Pony up, folks. Below, watch the original video for “Behing the Wall of Sleep.”
By Fred Mills
Wasn’t that whole musicians-don’t-have-decent-health-insurance like, sooo Nineties? Not on your life, pal—as anyone reading this who has half a brain, or at least has at least paid half attention, to the issue over the past two decades will attest. Plus, back then all we had were benefit albums and concerts to pony up for when it came time to giving back to those folks who had given us so much pleasure. Nowadays we have grassroots crowdfunding, which by my way of thinking is way more efficient and ensures that a good chunk of your dough doesn’t go to some of the extraneous components of fundraising.
So the mighty Smithereens, of which we here at BLURT are huge fans, have a dude named Pat DiNizio in the band; you might’ve heard of him. The guitarist and songwriting genius endured an injury a couple of winters ago during a blizzard, slipping on ice, and then he later sustained another injury in the bathtub. The result, in his words, is “nerve damage [that] took months to show up, but I am finally at the point where my right hand and arm have no strength whatsoever and are just about useless. Can’t write my name, can’t hold a pick or play guitar, can’t open bottles or cans, cannot eat properly, shave, drive a car safely, just about everything and anything requiring the use of my right hand and arm is affected.”
Even if you don’t play guitar, you can probably guess what that translates into. To compound matters, DiNizio’s coverage under the Affordable Care Act hasn’t kicked in yet but he needs to have a series of immediate surgeries. You can probably guess what that translates into as well.
So DiNizio’s pals, including longtime Smithereens fan Victor Erlanger, have set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds to help pay for those surgeries and subsequent physical therapy. As DiNizio notes, he was very reluctant to go along with it because he hates the idea of being a charity case. But, he adds, “I had a long conversation with Jimmy from the Smithereens and he assured me that there was no shame in any of this, so with much reservation, I gave Victor the green light.”
So, put simply, YOU, Blurt readers, also have a greenlight. Go take a look at the page and then think about helping our man out. They are shooting for $20k and as of this writing, over the course of the past month 249 people have contributed over $12k. Which is a helluva lot more than Pat will get from all of us streaming his songs on Spotify, eh?