M Street plays again to support those impacted by Cook’s Corner shooting – Orange County Register

Not performing again would let the bad guy win.

So the M Street band got back on stage Sunday, Sept. 3, less than two weeks after surviving the mass shooting at Cook’s Corner where the group was playing its classic rock setlist during $8 spaghetti night when a ex-police office barged in and began shooting at his estranged wife and other patrons.

As the band took cover, members Dave Stretch and Ed Means were hit. Six people were injured that night and three died.

“I’ll tell you that as tragic as last week was for all of us, the outpouring of love and compassion from the community has just been unbelievable,” Mark Johnson, keyboard player and vocalist in the band, said in an interview ahead of Sunday’s performance.

The gig at the Biergarten in Old World Huntington Beach was already on the books, so the band worked with organizers to turn it into a benefit concert.

“Everybody’s first question is, ‘We are so sorry for what you went through, how can we help?’ And I think for two or three days, we were all sitting there kind of numb to the whole thing and thinking, ‘Well, there’s no way to help us. We’ve been through a tragic event and we each have to heal,’” Johnson said. “But I think you get a modicum of clarity. You say, ‘Wait a second, as band members, we’ve all healed, or we are healing quickly. And there are so many that suffered so much as a result of this. So maybe there is a way for people to help.’”

The group put together a list of the people or families in need, and concertgoers had the opportunity to donate in person or online.

The band has also reconstructed its website, mstreet.rocks/cook-s-corner, to include a tab where people can easily find opportunities to help victims and their families.

“One thing we decided as friends and bandmates is that we can’t let this tragedy scare us into a hermit-like existence. We can’t let the bad guy or bad guys win,” Johnson said. “We have to just get out there. Just keep pushing play because otherwise, hiding in your house for the rest of your life, that’s not healthy.”

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