Boston musicians come together to honor Anderson Mar on the anniversary of her death


Last year around this time, the Boston underground music community was stunned and saddened to learn of the death of Anderson Mar. The longtime arts and entertainment promoter, musician, and New England scene champion died March 28 from injuries sustained in a Fall River apartment fire four days earlier, and an April 11 show at the Cantab Lounge, planned for Mar’s 42nd birthday, was quickly reestablished as a fundraiser for one of her greatest causes, the School of Rock, where she was a beloved teacher.

That show at the Cantab’s Club Bohemia has planted the seed for an annual remembrance of Mar and a School of Rock fund-raiser in her name, and this Friday brings the 2nd Annual Anderson Mar Memorial Benefit Party.

On the bill are four bands that worked closely with Mar in the past — Jimi Halfdead and The Die Alongs, Thirty Silver, a reformed Necrophiliac Meat Circus, and Strangers with Knives — and all money raised will go to a scholarship in Mar’s name at the School of Rock.


“Part of the reason we’re going with Club Bohemia again is that even the sound guy and the door guy gave up their cuts last year, and the bands aren’t taking a dime for the show,” says Drew Smith of Thirty Silver. He says Friday night’s event is to “both to try and establish a yearly thing where we raise money for a scholarship in Anderson’s name, and just have a good time remembering a good person who did a lot for the scene around here.”

Smith adds: “A lot of us wouldn’t even be playing without Anderson’s encouragement.”

When news of Mar’s March 28 death spread last year, many in the Boston music community spoke up to appreciate Mar for helping young bands play shows and create a coherent scene in a city often fractured by style, attitude, and taste. So in that same spirit, we collected thoughts from the bands playing tomorrow night at the Cantab to relay what Mar meant to them, professionally and personally.

Mark Zero, Necrophiliac Meat Circus:

“For those of us who knew Anderson, and worked with her within the Boston music scene, her legacy speaks for itself. She tirelessly pulled together groups of artists who would otherwise never notice each other, due to the compartmentalized nature of Boston’s scene, forging lasting partnerships, new friendships, and unique shows that were unforgettable for performers and audiences alike.

She wasn’t just a tour-de-force of a frontwoman in her own band [Sans Nomenclature], she became the glue that held together every band, show, and social engagement she took part in. Whether it was organizing and promoting an event, switching spots on a lineup to lessen another band’s schedule conflicts, working the door impromptu at someone else’s show just to help out, or playfully ambushing her friend’s set with ball-pit balls and underwear, Anderson brought a little light and a little fun into everyone’s night.

Every musician who sets foot onto a stage holds onto a hidden dream of becoming a rock star. Anderson Mar became so much more than that; she was the nebula that rock stars could form from.”

Drew Smith, Thirty Silver:

“Anderson was one of the best things about Boston music. Every time I went to a local show, she was there. And she wasn’t hanging in the back, or waiting for one band to play, or showing up for a friend’s band and then leaving; she was right up front all night, dancing, singing along, and having a blast. She was there for the music. She cheered the loudest, she clapped the longest, and she always had a kind word for you when you left the stage.

As a promoter and booker, she gave a lot of weird bands a chance they probably wouldn’t have had otherwise; to her it was all music, and that was art, and that was good. As a frontwoman, she was completely fearless. And as a friend, she was without equal.”

Curt Doble, Jimi Halfdead and the Die-Alongs:

“Anderson was a great friend to me, we worked together quite frequently putting together shows, quite a few of which took place in downtown Salem. She was a breath of life that the scene needed and a mentor to me in many ways. I knew every time I wanted to book a show she would accommodate me. One of the best part about it was that she was always smiling no matter what the turnout looked like, no matter how many bands were on the bill she always made sure that everybody was taken care of and remained happy.

Her artistic spirit shined brighter then most could even handle and the scene has suffered in her absence. But beyond that, I just miss her, I miss her presence and I miss her face. She means a lot to me and I will hold her in my heart as long as I live.”

Anderson Mar 2 memorial party