GGGarth And 54-40's Osborne Make Dumb Bet For Charity

By Ian Walker 3/27/12 |

(L to R) Producer Gggarth Richardson and 54.40 frontman Neil Osbourne

A pair of Canadian music icons are putting their pride and wallets on the line all in support of an innovative charitable foundation called Music Heals. But this isn't just your average wager. Not even close.

At stake is as much as $15,000 each. And here's the kicker: There's a distinct possibility both men will lose. More about that later.

54-40 lead singer Neil Osborne and renowned music producer GGGarth Richardson (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rage Against The Machine, Hedley) are currently in the process of making a record together. The two are also hockey nuts, with Osborne a longtime supporter of the Vancouver Canucks and Richardson a lifelong Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

Naturally, this led to a bet based on their love for their favourite teams, with both men making a YouTube video to help raise the hype. As you'll see in the funny clip, Osborne is risking his royalties that the Canucks will win the Stanley Cup while Richardson has gambled his producer's fees that the Maple Leafs will make the playoffs for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

"There's bragging rights at stake, but the main reason we decided to do it is to raise money for Music Heals," Richardson tellsĀ "It's something we both believe in so we thought what better way to bring awareness than a good-old hockey bet."

The BC-basedĀ Music Heals Foundation was founded by a group of music enthusiasts and provides funding to a wide range of music therapy services across Canada. For those unfamiliar with music therapy, it is used in many settings, including schools, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, hospices, nursing homes and community centers and is designed to help patients overcome physical, emotional, intellectual, and social challenges.

It's worth noting the charity hits close to home for Richardson, whose daughter Samantha, 17, has had many health concerns.

"My daughter has a shunt in her brain and in the last two years she's had five surgeries in her brain and two in her stomach," says Richardson. "From spending so much time in the hospital, I quickly came to learn how much music puts a smile on sick people's faces."

Music and sports fans are invited to join the challenge, by donating $1 in the name of either Osborne or Richardson's favourite team. All proceeds raised will go towards Music Heals.

Blue man Gggarth
"We'd love for everyone to vote for whose team they want to win the bet," says Richardson. "If every Canucks and Leafs fan votes just once it would make an awful lot of sick children very happy."

Which brings us to the crux of the matter. Toronto is all but eliminated from playoff contention, meaning Richardson is already out his producer's fees, which would come to about $15,000.

Vancouver, on the other hand, has also fallen on hard times of late and is hardly the team that went all the way to Game 7 of last year's Stanley Cup Final. So Osborne could be out a similar amount in royalties.

"The funny thing about all this is the day after we made the bet, both teams started to tank," chuckles Richardson. "I'm pretty sure mine won't make the playoffs and from the looks of things the Canucks are in tough to win it all. So it looks like Music Heals is going to be the big winner."


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