Some Roanoke drummers have had it tough over the past year, and their fans have responded. Bruce Wall, drummer for The Kings, recently had reconstructive surgery to follow up cancer procedures on his jaw. Todd Cooper, drummer for The Worx, recently was diagnosed with tachycardia, a potentially deadly heart ailment.
Last Sunday, their fellow local music biz friends put on benefit shows for them. At Jefferson Center, Cooper’s friends Harold Thompson, Jeff Hofmann and Rob Besselo put together a shindig for Cooper in that venue’s Shaftman Hall. It was the second in Cooper’s honor, and due to logistical concerns, came together kind of late for much publicity.
The first one, in March at the old Growler’s American Grill, was a packed house. This one had what felt like a smallish crowd in the 900-seat room. But according to Bessolo, attendees dropped at least $850 into a donation box. Add that to more than $2,000 previously collected from a variety of sources.
The best news from that event was Cooper’s presence. He’s not all the way back by a long shot, but he and his doctors are working to try and get him there. It’s an expensive proposition, and since the lifelong musician Cooper doesn’t have insurance, it’s a more difficult proposition.
Among the bands playing were Cimmaron, Lenny Marcus Trio and My Radio. At the bottom of this post, check out decent sounding but lousy looking cell-phone video for the Marcus trio version of “Up Above The Rock.”
Cimmaron, pictured above, did double-duty. After their Jefferson Center set, the country band headed across town to a packed house at Schooners for the Wall benefit. Lots of players sat in for a fun set. The Kings, Fuzzy Logic and Project 4 were also on the bill. The show, well publicized in advance, raised about $5,400 for Wall.