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Pumpkins hold benefit show for musician

July 28, 2010 7:55:25 AM PDT
Chicago musician Matthew Leone was badly beaten when he came to the aid of woman who was being attacked.The Smashing Pumpkins played a benefit concert Tuesday night for Leone at the Metro on North Clark.

Support for Matthew Leone has been coming in from all over the world, according to his brother, and more events are planned for next month to help raise money for his medical bills. One event is an auction where artists like Madonna and Lady Gaga and others have donated items, but Tuesday night's event is special because the Smashing Pumpkins inspired the Leones to become musicians.

"I'm the type of person that I have to go all the way to the end so I got my band involved and here we are," said Billy Corgan, lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins.

Corgan wanted to do everything he could to help Leone, a fellow musician who was brutally beaten after trying to help a woman being beaten by her husband. Corgan has never met Leone, a bassist in Medina Lake, but heard about what happened through a mutual friend.

"Just the ability to lend my energy and my band to helping this young man with these big medical bills and it was just so simple for me, it wasn't anything I had to think about," said Corgan.

It means the world to Matthew's twin brother and bandmate Nathan who says the first days after the attack was the worst period in his life.

"He doesn't recognize you and he doesn't know where he is and doesn't know what happened," said Nathan Leone.

Matthew has had two brain surgeries and is showing signs of improvement but he has no insurance. The band was on tour a couple of months ago when it ran out.

"We have no idea what the hospitals bills are ultimately going to be. The rough estimates between 200, 250 up to $500,000," said Leone.

The concert is not just about helping with finances.

"When somebody does the right thing, we have to back them up," said Corgan.

Hours before the band took the stage, their fans lined up around the block, excited to see their favorite band and to take part in a worthwhile cause.

"It's great to support each other," said Chris Wells, Smashing Pumpkins fan

"I think the Pumpkins are raising awareness by doing this show. And I would have never heard about the cause had it not been for the concert," said Syed Ahmed, Smashing Pumpkins fan.

So far ticket sales to Tuesday night's concert have raised $60,000 which will go to the Matthew Leone fund. Governor Pat Quinn briefly took the stage after the concert to proclaim Tuesday Matthew Leone Day.


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