After news broke about The Jerks frontman Chickoy Pura’s battle with cancer, many friends and musicians got together to do fundraising gigs. After all, this is what artists do in the Philippines where they have no unions and they are left on their own to deal with health and security needs.
This is the goal of “RAGE! Presents: Rak for Chickoy,” which was organized by musician and writer Aldus Santos, music writer and concert producer Ian Urrutia and arts and culture critic Katrina Santiago. But the goal of “Rage!” is not just to raise funds but also to bring in a younger audience and introduce them to the music of Pura.
The task was to have younger bands and musicians perform a cover or two of a song by The Jerks. It is really hitting two birds with one stone.
Aside from helping out Pura, “RAGE! Presents: Rak for Chickoy” will also pay tribute to him, the work he has done for local music, the example he has set for many musicians and cultural workers in the Philippines. After all, while not as famous as the rock bands of the 1960s, the 1980s punk scene had as one of its icons Pura, doing music that stood for the rebellions of those times, seeing as it did the socio-political shift from dictatorship to democracy and finding it wanting.
The Jerks’ music continues to resonate because it knew in the 1980s what the Filipino now all know about nation and governance. The leaders change but not much else does.
Pura’s persona is also interwoven with his being a musician for the people. A fixture in protests against tyranny and human rights violations, a constant voice talking about landlordism and oppression, farmers’ rights and poverty, his songs are a measure of how the best ones can cross over from the airwaves to the streets, from the gig to the protest.
“Rage,” one of The Jerks’ more famous songs, inspired “RAGE! Presents: Rak for Chickoy.” It is hoped that the event can become a sustainable project for gathering younger music audiences to talk about the musicians that are important, but also to discuss relevant issues of nation.
Taking place at Saguijo in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines at 8:00 p.m. on September 18, 2019, “Rage! Presents Rak For Chickoy” will feature Ebe Dancel, Johnoy Danao, Bullet Dumas, Autotelic, The Purplechickens, Pikoy and Ultracombo featuring Rayms, Buddy and Paulo.
Meanwhile, here is Pura singing “Warning” from the 1989 compilation album “Karapatang Pantao,” which contained 20 songs from various artists: