‘Locked and loaded’: Why Guns N’ Roses rocker, other music legends are coming to York

Pathways Community Center meets funding goal in Rock Hill

Pathways Community Center will combine homeless and indigent services in Rock Hill South Carolina. Pathways reached a funding milestone.
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Pathways Community Center will combine homeless and indigent services in Rock Hill South Carolina. Pathways reached a funding milestone.

What would bring rockers from Guns N’ Roses, Boston, ELO Part II and Hootie and the Blowfish to play in York County?

It started with a little brotherly love.

“I’m excited,” said Renew Our Community executive director Bruce McKagan, whose brother Duff is a founding member and bassist for Guns N’ Roses.

“It’s been like three times that we’ve kind of penciled in a date for him to come, and every time they got extended on their tours. He’s locked and loaded, and it’s going to be something,” McKagan said.

Duff McKagan is joined by Boston lead singer Tommy DeCarlo for the Jan. 24 ROC n Roll Evening with the Stars concert at the McCelvey Center in York.

The show also includes The Orchestra and ELO Part II guitarist Parthenon Huxley, and Hootie and the Blowfish drummer Gary Greene.

Tickets range from $199 to $350. Only 500 will be sold.

Bruce McKagan expects them to sell quickly, with proceeds going to Renew Our Community, or ROC.

“We as a nonprofit struggle just to keep the doors open,” he said. “We don’t have government grants. This is just a great opportunity to help us for 2019.”

The event will include acoustic and amped sessions in the historic theaters, interviews and a live auction.

Several other performers have local ties.

Greene opened the Woody’s Music near Tega Cay four years ago as co-owner. DeCarlo worked at the Home Depot at RiverGate back in 2007, when Boston needed a new lead singer. A few uploaded tribute covers and a tryout later, he was it.

Duff McKagan appeared in a promotional video for Renew Our Community with his brother two years ago.

“No matter where you’re at, it takes a village,” Duff McKagan says in the video.

Tickets are available at renewoc.org.

The concert comes amid change at ROC.

ROC is one of several service nonprofits coming together at the Pathways Community Center in Rock Hill. That site is expected to open in spring 2019.

City civic leaders say that site will better serve homeless and indigent communities across the area by creating one place to get multiple services.

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ROC will be a major tenant there. The group typically serves 75 to 125 people a day.

“It is men, women and families from around our community,” Bruce McKagan said. “We have a day shelter where people can come in just to get out of the elements and spend their time with us, and we can start to help them with clothing, food, education, their mental issues, substance abuse issues, whatever their needs are.”

Transportation and employment training also make up ROC efforts.

“All of those things really, to get people back on their feet, or to get people on their feet for the first time in their lives,” Bruce McKagan said.

Working with the homeless, providing a place for people to get mail or make phone calls, to store items or to get online, doesn’t always lend itself to the same audience as playing international rock tours might, Bruce McKagan said.

Beyond the monetary boost, he’s hopeful the concert can shed a spotlight on the group that is working to make its community better.

“All of that is to help people know that we love them, we appreciate them, we respect them,” Bruce McKagan said.

Want to go?

ROC n Roll Evening with the Stars is 7-9 p.m. Jan. 24, 2019 at the McCelvey Center, 210 E. Jefferson St., York. For ticket information, visit renewoc.org.

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