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Rock the Badges: Police, Fire Bands to Battle for Bragging Rights, Charity

By Heather Cherone | September 6, 2013 4:11pm
  Six police and fire bands will battle for the Rock the Badges title Saturday
Rock the Badges: Police, Fire Bands to Battle for Bragging Rights, Charity
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JEFFERSON PARK — Members of the Chicago Police Department and Chicago Fire Department will square off on stage Saturday night for bragging rights and to raise money for two charities that help the families of fallen officers and firefighters.

Three bands made up of members of the police department — the Jenny Rockis Trio, Pimp Slap and It’s About Time — will battle three bands featuring members of the fire department — the Differents, Imposter Radio and Northside at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave., starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and Ignite the Spirit, two charities that help the families of officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty.

"I hope we make a ton of money," said Police Lt. John Garrido, who began organizing the event after a conversation at a retirement party reminded him how many police officers and firefighters spend their off-hours on stage at bars and neighborhood festivals across the city. "The rest of us have to step up and help families when officers and firefighters don't come home."

Each band will play a 25-minute set on equipment set up by Fort Knox Studios, which will also provide a nine-man crew to speed the transition between bands.

The top fire band and the top police band — as judged by several Chicago luminaries, including John Garcia of ABC7 News, Amy Jacobson of the John and Amy Show 560 AM, Bill Ludwig of Ludwig Drums, and Peter Sakas of Chicago Rock Magazine — will face off for the ultimate prize at 11 p.m.

After the winner is announced, Red Rebel County — a band made up of members of the police and fire departments — will play, Garrido said.

"I really hope this turns into an annual event," Garrido said.

The Copernicus Center donated the 1,900-seat concert venue, Garrido said. A five-piece drum set and a Fender Guitar, amp and case donated Guitar Center will be raffled off. 

Tickets are $20 in advance at rockthebadges.com, or $25 at the door. For more information, call 312-499-8899.