Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Oct 23rd 2009 11:35AM by Linda Laban
The record, 'Somewhere Else,' which was released via jazz label Savoy Records, features musician friends and neighbors like Dr. John, B52s' Kate Pierson, Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian, Todd Rundgren and the Band's Levon Helm.
The album was begun over last fall and winter after Killian's cancer returned with a vengeance. A gifted musician and singer, whose main instrument was the ukulele, the brave teen was diagnosed with the illness at age 11 and underwent bouts of chemotherapy and radiation, as well as two major surgeries in which a piece of his jaw was removed.
After a hospitalization following the emergence of a new vicious tumor last Halloween, Killian was hanging out at his neighbor, recording veteran Ralph Legnini's studio, when he jammed on a bluesy version of Prince's 'Kiss.' Legnini was impressed and encouraged Killian to do more. By the summer 2009, 13 tracks, including Killian's version of 'Kiss' with 'The Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien' house band member Scott Healy on accordion, were completed. Other highlights are Lovin' Spoonful's 'Fishin' Blues,' which Killian recorded with Sebastian, and David Bowie's 'Starman,' featuring Killian's 10-year-old cousin Lucia singing the lead vocal.
Fortunately, before he passed away on Aug. 20, a prototype of the album was delivered to Killian on his 16th birthday for his final approval.
Proceeds from 'Somewhere Else' benefits 'Hope & Heroes,' an integrative-therapy program at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. This relatively new field in cancer treatment includes everything from diet to acupuncture to massage, aiming to keep patients not just alive, but comfortable and in control.