Three Bad Jacks doing something good

By Shondiin Silversmith
Navajo Times

GALLUP, July 11, 2013

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(Courtesy photo)

Front man Elvis Sussia (middle) will be in Gallup for two shows. One is a benefit show and the other is for the monthly Arts Crawl event.

T hree Bad Jacks are headed to Gallup not only to offer a night of great rock-n-roll but in hopes of raising money for their front man's son.

The Los Angeles-based rockabilly trio is led by guitarist and singer Elvis Suissa are no strangers to the area.

They've played various shows throughout the years near or on the Navajo Nation, but their show on July 12 is a little different because it will be a benefit for an illness in the Suissa family.

"He's doing this tour to help raise money for his son," said Ernie Santiago of Juggernaut Music. "We're not making any profit off the show - we're doing it for a good cause."

Suissa said that Three Bad Jacks stopped playing on Dec. 16 of last year so he could start taking care of his son Noah, who was diagnosed with a rare brain disease known as PANDAS, paediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder, associated with streptococcus infection.

"I've only had four shows in past eight months," he said.

Noah just turned 9 on July 1.

"It will make him tantrum 10 hours a day and make him violent," Suissa said. "He's just not really in his right state of mind. We just need to get this infection in his brain under control.

"Everybody in Gallup is our family," Suissa added when asked why they chose the small New Mexico city for the venue. "We have a lot of great friends out there. It just seemed it would make a lot of sense."

Christian Sharpe, drummer for the Gallup-based punk band Wolves in Wolves' Clothing, said they like to "open up for them (Three Bad Jacks) because they always bring a good crowd."

Also because since Suissa has helped him before, Sharpe added he wants to help in return.

"It feels good to be able to give back to him. Elvis deserves it because he's such a good person.

In addition to having a raw rockabilly sound that brings out the fans, "Elvis and everyone from Three Bad Jacks are really nice guys," Sharpe said. "I love hanging out with him and their shows are always fun to play."

The other opening acts for show are SOL, Sleep Tastes Pretty and Drazil.

Alongside the benefit show on July 12 Three Bad Jacks will also be playing at Gallup's monthly Art Crawl held downtown, for which this month's theme is the 50s and 60s.

So the Three Bad Jacks' classic rock-n-roll feel fits the theme, which is why they were selected to play, said Santiago.

"They were wondering who would be a great act. Right away Three Bad Jacks came into my head for 50s and 60s music," Santiago said.

"This is an introduction for us getting back in the game," Santiago added of the upcoming productions since the music venue the Juggernaut closed last year. "This is one of the many benefit shows helping out Juggernaut Music. What was a venue is now music promotion."

"It makes us feel really good because we're actually doing something that means something," Santiago said, noting that Three Bad Jacks was the last act that played at the Juggernaut venue last November before its closing. "It's right where we left off is where we're picking back up."

Added Sharpe, "I think Gallup needs more shows like this because there really is nothing going on, as far as music is concerned."

He noted that there seem to be fewer and fewer venues for live music.

"We're hoping people will recognize the benefit show and support the cause," Santiago said.

The benefit show will be held at F.U.E.L on 227 West Coal Avenue in Gallup and a donation of $10 will get you through the door.

The Arts Crawl performance will be along Coal Street downtown on the evening of July 13.

Contact Shondiin Silversmith at