October 19, 2011 / 10:29 PM / 6 years ago

Neil Young launches film of storied benefit concerts

2 Min Read

BOSTON (Reuters) - A concert DVD featuring Neil Young and a generation of music icons will launch this month with live screenings across the United States.

The movie and related CD collection showcases rare live, acoustic performances by many of music's biggest names, all of whom have played over the past 25 years at the annual Bridge School benefit concerts organized by Young and wife Pegi.

The more than two dozen artists range from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney to David Bowie, Patti Smith and Metallica.

The film will screen for one night only, Oct 24, in 22 cities, coinciding with the CD and DVD release by Warner Bros. Records.

The charity concert is held annually at the outdoor Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View, California.

It supports The Bridge School, a facility for children with severe speech and physical impairments that specializes in alternative communication methods.

The Bridge School was founded in part by the Youngs, when they were unable to find a suitable learning environment for their son Ben, who has cerebral palsy, and by Jim Forderer, another parent of a special needs child.

The first benefit concert was held in October 1986, and has been held each year apart from 1987, the year the educational program was launched.

The event has become a pilgrimage for Young's fans, nicknamed Rusties, many of whom hold their own gatherings around the time of the shows.

Young, the Canadian rocker, is heavily involved in selecting the show's lineups, which usually comprise a mixture of music legends and emerging talent.

This year's concerts will be held Oct 22 and Oct 23. Apart from Young, performers will include rockers Foo Fighters, crooner Tony Bennett, British folk rock band Mumford & Sons, and Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder.

Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Jill Serjeant

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