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Wednesday, April 18, 2007 10:01 pm

Support your local musician

Two Springfield artists need community’s support

Bill Laymon
Untitled Document Our society enjoys the arts but often fails to support its artists. I don’t mean to dismiss lovers and backers of the arts — bless you, each and every one — it’s just that we forget that most artists and entertainers do what they do for very little monetary reward. They don’t enjoy the safety nets that others take for granted. There’s no health insurance, retirement plan, or job security. Guided by the muse, they don’t think of life in the same way others do. That, of course, is what makes them artists, and that is what gives us the art that enriches our lives.
Please find it in your hearts and pockets to come to the aid of two deserving musicians who are in differing situations but both need funds to continue their artistic endeavors.
Bill Laymon dedicated his life to playing the bass. He grew up in Springfield and Pleasant Plains, then left to join a rock & roll band in California around 1980. We wished him luck, and it must have worked, for Laymon played with some greats, including the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the David Nelson Band, Jefferson Starship, and Big Brother and the Holding Company. In the process he delivered a good time to thousands of people while making a modest  living. Laymon recently encountered serious health issues, stifling his ability to work at the level he once did and delivering him full circle back to Springfield. He, like many musicians — indeed, like many Americans — has no health insurance. If you’ve ever tried to get medical help without insurance, you know the story. Friends in the Springfield area have organized a benefit for Laymon, 2-10 p.m. Sunday, April 22, at the Firefighters/Postal Club, 940 W. Lake Shore Dr. Your $5 donation gets you in to see several of our most popular local acts. Be sure to participate in the silent auction and say hi to Bill. In happier news, Ben Bedford is preparing for a two-week Scandinavian tour at the beginning of May. Bedford’s latest CD, Lincoln’s Man, attracted the attention of promoters in Sweden, who have invited him to perform at a songwriters’ retreat and then continue with a tour. The paycheck isn’t big, but the travel expenses are, so Bedford has organized a show at the Cellar in Andiamo (204 S. Sixth St., 217-523-3262), 7-10 p.m. Friday, April 20, to help finance the European trip. Admission is $10 (and for $15 you get a copy of Lincoln’s Man). Stop by and give a boost to a young artist out to make his mark on the world.
Thanks for supporting your local musicians.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.
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