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Barenaked Ladies to perform for injured student

By HEATHER HARE, Democrat & Chronicle, November 8th, 2003.

The band will sing for donations for Anthony Salmon.

A Wilson Magnet High School student seriously injured during a September football game has found some friends in the Canadian pop band the Barenaked Ladies.

Infinity Broadcasting radio station WPXY-FM (97.9) asked the band, which will play a sold-out show at the Auditorium Center on Wednesday, whether it would perform a private show for about 100 of the station's listeners earlier that day. Those attending would be asked to make a donation to assist 17-year-old Anthony Salmon.

The band said it would be happy to help.

"Clearly, this means a lot to the community, and that's why they decided to participate," said Jim Baltutis, spokesman for the band.

"It's pretty much a no-brainer because that's the kind of people they are."

Patricia Taylor, Anthony's mother, said Friday she has been overwhelmed by the community's support since Anthony was injured. She said she was touched by the private concert idea, even though she doesn't know if Anthony listens to the pop group.

"He listens to a lot of music, so I don't know," she said with a laugh.

Jeff Lyons, marketing director for WPXY, said the station's morning staff began talking about Anthony soon after his injury. Anthony, a defensive back, suffered a broken neck and a spinal cord injury as he made a tackle in a game against McQuaid Jesuit High School in Brighton on Sept. 26. He is now at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, where he is expected to stay for up to six months.

Lyons said the morning staff continued to talk about Anthony after he left for Chicago on Oct. 31. "They were talking about the incredible mounting expenses with the rehabilitation and all the equipment," he said. The radio station then called the publicist for the Barenaked Ladies.

Lyons said the only way to get tickets to the show at the Downstairs Cabaret Theatre is to listen to WPXY "for chances to win." He said people would be encouraged to give what they can for Anthony.

The five men in the band have a history of philanthropy, including fundraising for leukemia after band keyboard player Kevin Hearn was diagnosed with the form of cancer in 1998. The band also has asked fans to donate boxes of macaroni and cheese—traditionally thrown at the stage when the band sings one of its song with a line about "Kraft dinner" in it—to food pantries.