Putting the teeth into birthday music


Isaac Hamlet, [email protected]

Music can move people. Listeners can be buoyed by joy, hurt to heartbreak, and — in this instance — prompted to dentistry.
At 8 p.m. Friday, local Iowa City bands will gather at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., for Brad’s Birthday Bash. Local dentist Brad Stiles is

both fan and friend of many local music groups that have organized the event to thank him for his contributions.
“[Stiles] is a good friend,” said Stacy Webster, the event’s organizer. “He’s done dental work for some of the local musicians without dental insurance. I wanted to give back to him in some way. So I emailed a number of musicians who came to mind, and everyone said yes, and the venue was into the idea.”
Webster is a member of two of the performing bands: the Mayflies, a rock band bathed in elements of blues and bluegrass, and Winterland, a Grateful Dead tribute band.
Because Stiles is a self-identified Deadhead, Webster has steered Winterland to perform a few favorite songs from the ’70s and ’80s, while leaving the other groups to their own devices in their musical selections.
“We let people do their own thing,” she said. “I thought about having the show tailored to him, but that never quite ended up working.”
The Body Electric is another of the five bands playing the event. Member David Zollo was one of the many musicians to benefit from Stiles’s love of local music.
“I can’t say that going to the dentist is high on my list of favorite things to do, but it was always a pleasure to get to see Brad and just have a conversation with him,” Zollo said.
As a fan of the performers, Stiles often extended dental work for free or at a reduced rate to musicians without insurance.
“It’s lovely to celebrate someone who’s given so much to support music,” said James Robinson, the drummer for both Winterland and the Mayflies. “I don’t get out so much anymore, so I plan to enjoy the entire show.”
Because the bands are expressing their gratitude to Stiles, the performances are free to the public, making the show open for the enjoyment of both the community and the bands.

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