Guitars will be screaming Saturday at a special music festival and fundraiser in honor of slain Havelock bar bouncer Todd North.
Eight bands are in the lineup for more than 12 hours of music beginning at 1 p.m. and running well past midnight at Flyers in Havelock.
North, 39, a retired Marine and well-known bouncer at area night clubs, died on April 14 after being shot at the entrance to the bar at 400 Fontana Blvd., as he sought to protect customers inside.
"Everybody was his friend," said Flyers owner John Bruns, who organized the benefit for North’s wife and their 2-year-old son.
A huge turnout is expected for the event.
To say that North was "big-chested" would be an understatement, Bruns said.
"He was solid. There’s no if, ands or buts about it," he said. "Todd was a big man. He was extremely large, like a weightlifter."
That’s one of the reasons he had been hired in so many bars to man the door.
"He was a very imposing individual," Bruns said. "If you weren’t intimidated by looking at him, you were stupid, but once you got to know him, you realized that he was very personable. The bottom line is he was always fair to people and that’s why I like him. I put him in charge of security and that’s why."
North was also known as a gentle giant.
"He would smoke a pipe that had that tobacco that reminded you my grandpa smoked that," Bruns said. "He would just smoke a pipe and just walk around with the pipe in his mouth and talk to everybody. Everybody was his friend."
The event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. with Donna Story singing the national anthem. The band lineup includes Chris Jones until 2 p.m., Closin’ Tyme from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., the Jim Kohler Band from 4 to 5 p.m., Peace Soldier from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., Down to This from 7 to 8 p.m., The 252 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Chasing Eden from 10 to 11 p.m., and Kill Mercy beginning at 11:30 p.m.
Festival organizers say that proceeds from the event will go to a memorial fund set up for North’s youngest son, Asa. Donations can be made to the Asa North Fund, c/o 1908 D South Glenburnie Road, New Bern, NC 28562.
North, a native of California, was shot while trying to protect patrons of the bar on April 14. The alleged shooter, Jonathan Pugh, had been involved in a fight, left the bar and returned with a gun, according to authorities. North was attempting to block the door when the shooting started, and he exchanged gunfire with Pugh, hitting him once.
Pugh survived but North died later at CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern.
Following the incident, North’s friends left numerous notes, flowers and candles at the entrance to Flyers as a memorial.
Pugh, 18, of Havelock, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, and he is next scheduled to appear in court on July 13.