HOLLYWOOD — One thing was certain at UCLA’s Besides the Music concert Saturday: The Rock Bottom Remainders aren’t giving up their day jobs.
Front man Dave Barry took the stage with fellow authors Amy Tan, Scott Turow, Ridley Pearson and Frank McCourt, as well as Matt Groening and Craig Ferguson, to raise money for local literary org 826LA.
“I’m a big supporter of literacy,” said Barry. “Of course, the more literate they get, the less likely they are to buy my books.”
Jake Gyllenhaal came to hear the band’s rousing renditions of “Leader of the Pack” and “Sloop John B.” The songs proved more heart than talent, but even a poor performance sometimes beats writing.
“Instead of sitting in a room thinking I suck,” said Barry, “I’m in a room with other people knowing I suck.”
A healthy dose of “Catholic guilt” inspired “Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” author Dave Eggers to start 826 in San Francisco four years ago. He’ll open his ninth outpost by 2008.
“When you see how easy something can be,” Eggers said, “it just makes sense to do it.”