Tim Gilliland grew up looking out for his older brother, who is mentally challenged, and came to his defense whenever the other children would call him names.
This weekend, the guitarist and keyboard player with the Youngstown punk band the 8-Balls will be one of many musicians coming to the aid of those with disabilities at the fifth Pabstolutely festival.
Proceeds from the daylong music event at Youngstown's Royal Oaks Bar and Grill will benefit Golden String, an Internet radio station which showcases regional music and includes adults with disabilities as its featured DJs. Golden String and the work program Purple Cat are part of the organization Iron and String Life Enhancement Inc. (ISLE), directed by Jimmy Sutman.
"Pabstolutely shows people what amazing things can be accomplished by anyone given the right opportunity and the right amount of nourishing,'' Gilliland said. ''Purple Cat offers an amazing program unlike any other in the country that I am aware of. A mentally challenged child impacts families of the rich, poor and all points in between. To give them a chance to live fully enriched lives as adults is a true blessing."
Pabstolutely was started in 2008 by Royal Oaks owner John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Golden String volunteer Joe Stilson and Royal Oaks patron Mark Calvaruso.
"I feel the community appreciates the very small and simple way we can display talent from the national touring circuit and thanks to Jimmy Sutman and Golden String," Stilson said. ''We can broadcast all over the world, which I feel benefits this community greatly."
WHAT: Pabstolutely 5
WHERE: Royal Oaks Bar and Grill, 922 Oak St., Youngstown.
HOW MUCH: Admission is free, but wristbands required in order to drink are $5 with proceeds benefiting Golden String.
THE MUSIC: The performers, in order of appearance, will be: Grease Monkeys; Punk Willie, Thunder Vest, Batt Lion, The 8-Balls, Whatley's, Turbo Lovers, Sirens Everywhere, Yankee Bang Bang, Mississippi Gun Club, Living Deads, Mutts, Dakaiju and Lo-Pan.
The 8-Balls, which played its first gig in 1981, will reunite as part of this year's event. Also on the bill will be area bands Grease Monkeys, Punk Willie, Batt Lion, Turbo Lovers, Sirens Everywhere and Mississippi Gun Club, along with Thunder Vest (Pittsburgh), Whatley's (Pennsylvania), Yankee Bang Bang (New York), Living Deads (Colorado), Mutts (Chicago), Dakaiju (Alabama) and Lo-Pan (Columbus).
Turbo Lovers will be making its fourth Pabstolutely appearance.
"We wear Pabstolutely as a badge of honor,'' said Turbo Lovers' guitar player and vocalist B.J. Lisko. ''For rock 'n' roll in Youngstown, you don't get any better than this. We're happy to play and support our friends The Royal Oaks as well as The Golden String.''
''Viking Jim'' Allgren, host of ''The Homegrown Show'' on WNCD-FM, said, ''This year's event promises to be the best yet, with a great diversity of local, regional and national bands. I am especially looking forward to the 8-Balls reunion, as well as Mississippi Gun Club and Sirens Everywhere.''
The event also will feature tributes to Brother Ed, who played in the Cleveland rockabilly / garage punk act Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival and died earlier this year. Uncle Scratch's Gospel Revival was a popular act among crowds at Cedars and The Royal Oaks.