On June 4, the world lost Joey Covington, a former Jefferson Airplane drummer and a prominent valley resident.
On Saturday, Aug. 31, Ross Management and Productions, in conjunction with Alvin Taylor Music, will be throwing a benefit concert in Covington’s name at The Hood.
Originally from Johnstown, Pa., Covington started playing drums at the age of 10 and was entirely self-taught. In his teens, he played professionally in Johnstown, which eventually led to gigs with a number of acts that opened shows for the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, and others.
In the late 1960s, he joined Jefferson Airplane, along with the Jefferson Airplane spinoff, Hot Tuna. He was also a member of Jefferson Starship.
On June 4, Covington lost control of his Honda Civic and crashed into a wall near Belardo Road and Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. The accident took his life.
David Ross, of Ross Management and Productions, has fond memories of Covington.
“He was funny, kind and always wanted to be a part of anything going on,” said Ross via email. “He tried to help me with a benefit concert not long before he died. He spent a lot of time helping me, along with his wife, Lauren Taines. Ironically, (the band for the benefit was) going to be called the Joey Covington All-Star Band. Some of the members of this show were going to be in that one.”
After Covington’s death, Ross felt that doing a benefit in his name would be a proper sendoff, and he found ample help in putting the show together.
“He was a well-known and accomplished musician, as well as a nice guy,” Ross said. “It was a must-do for me and those who were close to him; we decided he needed a proper sendoff. I began the hard tedious task of getting a venue, tickets and advertising. It started with the great help of Brian Michaelz at Michaelz Media. He got us the live streaming, created the website, promo videos, etc.”
A portion of the show’s proceeds will go to Lauren Taines to cover funeral expenses; some will go to former Jefferson Starship guitarist Slick Aguilar to assist with the expenses of a liver transplant; and 23 percent will go to Well in the Desert, an organization that provides food to the needy.
Ross said Well in the Desert was one of the organizations that he and Covington had plans to assist.
“I’ve personally done a lot of work with the Well in the Desert,” Ross said. “A lot of hungry and poor people out in this area need help; Joey was helping me with an event for them, so I knew he would have agreed to help them.”
The lineup for the show features well-known musicians from various bands and other figures, all of whom were friends of Covington. Peter Albin and Sam Andrew of Big Brother and the Holding Company will be appearing, as will Lynn Sorensen from Bad Company, and Jimi Hendrix’ cousin, Riki Hendrix—just to name a few.
“(Lauren Taines) handed me a slew of Joey’s friends and their phone numbers, and we reached out to those musicians,” Ross said.“We had a ton of musicians ask to be a part of it. They’re all playing for Joey at no cost. They just want to say so long to a great guy and awesome performer.”
The Joey Covington Tribute Concert takes place at 8 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 31, at The Hood Bar and Pizza, 74360 Highway 111, in Palm Desert. Tickets are $20; only 300 will be sold, and they’re available via the concert website, at The Musicians Outlet in Palm Desert, and at The Hood. The concert will also be streamed via the website for $6. For more information, visit www.covingtontribute.michaelzmedia.com.