Boston’s Tour for Kids - 2004
It was a beautiful day to take in the sights of Boston on September 26, 2004, but the loyal fans and supporters of the Kurth & Taylor Foundation gathered once again at Dick’s Last Resort for another in the series of "Kurth & Taylor – For the Kids" concerts.
For those who may not know that Wally Kurth, (Ned, GH) has another life as a very gifted singer/songwriter in the band Kurth & Taylor, let me share with you a part of my interview with Kurth on just how Kurth & Taylor came about.
Phyllis Tremblay: “So you met Christian Taylor 12 years ago. How did that come about?”
Wally Kurth: “He was my roommate. He was my tenant actually. I had a house in Hollywood with a guesthouse that I rented out. So he was there and he was doing his own music and I was trying to do my own thing. (Small pause.) He was working with my manager at the time, too, so we had somewhat of a business relationship. He was working in my management office and that is kind of how we met. And he just had this idea, I mean, he liked my voice and he liked my singing and he said, ‘We should sing together sometime.’ And so we did. He was working at Capital records at the time and there was a band that came in, an acoustic duo and he was wondering, ‘How did these guys get signed? Wally and I could do that!’ This is typical of the way that Christian thinks, if someone else is doing it, and then he thinks, ‘I can do that! And so, we formed as a duo and the rest is history.”
Before I tell you the scoop from the most recent Kurth & Taylor – For the Kids concert, I really want to impress upon you just how wonderful the Kurth & Taylor Foundation really is and how it all began. Again, let’s have Wally tell you himself.
PT: “How did the foundation get started?”
WK: “Basically we used to go out and raise money for the Ryan White Foundation and when they folded, we decided to keep our charitable spirit going and Ann Bonner, who used to work for the Boston Chamber of Commerce, helped us to get a 501 ( c )3 right here in Massachusetts so that we could form a non-profit. So instead of raising money for the Ryan White Foundation, we just followed it into the Kurth & Taylor Foundation. That is how it all got started. After they folded, we decided to start our own non-profit.”
PT: “Did you know Ryan?”
WK: “No, I didn’t. I knew his mother Jeannie very well.”
PT: “How is the money that is collected then dispersed? Is it nationally, regionally or randomly selected?”
WK: “When we go to a town to raise money, 75% goes to for example, in Boston, the Children’s Trust Fund, and 25% goes to the Kurth & Taylor Foundation. At the end of the year, we will have a bunch of money that we have saved through the 25% and we allocate it to other charities. We can only donate to other charities though, not individual families. But 91%, that’s ninty-one cents out of the dollar that goes to the Kurth & Taylor Foundation goes directly to the children’s services. That’s pretty impressive.”
With that said, you may be wondering why Scott Clifton, (Dillon, GH), was also attending the event this year. To be honest, I don’t really know except that he is a unique and very talented young man. When you speak of General Hospital favorite actors, Scott Clifton’s name is among them. That’s quite an accomplishment considering he has yet to celebrate his 20th birthday. I had the opportunity to interview Clifton before the Kurth & Taylor concert and after just a few questions I was totally confused. Clifton is a master at double-talk and while that came in handy during the auction segment where he provided an echo to Kurth’s every word, during this interview it became a distraction. It is very difficult to get Clifton to be serious. I did, however, talk to him about his days in drag on GH. For three weeks Clifton wore seven pair of underwear and what he described as nine-inch heels. While being a member of the GH girl band may not have showcased his musical abilities, the fans at today’s Kurth & Taylor concert were treated to a special opening act. His jokes may have been extremely corny but he delighted us with three selections from his newly released CD, “Untitled.” For more information, go to www.ScottClifton.com.
After quite a bit of whining, Clifton reluctantly left the stage so that Kurth & Taylor could be introduced. Immediately after the first few notes were played, the very faithful and knowledgeable Kurth & Taylor fans showed their appreciation. The set opened with the title selection from the Freedom CD, which is listed as Kurth & Taylor’s latest release. However, the fans that attended this concert were treated to selections from the new mini CD titled “The EP.” “The EP” contains seven original songs that truly reflect the strength and talent of this band. Ever since I put the CD in my car directly after the concert, I have not stopped playing it. It is sensational. If you log into the Flash Site of www.kurthandtaylor.com you will get to hear the selections.
