On Saturday, March 12, in celebration of the 100th birthday of literary legend Jack Kerouac, guests gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel for The Jim Irsay Collection reception hosted by Indianapolis Colts Owner and CEO Jim Irsay.
The star-studded event featured readings of Kerouac’s works by two of his friends: Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and David Amram, along with Lara Goldie, Anita Thompson, Kota Eberhardt, Patt Morrison and Leila George. The evening featured performances by Irsay, Robert Randolph, Billy F. Gibbons of ZZ Top and more with the all-star Jim Irsay Band featuring R.E.M. founding member Mike Mills, John Mellencamp guitarist Mike Wanchic, Kenny Aronoff, Tom Bukovac and Michael Ramos.
Guests including Harvey Guillen, Leila George, Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete, Rob Raco, Kota Eberhardt and more viewed the Jim Irsay Collection which contained over $100M in music, pop culture, and historical memorabilia, including Kerouac’s original "On the Road" Scroll.
The event concluded with generous donations of $25,000 from Jim Irsay to two charities - the Children’s Music Fund, which provides music therapy to children with chronic conditions or life-altering illnesses, and Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which provides high-quality musical instruments to under-funded music programs and provides vital support services to school districts.
To start off the evening, Kerouac scholar Douglas Brinkley led guests in a toast. In celebration of Jack Kerouac’s literary works, actress Leila George began with a reading from On The Road, followed by composer David Amram sharing the song "Pull My Daisy," that he co-created with Kerouac. Following Amram, actress and comedian Lara Goldie took the stage to share words from Dharma Burns, followed by Anita Thompson with more Dharma Bums prose. Then singer-songwriter Tom Russell took to the stage to play his hit song, “October in the Railroad Earth,” (lyrics are a Kerouac poem) before actress and model Kota Eberhardt emerged to read an excerpt from a letter Kerouac wrote to his then future wife Edie. Patt Morrison treated the crowd to a reading of Big Sur, before musician Ramblin’ Jack took to the stage to perform “Hard Travelin’” and “Don’t Think Twice,” to the crowd’s elation.
The event featured pieces from the well-known collection of memorabilia, including a variety of historic and culturally-significant artifacts, such as Sylvester Stallone’s handwritten script pages from Rocky, Muhammad Ali’s shoes from the “Thrilla’ in Manilla,” John Lennon’s Sgt. Peppers piano and pieces from Irsay’s extensive music collection, including guitars, handwritten lyrics and other historical items from some of the greatest artists in music history: Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Prince, Eric Clapton, Elton John, The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Les Paul, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, The Doors’ Jim Morrison and other icons.
Additional guests included Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete, Rob Raco (actor), Harvey Guillen (actor), Elliot Mintz, Layla Brooklyn Allman (musician), Danielle Cell (model), Daisy Espana (model), Ashley Haas (model), Cheri Moon (singer), and more.