The rock group Live donated proceeds from a sold-out show Tuesday night to
the family of the 25-year-old woman who was severely injured by lightning
during the first day of the Tibetan Freedom Concert in Washington, D.C., last
The undisclosed amount of money will help cover medical expenses for Lysa
Selfon, a law student at George Washington University who suffered second-
degree burns when a bolt of lightning struck her at RFK Stadium midway
through the first day of the massive benefit show.
"The check was Fed-Exed today," band spokesperson Todd Brodginski said on
Wednesday, adding that nearly 800 people attended the show at the famed
nightclub the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J. A portion of the money raised at
the show was donated to Selfon's family.
The show was part of a small-club tour on which the group is testing out new
material before recording the follow-up to its last album, Secret Samahdi
(1997), which was released three years after the band's breakthrough album,
The often socially conscious band ended its set Saturday at the Tibet show with
its biggest hit off that album,
Crashes"(RealAudio excerpt), ironically a couple of hours before the
bolt actually crashed into a section of stands in the arena. The group from York,
Pa., decided to come to the family's aid after the bandmembers learned that
Selfon is from their hometown area of Lancaster County, Pa. "The group was
immediately concerned when they found out several people were injured, but a
couple of days later, when they found out that [Selfon] was from Lancaster, it
really hit home," Brodginski said.
"Historically, for the 10 years the band's been together, they've maintained a
closeness with their home area," he continued, adding that Live's fan club is
called "Straight Outta York." "This is something they did for one of their
Selfon, who was initially listed in critical condition with severe burns, has
remained in fair condition since Monday, according to Margery Huge, a
spokesperson for the Washington Hospital Center, where Selfon was admitted.
"She came a long way that first 24 hours, but she's holding steady now," Huge
said, adding, "She's pretty uncomfortable, but her family's with her."
Though Selfon is no longer requiring a respirator to aid her breathing, she will
undergo a skin-graft operation on Friday. She is expected to make a full
Brodginski said he did not know how much money was donated, adding "that's
something that's between the band and Lysa's family."
Selfon was one of 11 concert-goers injured as a result of the lightning, which
struck a section of the lower seats at about 3 that afternoon, causing the
cancellation of the first day of performances and leaving organizers to scramble
to clear the stadium and reschedule the following day's show. The other victims
were all released Saturday.
Held over Saturday and Sunday at the D.C.'s RFK Stadium, the
Tibetan Freedom Concert drew 66,000 people each day and grossed nearly $4
million. It featured 20 acts,
among them Pearl Jam, the Beastie Boys, R.E.M. and A Tribe Called Quest,
performing in an effort to raise awareness about Tibet's nearly 50-year struggle
for freedom from Chinese oppression.
After the lightning struck, the concert was suspended until Sunday with half
of Saturday's lineup still to perform. While R.E.M., Radiohead, Sonic Youth and
the Red Hot Chili Peppers squeezed their way into Sunday's lineup, Beck and
Tracy Chapman were not able to reschedule.
Several of the performing artists signed cards for Selfon and for the other
victims, and prayers by the Tibetan monks were posted within the artist