Grahams and Lemonade

Jon Dee Graham's sweet benefit

Jon Dee at at the Saxon last Saturday, with scar
Jon Dee at at the Saxon last Saturday, with scar
photo by Sandy Carson

If you’re one of those brave souls who shows their face in public on South Congress on Sunday morning, you probably go to the Sinner’s Brunch at Jo’s. This Sunday from 12:30-3pm, a special performance benefits our beloved Jon Dee Graham and the myriad medical expenses that came after his car crash in July.

The folks at Sweet Leaf Tea Company will be selling “Something Wonderful Lemonade” and “Big Sweet Life Tea,” with youthful vendors Henry Ames (age 9), Oliver Ames (age 5), and Patch Pape (age 9) to dole it out. Amy’s Ice Cream created “Jon Dee Honey Graham” ice cream and will offer it to attendees. Tina Rose & the Jo’s Band perform, and a Jon Dee merch table will have CDs for sale. All proceeds from the event benefit the Graham family.

When I read that Jon Dee’s accident occurred after he fell asleep while driving home from a gig, my blood iced. It’s the nightmare of all musicians, and no one talks about what it’s like to drive home late after a gig, drained of energy, tired of the day, distracted by what’s next, and lulled into sleepiness by the white lines dotting your route. “Playing for fun” is the way most folks view musicians, even those they intellectually know work hard and make little money at it. I always think of the late Ginger Shults, VP of the local musicians union, who said, “If you think this is fun, you try loading out of the Elephant Room at 3am!”

Just about the time I started writing the paragraph above, I learned that Eric Laufer, of local indie rockers the Two Timin’ Four, died last night after being hit on his motorcycle around 4am. I don’t know Eric or the band, but the news grabbed my heart the same way. A family has lost a loved one. A young band with a bright future has lost an integral part of its soul. Friends have lost one of their own. And his bed will lie cold and empty tonight.

My sincerest sympathies to Eric Laufer’s family, bandmates, and friends.

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