’s a deer, raccoon, dog, or cat, no one deserves such treatment. The person who hurt Champion will be brought to justice!”

Dana Larson:

“Animal rights are just as important as human rights. We, as a species, wouldn’t be here without animals. They have provided a broad number of things, which allowed not just our survival, but quality of life. Throughout history, we’ve used them for such things as food, clothing, protection, transportation and companionship. Dogs are especially close to us. They lead the blind, detect seizures, go into combat, and bring comfort to the sick and dying, and on and on. And they ask for so little in return! In that regard, animals deserve our respect, love and protection. I’m participating in the benefit for animal rights because I want to raise awareness about animal abuse. It’s not a pleasant subject, one most people would rather not think about. But we all need to be on the lookout for animal abuse and do everything we can to stop it. It’s a cause I gladly give my efforts to.”

Jetta King, Nick Hales & Tyler Ontiveros:

“We’re all animal lovers. We all have multiple critters in our homes. I have five myself! From what I hear, Champion is recovering well, so it’s already a win. Gonna be an awesome day of music I reckon!”

If you are unable to attend, please donate at this link: