One thing that holds true in our system of capitalism in the US is that musicians are something of an underclass. In fact, all artists are. We are viewed as 'self employed' largely, and often as dispensible and a luxury afforded to an affluent society only when the budget allows. In other countries the artist has a much more elevated status in standing and in terms of income and benefits. There is not commonly such a thing as unemployment insurance for artists, nor salaried positions except in rare instances. So when musicians are in need it is often other musicians that see the plight and step up to do something about it.
Witness Hurricane Katrina. There are many musicians who live on the edge in the Gulf Coast region and many of them would have been swallowed up without Musicares (part of NARAS, the Grammy people)....a music industry funded relief fund for musicians that distributed MILLIONS of dollars to musicians in need.
With that as the backdrop an event arises an event Friday to assist one of our finest and very own Boston area musicians. Drummer John Sands (for some strange (or obvious) reason given the nickname Huggy Bear) suffered a massive heart attack last fall. It is a miracle he is with us at all, but he managed to pull through. His recovery has been slow slow slow and he was in the ICU in critical condition for weeks. Needless to say the bills have mounted. Cue the musicians....
John is someone who possesses what could be called a HUGE groove....a deep pocket...a....oh well, you get the idea. This Friday at the Paradise in Boston, a benefit concert given by some of those who have benefited from the association with MR Sands Pocket (and his hugs) including Aimee Mann, Lori McKenna, Ron Sexsmith and the Jess Tardy Band will help send love to John, and in doing so we'll help out a musician friend in need. More info at www.teamhuggy.com
Support your local musician. If you don't who will?