Locals will soon enjoy another dose of Bad Medicine.
The local band, which long ago put away its drumsticks and guitar picks, is getting back together to mark the grand opening of Good Samaritan’s Charles C. Hedde MD Health Education Center, a $2.5 million facility named in memory of their dear friend and colleague.
Rhythm guitarist Dr. Phil Bacidore, a cardiologist, said it was an honor to be asked to play at the event by the Good Samaritan Foundation.
“I’m proud to be asked to do this for the hospital and for Dr. Hedde,” he said. “He was a good man and a good doctor.”
Bad Medicine — most of its members are in the medical field, hence the name — has a combined 153 years of service to Good Samaritan, and a year ago its original six members reunited to play for the first time in 15 years.
Bacidore’s daughter requested the original Bad Medicine members entertain at her wedding, and while he had no idea how his friends would respond to the request, he fired off some emails regardless.
“I was surprised to hear back from all of them in about 5 to 10 minutes,” Bacidore said. “They were all for it.”
Lead vocalist and surgical nurse Lesa Davis, for one, was excited at the thought of a reunion, especially at the request of a member’s child.
“I never thought about this band having such an impact on our kids,” Davis said. “It’s unbelievable.”
And they’re continuing their reunion tour when the Charles C. Hedde MD Health Education Center opens to the public on June 11.
Bad Medicine was formed nearly 20 years ago when Drs. Bacidore, Bill Vaughn, a urologist, and Scott Ledbetter, a mental health professional, began meeting to jam when not working long hours at the hospital. Eventually, they invited Davis on board to sing.
Lead guitarist Derek Donovan, an architect, would also join later, as would Dr. Andy Wyatt as a base guitar player.
Bad Medicine’s regular stomping grounds included the Time Out Lounge in the now razed Evansville Executive Inn as well as Cutters here in Vincennes and the Diamond BBQ Tavern in Sullivan.
The band took on many incarnations over the years; it has boasted as many as a dozen members as musicians filed in and out.
The group’s last show was at the dedication of Shirley’s Pocket Park in 2013.
But Davis, the last woman standing, is thrilled to see the original six members come back together for this event.
“It’s like reuniting with family,” she said.
While Bad Medicine gained regional notoriety for their classic rock covers, they never accomplished their primary goal, which was to play at a Good Samaritan event.
That is, until now.
“When we started playing together we wanted to play for the (annual) Good Samaritan picnic,” Davis said. “We never got to do that. This is the closest we have gotten.
“In many ways, it’s better,” she said.
And while the band is excited to be back together, they all agree, things will be different this time around.
“Playing together again after all these years is a lot of work,” Bacidore said, “but it’s also a lot of fun.”
Ledbetter, the group’s drummer, acknowledged, too, that everyone is feeling their age.
“Some of us are pushing 71 years old,” he said. “I’m not as fast as I use to be.”
Davis, however, was quick to deny his claim.
“He hasn’t slowed down at all,” she said. “He’s incredible.”
For the Hedde Center event, the band will be playing two sets. Each will include hits like “Crazy Train,” “Twilight Zone,” and everyone’s favorites from 20 years ago.
Officials with Good Samaritan broke ground on the facility — named for Hedde, chief of medicine at the hospital until his death in 2017 — a year ago, and it officially opened this spring.
The Good Samaritan Foundation spearheaded fundraising efforts for the 4,500-square-foot building, located at 520 S. Seventh St., which will serve as a training center for the hospital’s residency program in cooperation with IU Health.
The celebration of the Hedde Center opening is free and open to the public. Festivities will take place in the parking lot on the north side of the facility from 6-9 p.m.
Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.