This Friday, Half Moon Bay resident and musician Kevin North (aka Kevy Nova) will launch his second 24-hour Guitar-A-Thon to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. During the event, North will play his guitar onstage for 24 hours at Cameron's Restaurant and Inn along with visits from musicians around the Bay Area in an effort to raise funds for cancer research, patient care, and early detection.
Though he's never had cancer before, the disease has reappeared in North's life many times.
Cancer took his father in 1999, grandmother in December 2010 and best friend Auri Naggar in January 2011. Naggar battled his condition for three years.
Naggar was the longtime Thursday night open mic host at Cameron's Restaurant and Inn.
In addition to teaching the Young Actor's Workshop afterschool program, North also writes music and performs onstage with his band as Kevy Nova.
After Naggar died, North took over as host of the Thursday night open mic.
"Auri helped me find my life here on the coast," North said.
North, 38, moved to Half Moon Bay from Vermont six years ago.
Last year, North set up shop at Shari's, a 24-hour restaurant in San Bruno, for the first Guitar-A-Thon. Naggar was a big source of support during that event, North said.
"It became much bigger than I thought it would be," North said.
He said he thought he might raise $1,000, as well as be alone for long stretches.
But he was wrong. Instead, North raised $6,400. "That got me inspired to do it again this year," he said.
He wasn't alone during the 24-hour period, either. Friends and fellow musicians from around the Bay Area came out to support the cause and play alongside him.
It was the energy rush he received when playing alongside these musicians, North said, which kept him awake during the hours when he was beginning to fade.
North, who writes his own music and defines his style as "a cross between '60s psychedelia and '90s grunge," is expecting a similar turnout this year.
"Musicians from the Bay Area will be playing with me at specific times, but local artists will just be dropping by at any time," he said.
He'll also stream the show online for those who are too far away to come to Cameron's. Last year, people who watched his guitar marathon online even made song requests, North said.
North says he encourages all to come out to support the cause, but asks that donations be made online instead of in person at Cameron's. He hopes to raise $10,000 from this year's event.
North's 24-hour Guitar-A-Thon kicks off this Friday, Sept. 2 at 12:30 p.m. at Cameron's Restaurant and Inn in Half Moon Bay (at Wavecrest Rd. and Highway 1) and concludes Saturday at 12:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Kevy Nova website here.