23 January 2013

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get an email about a benefit for a musician who has fallen ill and needs assistance. Each missive reminds me of two things: artists are very good, kind, and generous about coming together to help their own when needed and, more pervasive and troubling, there is an appalling lack of affordable medical care for musicians since most are self-employed or employed at will. 

Today’s call to arms is for a Jan. 25 concert for Mike Atta, guitarist for punk band Middle Class. He’s battling cancer for a second time and needs financial help.  It is criminal  that someone who is fighting for his life has to spend one minute thinking about how to pay for that treatment when all his focus should be going toward healing.

Mike, who has a 10-year old son, has kidney cancer that has spread to his lungs. He has been accepted into a special program at USC Norris Hospital that offers aggressive treatment, and even though he has insurance, there are tremendous costs above and beyond what insurance will cover. 

Friends of Atta’s have enlisted an outstanding group of musicians to play at The Echo in Los Angeles, including Adolescents, Mike Watt and the Missing Men, 45 Grave, Channel 3, Shattered Faith White Flag and more. 

In addition to all the bands donating their time to play, Burger Records will also put out a limited edition cassette (no kidding) featuring everyone from Mudhoney to the Circle Jerks to Redd Kross. Proceeds from the cassette sales also go to Atta’s medical expenses. 

I can’t go because of a prior commitment but today’s $10 goes to the Help Mike Atta Battle Cancer Fund.  The goal is to raise $50,000.  Good luck and good health, Mike!

Jan. 23: Help Mike Atta Battle Cancer Fund: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/6Otz6

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