Anti-heroin rock songs to be used in music video

Eldersburg musician wrote them 2 years ago for Carroll effort

January 12, 2001|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,SUN STAFF

The music from Carroll County's nationally released anti-heroin video will soon become the foundation of a music video that organizers hope will become just as widely distributed.

Eldersburg musician Bobby Hird, a guitarist, singer and songwriter who spent 17 years with the rock band Crack the Sky, wrote two songs for "Heroin Kills."

The stark video about heroin addiction was created almost two years ago by Residents Attacking Drugs, a nonprofit citizens group formed after 15-year-old Liam O'Hara of Westminster snorted a fatal dose of heroin. The video has been distributed to 44 states and four countries.

Hird, who attended Milford Mill High School in Baltimore County with RAD founder Linda Auerback, composed and performed "Liam's Blues" and "Heroin Kills" with his new band for the 35-minute video. The Bobby Hird Band will debut tomorrow night in a sold-out show at E.A. Poe's Restaurant and Pub in Eldersburg.

When a friend's 13-year-old son mentioned that RAD's new public service announcement about heroin abuse reminded him of an MTV video, Auerback said, he thought, "Why not?"

"I thought, `This is not a bad thing,'" she said. "'In fact, this is a good thing, because if that's what the kids will relate to, that's what the kids will relate to.'

"Right from the beginning, when Bobby wrote `Heroin Kills,' to me that music was the message. We have that, and I think we should run with it."

Auerback said the prospect of taping a music video with Hird's rock 'n' roll anti-heroin message was especially appealing because it differs from nearly every other anti-drug message directed at youths with today.

"I don't know any kid that doesn't like music, and it's a new approach for something like this," she said. "It's not the school approach. And when you go to seminars and workshops with this, it's kind of like you're sneaking it in there, and that's the best approach because kids don't want to be told what to do."

The more than $1,600 donated to RAD in memory of Brianna Tighe, a Westminster teen-ager who died in November after using heroin and inhaling nitrous oxide, will be used to defray the costs of taping the music video. Brianna's younger sister, Barbara "Kriistal" Tighe, has agreed to help with the script.

For Hird, the songs he wrote for "Heroin Kills" are emotional. "I have a soft spot in my heart for people who get addictions, because anybody in any walk of life is capable of becoming an addict. Liam was a musician also; so there's a lot of emotion in that track for me," he said of "Liam's Blues," a piece filled with guitar solos.

Hird, who makes his living in residential and commercial construction, said his work on the "Heroin Kills" score provided inspiration to write "a whole album full" of new songs. The 47-year-old father of two donates $2 from each sale of his new compact disc, "Heartbeat Away," to RAD.

Rich Waganer of Waganer Digital Video in Owings Mills has agreed to serve as director, cameraman and editor for the new "Heroin Kills" music video for a fraction of what a typical music video costs. Lee Ziemski, a retired broadcast engineer who worked on the original "Heroin Kills" video, also will contribute to the music video project.

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