Ed Hopson isn’t a name the average concertgoer might know, but without realizing it, you knew his handiwork.
Hopson was a fixture on the Atlanta concert scene, a 25-year veteran sound engineer for almost every venue in town, including the Tabernacle, the Omni, the Fox Theatre, Philips Arena and Center Stage.
Hopson, 56, died of cancer in August, and on Sunday at Center Stage, a benefit concert and silent auction will be held in his honor, with acts including Ed Roland of Collective Soul and members of the Freddy Jones Band, Georgia Satellites, Kansas, The Producers slated to perform.
“Ed was a gentleman, but also a gentle man,” said Kaedy Kiely of 97.1 The River. Kiely was Hopson’s friend for almost 30 years, first meeting him when she worked at the onetime 96 Rock. “I never met a person who had a bad word to say about him.”
Kiely will host “A Celebration of the Life and Spirit of Ed Hopson,” an all-ages benefit that runs from 5-10 p.m. A $20 donation is requested at the door.
The money will benefit Hopson’s longtime soul mate Mary Ellen Jones, who helped organize the event along with her daughter, Savannah Dukes; Mark Parks, stage/production manager; Deborah Garner, longtime friend and media promotions coordinator at the Fox Theatre; and longtime friend and sometimes boss Charlie Bruscoe, veteran manager of classic rockers including Styx and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Atlanta-based Ed Roland was added to the lineup earlier this week and will bring a guitar with him for all of the participating musicians to sign. It will be auctioned off at the end of the evening.
Other items included in the silent auction will be autographed guitars from Bon Jovi, Jackson Browne, Yes, Skynyrd and Styx, a limo party bus from Star Coaches and miscellaneous items from Jimmy Buffett, Joe Cocker, Toby Keith and others.
For more information about Sunday’s event and a gallery of guitars to be auctioned, visit http://www.centerstage-atlanta.com/show?id=742&artist=AN+EVENING+WITH+ED.
By Melissa Ruggieri, Atlanta Music Scene