The Story of Tom, Buddy Boy and Little Guy
I'll call him "Tom," because if I use his real name, it might jeopardize ongoing and future business relationships. In the 70s, he and his band made a kick-ass album for a major label. You can now find illegal copies of it all over the Internet, and he doesn't get a dime. He 's had a long hard journey, and at the moment, his career is stalled because he lacks a manager and an agent.
What's his goal?
While I'm sure that he would be grateful for any gig that came his way, his main goal is to get his music heard by professional musicians who would perform his songs. He has written over 300 of them and has two new demo CDs that showcase at least a few potential big time hits, if recorded by the right artists.
Why is this urgent?
Tom is flat out broke. His rent is due on Sept. 1st. If he doesn't pay by September 3, the penalty is $100. He can't afford his meds, so he's going to be doing without. He has two ageing Bichon-Poodles, and one has a lame hind leg and a lump on his head. The other one has hot spots and needs an exam and meds. They both require Valium before and after vet visits, because otherwise, they go into life-threatening seizures during the trip. But Tom has no money for vet visits, and the nearest vet college, which might possibly have a free clinic (MAYBE), is 75 miles away. He's almost out of dog food and almost out of cash. I could go on, because the picture gets even worse than that.
What is Tom doing to help himself?
Tom does have an income. Social Security and some money from an investment. He is putting in applications to organizations affiliated with Musicares, which is the emergency resource of the Grammys. He's got a bad back and can't work full time, but he's looking for a part time job, while he pursues the professional aspects of his life.
How much does he need, and when does he need it?
I crunched the numbers and came up with $2000. That's what Tom needs between now and September 3. $2000 should see him through September, and unfortunately, if he hasn't made things work by October, there isn't much we can do.
Why so little notice?
If you were in Tom's position, would you broadcast it? Keep in mind that it's been said that many people in the U.S., and maybe elsewhere, are just one paycheck away from losing everything.
He just told me a few days ago, and I have spent the last three days, eight hours a day, battling software that kept blowing out either this announcement or the slideshow.
What do you get in return?
These days, it's very common for musicians to raise funds by offering fans' names in a sponsors' booklet for up coming albums, bonus tracks, free tix, private meet-and-greets, etc., in exchange for seed money. If you make a donation to the Musician's Emergency Support Fund, you won't get anything like that in return. What you will get is a really good feeling when you go to bed at night, knowing that you've contributed to Tom's safety net, and knowing that you've helped to keep one more American and two little dogs from sleeping on the streets.
Help today, not tomorrow
You can help him now. Think about the times when someone helped you out. Think of how you're spending your money today. I know money's tight. This was the first time in 35 years that I didn't take a vacation. But I just can't stand by and see this talented man's life go down the drain.
Please give to the Musician Emergency Support Fund. I'd like to set a minimum donation of $10 US (or the equivalent in Canadian or British funds), but any amount will help. $2000 in 14 days means we have to average $143 a day. But if we can't do that, Tom is homeless, and his dogs are dead.
Tom is not happy that I'm doing this. He's a proud man. But I figure at $200, I've been renting those songs that have been stuck in my head since 1971 for about two cents a day. So I'm going to start it off with $200, which is all I can afford.
My name is Cinnie Morgan.