Musician, humanitarian and Current TV host Max Lugavere has a goal that is profound in its simplicity, “I want to ignite the conversation where music is the catalyst, and people can give back to the community.”
His concert charity creation, Rockdrive, is entering its third year and will take place on December 11 at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, California. The event is one that Lugavere hopes will turn into many and one that will spread into every city across the country.
A singer/songwriter who has recently seen his EP One Year Later on itunes, Lugavere says, “For a long time, I was content being a listener.” He cites Live as a band that heavily influenced him on his artistic journey, “I really cut my spiritual teeth on them.” However, once he realized he really had something to say, he picked up a guitar, learned to play and began to participate. At this year’s Rockdrive, however, Lugavere will be content participating as an active listener.
He will host this year’s Rockdrive, but he wants it to be its own thing, which is why he’s choosing not to perform at the event. He wants to remain as host and host only. By his side will be his Current TV co-host and longtime partner in crime, Jason Silva.
The two met in Miami where they made a fourteen minute documentary entitled, “Textures of Selfhood,” that Lugavere labels a “performance piece” in which he and Silva immortalized their lives in Miami while attending college there. The two produced the piece, as well as were featured in front of the camera.
The documentary caught the eye of Al Gore who was starting his own television network, Current TV, and he tapped Lugavere and Silva to be the face of the channel. Gore saw the documentary piece and thought they embodied what the channel’s mission was and what the channel stood for. After graduation, they packed up and moved to Los Angeles.
Lugavere says Current TV took a risk on him and Silva because they weren’t from LA and didn’t have the experience that typically originates there. But the two prevailed and became Current TV’s in house stars all on their own. They got their own show, Still Up, in which they were curating their own short documentaries, and they currently host the weekly show Unseen, which follows Lugavere and Silva to destinations around the world, exploring places only typically seen by locals. Lugavere says, “It’s the best network you’ve never heard of.”
Lugavere and Silva remain the Omni-present VJs for the channel, “We have a unique chemistry. Our friendship has turned into somewhat of an enterprise, so when we’re hanging out, we’re simultaneously having fun, as well as plotting our next business move.”
Lugavere finds he’s weighing his options as to what’s next. He says he sees himself more as a personality with something to say versus just being a conduit, but he in no way wants to discount where he came from, “Current TV, in a way, has raised me. It really feels like family.” In addition to focusing on his next TV move, he’s now focusing on his music and, of course, Rockdrive.
Originally, the idea to start a charity rock concert came out of one of Lugavere’s own shows when he accepted toy donations in lieu of a charge at the door. He labeled it Rockdrive because he thought the name sounded catchy and like one that should already be taken. Since it wasn’t, he got to claim ownership.
After that first show, he shelved the project for six months until he met some producers who liked the idea and wanted to support him. They helped him with the second event, which was bigger than the first, and now, Rockdrive 2010 is taking place in a venue three times the size of last years’.
The December 11th event will feature an amazing lineup of artists including Cary Brothers, Aqualung, Rocco Deluca and Angel Taylor. Proceeds will benefit Communities in Schools and the Story Project. Communities in Schools, the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization, works to create a support system within a community in order to keep students in school and help them graduate. The Story Project is an after school literacy program for at-risk youth.
Lugavere looks at Rockdrive as having two components. The first is the non-profit part and supporting local need with a focus on education. The other is his desire to empower people to host their own Rockdrive in their own hometown.
If interested in attending this year’s Rockdrive, or, even better, if you’re interested in hosting your own, check out www.rockdrive.org for details. The ultimate goal is for people to be able to register and use the website as a tool in getting artists to play at their own event because Max Lugavere really does believe that music can change the world.