Stars (Including Starr) Turn Out for Ed Asner Family Center: This is one of those occasions where the cause is more important than the music. The Ed Asner Family Center offers a multitude of programs to autistic and neurodivergent people and, as a video presentation told us on Saturday night at the Orpheum Theatre, they have a sliding pay scale and never turn a family away. Therefore, a fundraising concert such as this one is invaluable.

“We are absolutely thrilled and profoundly grateful for this outstanding lineup of artists showing their support for The Ed Asner Family Center Charity Benefit Concert,” said Matthew Asner and Navah Paskowitz-Asner, The Founders of The Ed Asner Family Center in advance. “We would like to express our deepest appreciation for Steve Lukather. His passion, dedication and world-renowned talent have been an inspiration to us all and have helped bring our vision to life. It’s not just about his virtuosity as a guitarist, but also about his incredible heart. His commitment to our cause has moved us beyond words. Together, we are changing lives and making a difference for those who need it most. Thank you, Steve, for standing with us on this journey.”

Steve Lukather of Toto added, “I am honored to be a part of this event as the cause is very close to my heart. The Center has done unbelievable, incredible things for my son Bodhi. May it be a source of support for families forever.”

Lukather is a parent of an autistic child that attends programs at TEAFC, and all of the musicians donated their time. Lukather covered the production costs so all of the money raised went straight to the center.

The cause is clearly a beautiful thing, and incidentally there’s still time to bid in the auction using the QR code below.


With all of that said, there was a superb array of musical talent on display on Saturday. Pretty much all of the performing artists played three songs and then made way for the next band, starting with local rockers Hoobastank. Their anthemic single “The Reason” was the first song of the night to get the crowd singing along.

Colin Hay, formerly of Men at Work, was introduced to the stage by actor Gary Cole (who we loved in both The West Wing and VEEP among many other shows and films). Hay, playing acoustic guitar and joined only by a keyboardist, was hilarious between songs. “I like to be surrounded by instruments but just one musician,” he said. “It makes me feel secure but without the aggravation.” Hay’s three songs concluded with an enthusiastic run through MAW’s “Down Under.”

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(Scotty Silver, Silver Set Photos)

Steve Lukather played a big part in putting the whole show together, and his band Toto were magnificent. A rock/jazz fusion tune called “Jake to the Bone” featuring drum prodigy Logan Ellis Sheppard was sandwiched between Toto classics “Rosanna” and “Hold the Line.” The latter in particular was frankly banging.

Stone Temple Pilots, with Jeff Gutt fronting since 2017, were next up. The song from the Core debut — “Plush” sounded great, but it was “Vaseline” from the sophomore Purple which really got butts off of seats.

Blues man Joe Bonamassa, backed by the Toto guys, practically made his guitar talk, and then it was time for the main event. Again, Lukather and his bandmates stuck around to back a Beatle, the legendary Ringo Starr. Ringo bounded on stage and dove straight into a cover of Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox.” With his hands seemingly permanently molded into the peace sign, Starr treated us to two Beatles tunes — “Yellow Submarine” and “A Little Help From My Friends,” and then encored with a bit of his old pal John Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance.” Then he was gone, and we all drifted out on to the Downtown L.A. streets, in wonder over the fact that we’d just seen a Beatle in relatively intimate surroundings.

Stars (Including Starr) Turn Out for Ed Asner Family Center: Visit for more info.

Stars (Including Starr) Turn Out for Ed Asner Family Center























































































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