Matchbox Twenty Appearances Benefit AIDS, September 11 Charities

(12/13/01, 6 p.m. ET) --- Members of Matchbox Twenty kept a full itinerary in Los Angeles Wednesday (December 12), making public appearances to benefit both AIDS (news - web sites) and September 11th charities.

First, singer Rob Thomas and guitarist Adam Gaynor spent the afternoon at the Hard Rock Cafe at Universal Studios, signing autographs over two hours for approximately 200 fans who had purchased the group's self-designed Hard Rock Cafe Signature Series T-shirts. Proceeds from shirt sales will benefit the September 11 Disaster Relief fund by way of the group's own newly formed Matchbox Twenty Foundation.

Thomas told LAUNCH that he enjoys the opportunity to connect with fans in this manner. "It's really one of the only times you actually get a chance to talk to your fans," he says. "A lot of times you get ideas from them."

The duo then joined the rest of the group at the nearby Universal Amphitheatre for an abbreviated performance as part of Elton John's The Concert...20 Years With AIDS, a star-studded event to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation and AIDS Project Los Angeles. Others on the bill included Sting, Alicia Keys, Jon Bon Jovi, Craig David, LeAnn Rimes, and Pete Yorn.

Thomas told LAUNCH that there was "no reason not to" appear at the concert. "If you want to look at it just from being charitable for the season, that's a great reason to be here, if you want to look at it because I get to be at a show with Sting and Elton John, you can look at it that way," he said. "These kind of things are great. You get a chance to kind of shine--if you're lucky--among your peers and you get a chance to meet a lot of musicians. And this is where you make a lot of friends, at these kind of things. It's the only time you get a chance to meet other bands and stuff."

-- Neal Weiss, Los Angeles