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The Stone Doctors poised to rock Bangor’s Waterfront on the Fourth of July

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The Stone Doctors poised to rock Bangor’s Waterfront on the Fourth of July (photo by Jeanne Caron)

BANGOR - For the first time in years, Bangor’s Fourth of July celebration on the waterfront is set to include live music on the biggest stage in the area during “Chords for Cure XXV,” a free three-part concert that is scheduled to feature the first performance from The Stone Doctors in more than two years. That group, along with Dakota and the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, is planning to provide a celebratory and diverse evening of music at the newly renovated Maine Savings Amphitheater on the Bangor Waterfront.

“Chords for Cure XXV” is sponsored by Kiwanis International with generous support from Bangor Savings Bank and Waterfront Concerts.

The Stone Doctors is a band of medical professionals that specializes in the music of The Rolling Stones. The group performs only for charity and has so far raised approximately $450,000 to benefit children fighting cancer since the band formed in Montreal in the summer of 2001, according to guitarist Ian Dickey.

Dickey, formerly of Bangor, is an orthopedic surgeon in research and development for the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, asst. Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Colorado system, and a project director for Newman Guitars.

Dickey is considered the Keith Richards of The Stone Doctors. Not only does he play like Richards, he owns one of the legend’s most iconic amplifiers which is currently on loan to the Gibson Garage flagship location in Nashville. You’ll find the story of how Dickey acquired Richards’ 1977 Mesa Boogie amplifier in the April 13 issue of The Maine Edge.

Most of The Stone Doctors live and work in Montreal which is where the band formed and played their first show in July of 2001.

After completing training and moving on to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Dickey struck upon the idea of combining his love of music with a desire to make things a little better for people who were struggling.

A move to Bangor in 2005 positioned Dickey within driving distance of the rest of the band in Montreal which allowed the group to schedule a series of fundraising concerts each year as The Stone Doctors. The group’s planned performance in Bangor on July Fourth will be their 25th benefit show. The concert will be free to all attendees. Volunteers will be present in the audience for those who would like to make a contribution of any amount.

“In the immortal words of The Grateful Dead, what a long strange trip it’s been,” Dickey says with a laugh.

He also says it’s a good feeling to know that the work the band puts into each show, including travel and rehearsal time, has helped a lot of kids going through a very difficult time in their lives.

Dickey says the donations from concertgoers are used in the most practical ways.

“The idea is to cover logistical things that often get overlooked,” he says. “Young kids can become malnourished during treatment because they sometimes become nauseous. The tube feedings, or the feeding boosts with canned concentrates, are not covered by insurance. Something as simple as providing nourishment is one of our goals.”

Dickey says funds from one of The Stone Doctors concerts on the Bangor Waterfront were used to purchase appropriately sized chairs for kids receiving IV treatment at the Cancer Care of Maine facility in Brewer.

Concertgoers may contribute with cash or digitally using a QR code.

Though he lives in Colorado these days, Dickey says he is still very much involved with the planning of Bangor’s Independence Day celebration along with Tony Bernatche and Michael Fern as part of Bangor’s Fourth of July Corporation. He says he is grateful for the ongoing support of the Kiwanis Club when it comes to making Bangor’s Fourth of July celebration possible.

“One thing most people don’t realize is that it’s not all put on by the city of Bangor. They certainly support it, but the details have to be taken care of by a volunteer group like the Kiwanis. They have a huge history of helping this community. It allows us to double our efforts to help children at the cancer facility in Brewer.”

The music on July Fourth at Maine Savings Amphitheater is scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. with an opening set from the Bangor-based band Dakota, fronted by father and son Vinny and Dylan Cormier.

The Stone Doctors are scheduled to take the stage at 6:30 p.m.

The Bangor Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to perform at 8:35 during a concert that will coincide with the fireworks display.

According to Dickey, The Stone Doctors and The Bangor Symphony Orchestra will collaborate at one point during the show, but he says the planned song (or songs) will remain a secret.

Dickey says this will be his band’s fourth appearance on the Waterfront Concerts stage.

“It’s an incredible feeling to play on that stage,” Dickey says. “You get an adrenalin rush just walking onto it. Keith Richards used to joke that once you play on a stage of that magnitude, that’s when God joins the band (laughs). There are variables you can’t control like weather and wind.”

Those variables turned out to be the hand of fate on July 4, 2021 when 12 hours of heavy rain before the show forced The Stone Doctors to pull the plug a couple of hours before the curtain was due to open.

The pandemic wiped out the celebration in 2020 which means it’s been three years since Bangor has had a proper Fourth of July shindig. Dickey says that drought has motivated The Stone Doctors to put everything they’ve got into the upcoming edition of “Chords for Cure.”

“We are so ready for this,” he says. “The last time The Stone Doctors rang out a cacophonous chord was March 12, 2020, at Sugarloaf. We want to encourage everyone in the community from all walks of life to come together to celebrate the Declaration of Independence and to celebrate the community itself, and the ongoing recovery from the financial and mental blows of the last couple of years.”

Last modified on Thursday, 30 June 2022 06:33


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