Punk Legends the Adolescents Set to Headline Kelly Thomas Memorial Concert

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John Gilhooley
With the one-year anniversary of the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas on July 5, 2011 at the hands of Fullerton police approaching, the Adolescents will headline a free outdoor concert in his memory. The legendary local band that got its start more than three decades ago in the city will be joined by other local musical acts on July 7 at the Downtown Plaza in front of the Fullerton Museum Center.

Details of the event were being finalized last night at a meeting overseen by Kelly's father, Ron Thomas. Members of the Adolescents already signaled their willingness to participate long ago, but now the word is free to be spread far and wide.

"Steve Soto, who I had seen at the protests, said he got the importance of what we were doing, and that he would like to do the show, but that he needed to run it by lead singer Tony Cadena," says Stephan Baxter, a Fullerton resident who is helping to organize the effort. "Two days later I got a text from Tony saying they were in and to tell them when to show up. No questions, no requirements, no money."

The show, scheduled to run from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m., will also feature the musical talents of Alevela, 80 Proof, Mr. Mirainga, The New School Kings, No Vanquished and Julian Porte rounding out the lineup. Many of the performers lent their talent to a similar concert held last September, but this year it's being stepped up and timed closer to the anniversary.

The memorial concert is also a benefit food and clothing drive. Those planning on attending are encouraged to bring non-perishable items such as canned foods, clothing, blankets, and toiletries. All proceeds from auctions, raffles, and donations will go directly to the Kelly Thomas Memorial Fund, a non-profit started by the Thomas family last year to assist the homeless population of Orange County.

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