Organizers of last night's Perkins Possibilities Gala pulled out all the stops, getting the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir to play a few tunes with the student chorus at the Perkins School for the Blind. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was a surprise guest, flying in specially to perform as part of the school's annual fund-raiser. The sweet-sounding set, which Weir rehearsed with the kids earlier in the day, included "Uncle John's Band," "Sugar Magnolia," and "Ripple." Why Weir? Celts CEO Wyc Grousbeck, whose son attends Perkins and whose wife, Corinne, cochaired the event, is a Deadhead from way back. (Weir will be Wyc's guest and sing the national anthem at tonight's Celts/Cavs game at the Garden.)
The guest list for last night's gala included a slew of Celts brass - co-owner Steve Pagliuca, Danny Ainge, president Rich Gotham, marketing man Shawn Sullivan, CFO Bill Reissfelder, and former star Tommy Heinsohn - as well as the C's Ray Allen and his wife, Shannon, and Cam Neely's wife, Paulina. Other boldfacers on the list included BoSox chairman Tom Werner, Emerson prof and "Friends" executive producer Kevin Bright, gubernatorial candidate Tim Cahill, AG Martha Coakley, restaurateur Lydia Shire, radio guy Eddie Andelman, Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian, Fidelity Investments' Abigail Johnson, Staples founder Tom Stemberg and wife Katherine Chapman, John Bogle Jr. of Bogle Investment Management, Highland Capital Partner' Bob Davis, Bain Capital's Paul Edgerley, developer Steve Karp, nightlife nabob Patrick Lyons, and Bill Schawbel of the Schawbel Corp.
After dinner, Weir was back on stage solo, treating the crowd to versions of "When I paint My Masterpiece" and then "Loose Lucy." The guitarist then thanked the crowd and the kids, and auctioned off his guitar - signed - for $20,000. In all, the event raised over $1.4 million and was sold out at 710 people.
UPDATE: Here's some video of the performance, courtesy Perkins School for the Blind:
About this blog
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MarkAShanahan
Follow on Twitter: @GlobeNames, @MeredithGoldste