In its 30-year tenure, The Damaged Pies has accomplished an awful lot. The band, helmed by Steve Bodner, has traveled to perform at legendary venues like CBGB in New York City, The Cavern Club in Liverpool, Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles and even Wrigley Field. There’s a Damaged Pies movie on YouTube titled Same Circus, Different Town, and Bodner is a member of The Recording Academy, serving as a district advocate for The Grammys.
It all started in a karaoke booth at Cedar Point, where Bodner and his friend got the performing bug. Their project went on to grow into a real band, one that has featured about 30 different members since its inception.
The current lineup of Damaged Pies features three female vocalists alongside the core instrumentation, something that Bodner is extremely excited about.
“I’m most excited to show off these four-part harmonies,” says Bodner. “With this lineup, the songs sound exactly as they should.”
From the early days of the band, Bodner and his bandmates have used music as a way to give back to the community. The band founded Pittsburgh Musicians for Hunger Relief and have actively worked with WhyHunger as part of its Artists Against Hunger & Poverty project since its inception.
“If we were just in it for the money, we would have quit 28 years ago,” says Bodner. “It’s certainly not for the money or the fame. It’s for the self-expression.”
And just as it has been since the beginning, The Damaged Pies will celebrate 30 years of being a band with a benefit for WhyHunger at which it will be selling hard copies of its single, “Same Circus Different Town.” The copy features artwork by Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s iconic longtime collaborator. The single intro was also written, produced and performed by David Hentschel, who engineered on Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.
It’s a pretty impressive feat to get in contact with either of those legends, but Bodner is not shy about pitching ideas to anyone, given his passion for the music and the causes it benefits.
“I really believe in what I’m doing,” says Bodner. “Because everything we do is for WhyHunger, we’re doing it for something bigger, something better than ourselves.”
After this event, Bodner will start to plot The Damaged Pies’ next move.
“I’ll figure out the next ridiculous thing we can try doing, like calling up U2 and asking if we can open for them,” laughs Bodner. “You never know!”