Paradise Rock Club Hosting Benefit Concert for Slain Brigham & Women’s Surgeon

Cardiac surgeon Michael Davidson had more rock-and-roll street cred than most MDs.

Members of Off Label gather together. Davidson, fourth from the right, was murdered in January.

Members of Off Label gather together. Davidson, fourth from the right, was murdered in January. / Photo provided

Rocking out wasn’t a passive hobby for Michael Davidson. Music was an important outlet for the 44-year-old cardiac surgeon, who was shot to death earlier this year at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

He’d shed the stress of days spent performing complicated surgeries and engaging in end-of-life discussions by shredding guitar solos and sharing his passion with a small group of friends, who would cut loose at weekly jam sessions and play the occasional gig for fawning friends and family members. Together they were Off Label, and they rocked harder than any other group of practicing physicians and financial analysts could.

Now the bandmates are paying tribute to their late friend by staging a benefit concert at Paradise Rock Club on Saturday, September 26. The night, which will feature performances by Off Label, Rod the Long Bone, and Grounds for Divorce, is meant to honor the slain surgeon and help raise money for the Davidson Family Fund.

Davidson’s mother described him as a gifted musician who was reading music by age five and skilled on the piano and violin. His tastes evolved over the years, and when he went to Princeton, his interest in the guitar and rock and roll blossomed. According to the Daily Princetonian, Davidson’s college band, The Change, once opened for legendary punks Social Distortion at an on-campus concert.

Davidson’s passion for music never diminished, even after he was a full-fledged surgeon with a packed schedule and growing family—his fourth child was born a few weeks after his death.

At a practice session this March, band members recalled that while Davidson’s skills on the guitar were intimidating, he was an absolute blast to play with, and a bit of a goof ball. They were slated to play a show for colleagues in early February, and Davidson wanted to do a cover of Johnny Be Good in which everyone played a different instrument.

“Mike, of course, learned the drums in a week,” one bandmate said. “He would always lift up the spirit of practice.”


The Rock Like Mike benefit concert kicks off at 7 p.m. on September 26. Tickets and more information can be found here.