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Jack Black to headline cancer benefit Saturday in Altadena

May 13, 2011 |  9:37 am


This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.

Sure, there's a literary component, but Jack Black -- comedian, musical satirist and, most recently, Cannes-feted actor -- will be the big draw at a benefit Saturday to raise cancer treatment funds for Dave Melrose, a man who says he doesn't have famous friends, it's his friends of friends who do. They're asking for a minimum donation of $20 at the door; make it $50 and you'll get a T-shirt.

Black is slated to do a Black Sabbath tribute. It'll follow a musical performance from Dos, the duo of master bassists Mike Watt and Black Flag's Kira Roessler. Earlier in the day, the music will be a bit quieter, more conducive to walking around and posing in the photo booth, buying raffle tickets, shopping in the rummage sale and bidding in the art auction, which will take center stage in three parts. The event is being held at the warehouse of an estate sale company, so expect better-than-average offerings.

Melrose founded the San Diego Chess Academy, a nonprofit that teaches schoolkids chess. He's currently living in Carlsbad, near the clinic where he's being treated for cancer -- GIST cancer, short for ´╗┐gastrointestinal stromal tumors. He beat cancer once before, but he's facing a cancer that is difficult and costly to fight. His friends are trying to raise $300,000, with additional fundraisers planned in Oceanside and in Canada with the band No Means No.

So what's the literary angle? There will be spoken word from Edward Reib, and the Library Foundation's Justin Veach will channel Bukowski. The longtime ukulele band Ukefink includes one indie bookstore staffer. And Erica Rawlings, one of eight organizers behind the event, promises there will be some "not antiquarian, but collectible" books for sale.

Other performances include stand-up comedy from Paul Blomeyer and John Silver and music from The Holloys, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies, Native Fauna, the Moore Bros. and more. The evening will close with the band dNatured.

The mostly kid-friendly event (that Bukowski can get a little dirty) kicks off at noon and will continue until around midnight. Show up early to guarantee your spot for the 9 p.m. appearance of Black -- but be ready to spend the day spending money. It is a benefit, after all.

To learn more about the efforts to help Dave Melrose -- a.k.a. King Dave -- fight cancer, see the website his friends have set up, KeepDaveAlive.org, which includes directions to Saturday's benefit.

[For the Record, 3:11 p.m. May 24: An earlier version of this post incorrectly referred to Edward Reib as Edward Reid.]

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Jack Black and Angelina Jolie in Cannes on Thursday. Credit: Martin Bureau / AFP/Getty Images