Friday, March 16, 2012


It's Friday, which means the Bruins lost again.  I mentioned that before though.

I just bought a CD online.  I did it for reasons unrelated to the music.  I've been listening to a band from Texas called King's X since the early 90's.  Musically they are unreal.  Lyrically they are often terrible.  They are often lumped in with christian rock which makes me want to vomit, and it's not unusual for that to show in their lyrics, again that makes me want to vomit.  They fight the christian rock label, and I am happy about that.  There are reasons that they have made public that make it obvious why they would try to distance themselves from it.  (I remember reading once after a band member publicly outed himself that a chain of christian record stores pulled their music off of their shelves.  How very christian, indeed)  Anyway, none of that has anything to do with why I listen to their music (the guitar god in the band was enough to pull me in, the outstanding vocals including the three part harmonies were enough to keep me there forever) or why I bought this particular record.

Their drummer, Jerry Gaskill, suffered a serious heart attack a few weeks ago.  From all reports he is recovering well.  Last we heard he had been removed from ICU.  That's good to know.  The band has been playing together in the current incarnation since at least 1987, and from what I hear the three band members have been together in one form or another since 1980.  In all that time they had one... maybe two... sniffs at rock and roll success.  Not even stardom, just success.  A couple of songs that made it onto FM radio across the country, and a couple of videos that got some play on MTV.  That was back in the early 90's.  The rest of the time they have wallowed in relative obscurity.

In other words, they have been doing this for over 30 years and they haven't made any money.  I have read interviews in the past where they openly worried about making car payments and rent payments.  These are not rich rock stars in any way shape or form.  They also work in an industry that does not provide health insurance.  If you are a professional musician and you want health insurance it's pretty much guaranteed that you're going to have to buy it yourself as no record label is going to waste money providing health benefits to the employees that they routinely screw over in order to make their billions.  (Not much longer though, my dear record companies.  Your much deserved collapse is imminent.)

So Jerry Gaskill is in a band that is successful enough to make ends meet, usually, but not successful enough to be wealthy... and at the moment his health care bills are piling up at a terrifying rate.

To help counter this, the band has made available a sort of low-fi-ish live recording for sale with all of the proceeds going to help pay for Jerry's medical bills.  For 20 bucks you get a recording of most of a show from June of 1991 at the Channel in Boston, and one of the band members gets 20 bucks closer to paying his medical bills without losing his house. 

You can go to this link to help out:
King's X - Burning Down Boston - Live at the Channel 6.12.91

One of the reasons I support universal public health care is because I never want to have to do this again.

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