On Saturday August 13, 2011 at the Buffalo Chip, it was the first major benefit concert in the 71-year history of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The concert was to raise money for the Bob Woodruff Foundation and featured Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) performing in the midst of a howling thundering wind storm and tornado warnings , Jeff Bridges and John Fogerty. The American Thunder event will be broadcast internationally to over one million active duty men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces in more than 175 countries and U.S. territories, and on U.S. Navy ships around the world.
The Foundation’s founder, ABC newsman Bob Woodruff, welcomed the crowds saying, “We’re so honored to play a role in helping to salute the men and women who serve, who sacrifice, and their families who support them. I know there are thousands of vets in the audience tonight, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your service.” In 2006 when Bob was injured covering the war in Iraq, I was amazed he survived, and not only did he recover, he didn’t walk away from the troops he was covering. With his family’s support – he dedicated himself to helping service men and women who suffer from the visible and invisible scars of war,” concluded Bridges. His remarks preceded a strong 60-minute performance which included tunes from his new self-titled CD, which is being released today.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Stevie Nicks performed her classic hits “Landslide” and “Rhiannon” along with a haunting version of “Soldiers Angel” which she told the audience was written and inspired by her many visits over the years to Walter Reed Hospital and Bethesda to visit wounded soldiers. After the wind suddenly died down, Bridges introduced Fogerty, “John’s music is part of the very fabric of America… I used to think he wrote the sound track to the Vietnam War.” Fogerty rocked the house, delivering hit after hit. The evening also included taped messages of support for the Bob Woodruff Foundation by President Barack Obama, former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Michelle Obama. The Bob Woodruff Foundation. (all photography credit David Rose. 1- Stevie Nicks performing. 2- ABC newsman Bob Woodruff, Stevie Nicks, and Jeff Bridges backstage at American Thunder Benefit. 3- John Fogerty performing)