At intermission time there was the auction. The money raised during the auction will help The Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) and the Kurth & Taylor Foundation. Let me reiterate was Kurth said in his interview -- 75% goes to CTF and 25% to K&T Foundation. For those of us who have participated in auctions in the past, it’s pretty much the same every time. There is an auctioneer, an item of interest and the bidding public. This year’s auction was different. It wasn’t just Kurth as an auctioneer. He got to share the stage with his on-screen brother, Clifton. And this is when the words ordinary, routine and normal got thrown out the window. It was difficult to bid on the items through the tears of laughter.
Let’s recreate the scene. While I won’t be providing a list of every auction item, you’ll get to read the antics of Scott Clifton.
The first item presented was a GH Board Game along with a book and CD. There is a photo in the gallery that shows Clifton. He wanted to open the game and start playing. Next was a lovely photo of Kurth and Clifton that was taken in San Diego. Clifton was quick to quip: “I am the wind beneath your wings.”
You may think that things are not too funny yet and that I may be exaggerating. Hold on. The next item was a Birthday Call from Clifton and a very sexy photo of when Clifton dressed in drag. “I even have cleavage, how did that happen?” “When I call you, you can call me Scootsie and I will call you Pookie.” Actually when Scott does make the birthday phone call, he said that he would beg for the photo to be returned. He is afraid that it will be posted on the Internet in a porno site. Even after the show was done, I could not even mention the photo. Clifton just continued to blurt out his double talk in his attempts to sidetrack, confuse and frustrate me. I gave up.
After three items, Clifton was obviously bored with letting Kurth do all the talking. This is where Mr. Echo came in. Every word that Kurth said was repeated by Clifton and that generated exciting results. The auction came alive and the bids got larger. The Daytime Emmy Ticket and backstage pass went for $275; a birthday call from Kurth went to two fans for $500 each and the Grand Prize Studio Tour went for a mere $3500. From my initial tally, I believe that over $7000 was collected from the auction and merchandise sales. Maybe that’s why Clifton was recruited to attend the event this year! To help raise the stakes.
The second musical set of Kurth & Taylor provided the fans with a little tradition. For the eight years that Kurth & Taylor have performed at their For the Kids concerts, the final song is Seventh Son. The moment the first note was sung, people were dancing in the aisles or in their seats. Dick’s Last Resort was rockin’.
The VIP reception, which followed the concert, was set in the Westin Copley Place hotel. The fans got to meet the entire band, which in the past was very next to impossible to do. At this time I would like to express my personal thanks to the staff of Dick’s Last Resort, Mercer Public Relations and especially Kurth & Taylor Foundation President, Tammy Uskavitch, who put together a wonderful event that everyone enjoyed.
And now, exclusively for Soapdom readers, hear Wally’s views on the new Lois, Leslie Kay, and what he would like to see develop for his character, Ned.
PT: “You have a new Lois, Lesli Kay. How is that working out?”
WK: “I LOVE working with Lesli. You know, it’s kind of kooky. It was kind of kookie at first, but I have really enjoyed working with her. I think that she’s GREAT! You know, she’s different but I replaced an actor at one time, too.”
PT: “Do you feel that you will develop an on-screen chemistry?”
WK: “Yeah, but we don’t really work together that much. It’s all about the writing. You know, they are going to write so much, and we are going do only as much as we possibly can, you know.”
PT: “What would you like to see happen for Ned on General Hospital?”
WK: “ I’d like to see more of Lois and Brook in my life. Certainly. The one thing that I would REALLY love to see is a relationship with my daughter. I really feel that that is a truly rich story. Mainly because I have a teenage daughter of my own, that I did not get a chance to grow up with day-in and day-out, so I think that it would be pretty awesome to --what’s the word I am looking for?-- sort of till that emotional soil that I am familiar with. That would be good stuff. I don’t think that there is a father -- I don’t know, I am the kind of father who wishes that I could have spent more time with her growing up.”
PT: “So, you have two girls?”
WK: “Yes, two girls, but I never got the chance to be with my oldest daughter on a day-to-day basis.”
PT: “How old is your daughter with Rena?”
WK: “She is eight. She has just turned eight in September.”
PT: “What are you and Debra expecting, and when?”
WK: “A boy, in a few months. So I have an 18 yr. old daughter, and 8 yr. old daughter and soon to have a new baby boy.”
PT: “Pretty awesome.”
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