It was almost Cinco de Mayo and everyone at Amoeba was drunk! Well...OK, not really. But people were bidding as if they were drunk (on Tequila and agua de melon spiked with Cuervo).
On Saturday, May 4 we had a lighting-speed auctioneer, bestselling author Gustavo Arellano, hosting our Cuatro de Mayo charity auction to raise money for the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA). He was also available after the auction to sign copies of his book, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.
In case you're not familiar, Gustavo is also a lecturer with the Chicana and Chicano Studies department at California State University, Fullerton. He writes “¡Ask a Mexican!,” a nationally syndicated column in which he answers any and all questions about America’s spiciest and largest minority. The column has a weekly circulation of over 2 million in 39 newspapers across the United States, won the 2006 and 2008 Association of Alternative Weeklies award for Best Column. In addition, Gustavo is a lifelong resident of Orange County and is the proud son of two Mexican immigrants (one of whom was illegal).
The recipient of Saturday's auction was Gustavo Dudamel's Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) program – inspired by Venezuela's revolutionary El Sistema. The LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, enabling every child to contribute using their full potential. YOLA changes lives – one child, one family, one community at a time.
Gustavo was amped (though he says he doesn't do caffeine) and ready to hammer, chide, and generally shame people into higher bids, "C'mon....you're gonna let a little girl outbid you???" He was quick-witted and fast, and it was fun to watch him have a good time up there. "Alabama Shakes?? What about South Carolina Tremors??" There were a string of one-liners and fast quips making the auction whiz by and all the onlookers have smiles on their faces.
And as always, Amoeba matched all winning bids and 100% of auction funds go straight to the charity.
This month's auction highlights:
- Bjork tickets $75.00
- Trader Joe's gift certificate
- Vintage Sesame Street lunchbox $65.00
- Mumford & Sons tickets $45.00
- Alabama Shakes tickets $65.00
- The Black Angels tickets $20.00
- FEAR tickets $25.00
- 4 passes to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles $25.00
- Brew cafÃ© gift card + Amoeba coffee mug $20.00
- Amoeba VIP in-store passes to show of your choice! $30.00
- A second Amoeba VIP pass $25.00
- 2 passes to see movies at Sundance Sunset Cinemas 5 along with a signed Santana DVD $30.00
- Cinco de Mayo music pack (Gustavo's picks) $30.00
- Special limited edition Record Store Day goodie bag filled with 45s, limited edition t-shirt, etc. $40.00
- Beatles package: tote bag, mugs, pens, stickers, Paul McCartney Live at Amoeba poster & more. $45.00
- Gustavo Arellano book and rock & roll grab bag $30.00
- Ol Dirty Bastard promo item and hip-hop button pack $30.00
- Third Man Records mason jar and cozy $10.00
All together the audience bid $610.00 and with the Amoeba match this means $1,220.00 going directly to the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, providing instruments, lessons and all the richness that a music education and ensemble work provides! YAY!! Love it. Thanks so much Gustavo!