Willie Alexander’s Persistence of Memory Orchestra

Willie Alexander’s Persistence of Memory Orchestra

Willie Alexander’s Persistence of Memory Orchestra

Friday, August 18th, 2023, 6:00pm, with food service by 5 Star Phresh Phood

Willie Alexander, punk music legend, musical innovator, and artistic icon, returns to Music on Meetinghouse Green with his band for a rocking evening. Gloucester’s own Willie ‘Loco’ Alexander shares his legendary talent as a singer, songwriter and keyboardist. With his roots in Boston’s punk rock scene of the 70’s and 80’s, Willie’s musical career has flourished for more than 50 years. Whether as a band member with the Lost, Bagatelle, Grass Menagerie and the post-Lou Reed Velvet Underground, or as front man for his own series of bands, Willie’s enduring popularity is a reflection of his unique musical voice and artistic vision. A true artist, Willie has expanded his work to other mediums including soundtracks for local filmmaker Henry Ferrini, collage and painting.

From Willie's Wikipedia Page:

He played with the Lost, the Bagatelle and the Grass Menagerie before becoming a member of the Velvet Underground in late 1971, joining fellow Grass Menagerie alumni Doug Yule and Walter Powers and replacing Sterling Morrison, who had gone off to pursue an academic career.

With the Velvet Underground, Alexander toured England, Scotland and the Netherlands in support of then-current album Loaded. After completing the tour on November 21, 1971, in Groningen, the band planned to start recording a new album, but band manager Steve Sesnick sent all of the band but Yule home, presumably to retain maximum control of the product (the resulting album was Squeeze, released in 1973) and effectively ending Alexander's time with the band.

After leaving the Velvet Underground, he enjoyed a checkered career, both solo and with his Boom Boom Band, that lasts to this day. In-between, Alexander teamed up with Powers to tour France in 1982 for French punk record label New Rose Records, in 1987 opening for Dramarama and in 2006 for a tour with the legendary Boom Boom band.

Alexander's 1975 single "Kerouac" was covered by Tim Presley on the album The Wink (Drag City, 2016) and his 1980 single "Gin" was covered by Luna on their covers album A Sentimental Education (Double Feature, 2017).

In addition to his storied music career, in 1994, Willie narrated a local film entitled Middle Street made by fellow Gloucester native, independent filmmaker Henry Ferrini. Willie has also contributed many songs to the soundtracks for Henry's other films.

Tonight’s non-profit organization

In the spirit of giving back to the community each concert is partnered with a Cape Ann non-profit organization. The public is invited to make a free-will donation (So if you can, please bring cash/check.) This week's organization is The Grace Center.

About The Grace Center

The Grace Center Gloucester offers a safe, free day resource center for people who are homeless and others, including older or disabled adults, isolated community members, and people at high risk of or currently in crisis. We connect guests to critical services, including transportation, health screenings, showers, and legal services. Breakfast and lunch is served daily. The Grace Center was founded on the values of: acceptance, hospitality, and opportunity.

Lifebridge North Shore expanded services on Cape Ann by bringing the Grace Center under our umbrella in July 2018. We now have three locations in Salem, Beverly and Gloucester. Through a continuum of supportive services, we work on the emotional and physical well-being of society's most vulnerable members. Our case managers meet guests “where they are at” to help them return to lives of stability and self-sufficiency. Through innovation and strategic partnerships, Lifebridge North Shore is helping even more men and women return to lives of independence

Learn more about The Grace Center.

Event Info:

  • Friday, August 18th, 2023
  • 6pm to 8pm
  • Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
  • Tickets: Free, Donations Encouraged.
  • Benefits: The Grace Center
  • Food service by: 5 Star Phresh Phood
Visit The Grace Center Visit 5 Star Phresh Phood's Site


Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church
10 Church Street, Gloucester, MA 01930

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