Heartbreakers Reunion Set for Stephen Stills’ Autism Benefit Show
Stephen Stills is bringing his Light Up the Blues autism benefit concert back to Los Angeles in April — and this year's lineup will feature the Heartbreakers playing without late frontman Tom Petty, as well as a reunion between Stills and his longtime on-again, off-again partner Neil Young.
As Stills told Rolling Stone, it was actually Young who inspired him to make sure Light Up the Blues happened this year. The two spoke after Young ceded involvement in the Bridge School, the Bay Area organization that benefited from a series of all-star acoustic concerts that became a local tradition, and Young urged Stills to carry on.
"He said, 'Stephen, man, we gotta do Light Up the Blues again,'" Stills recalled. "He said, 'Look, I'm out of the Bridge School. And now it's over to you.' I watched how he did the Bridge School benefits and I got great lessons from it."
Stills and his wife Kristen took 2017 off from hosting Light Up the Blues in order to "focus and expand our fundraising campaign efforts," but vowed at the time that the event would return in 2018 — a promise they're fulfilling with a lineup that's set to include Young and Sheryl Crow, as well as Judy Collins, with whom Stills recently teamed for the Stills & Collins LP, all backed by a house band featuring members of the Heartbreakers. Actor and musician Jack Black will serve as the emcee.
As in years past, proceeds will benefit Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to "promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the life span." It's a cause that's obviously near and dear to Stephen and Kristen Stills, whose 21-year-old son Henry was diagnosed with autism when he was 3.
"The reason we started Light Up the Blues was out of the void of me not having to be micromanaging Henry so much, as he was finally in a good place," Kristen pointed out. "Stephen and I wanted to give back to families that don’t have time and resources to make their kid's life a full-time job with lots of overtime."
Tickets for this year's Light Up the Blues, scheduled to be held April 21 at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, will first be made available via a special pre-sale starting today, and are set to go on sale to the public Jan. 19. For more information, visit Ticketmaster.