Two years ago my friends and I lost a beautiful man. Weege (pronounced wee-jh) was a fantastic musician with a kind heart. His guitar playing was akin to Keith Richards, Ace, Mick Ronson and other greats whose posters peppered the walls of many kids of the 80s.
When Weege passed, I felt a deep urge to push his gift of musicality and possibly fulfill his deepest desires. Within weeks the Weege Viggiano Scholarship Benefit was born. Many of Weege’s closest and devout friends put on show at a NJ club and raised about $4,000.00 for a scholarship in his name. The money went directly to the Red Bank School of Rock and helped support kids who couldn’t afford to attend the SOR without some assistance. The show was so good and so important to us that we did it again last year (and raised about $3500.0). And we will do it every year until we can no longer. In fact, we are about to launch our website and will soon become a 501c3 and offer more to aspiring SOR kids who share our love of rock music.
The takeaway for me has been the incredible value I place on the School of Rock. There are so many SORs out there and nearly all of them offer a chance for a kid to learn not only performance, but the intricacies of making music, the intimacy of unspoken language, and real accountability (you gotta know your parts). I value SOR so much that my long-term desire is to own a SOR and teach kids what I learned so many years ago when I started playing in a band and performing.
I do miss Weege an awful lot. Not one day passes without a song from him haunting my memories. But that’s a good thing. And with any luck and a little fortune, Weege’s life and grace will haunt my future SOR kids.