Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heart and Soul -- The Case for Peter Case

Man, it's been a tough week for news about musical heroes.

Peter Case has enriched my life for about thirty years now, first as the lead singer/songwriter for The Plimsouls, then as a superb solo artist. His songs have spoken to me as powerfully as any artist, and he has a particular knack for nailing the distinctive conundrums that will be familiar to people who desire to follow God, and who regularly get tripped up by their own humanity and their propensity to follow their own wayward tendencies instead.

I just found out that Peter underwent open-heart surgery a few weeks back. He's recovering nicely, and that's very good news, but the medical bills associated with the surgery and his recovery are, of course, astronomical. And, in a story that is all too common in the musical world, Peter does not have medical insurance.

Yes, you can help. Yes, so can I. In the interest of cutting off some potential objections and the snarky comments about the stupidity of not having medical insurance, let me note that I've come to a renewed appreciation of this dilemma in the past couple weeks. It's one thing to moan about the several hundred dollars per month that you have to shell out for medical insurance through your employer. It's quite another thing to be without an employer, or to be self-employed (welcome to the wonderful world of musicians). Then that several hundred dollars per month rapidly becomes several thousand dollars per month, and when you're faced with the prospect of maybe, if you're lucky, raking in more from ticket sales than you spent on gas to get to the next gig, then things like medical insurance tend to fall by the wayside.

In any event, Peter could use your help. A number of musicians and friends have formed a benefit organization called Hidden Love Medical Relief to raise funds to help defray Peter's medical expenses. A benefit concert is also in the works. I'll let you know once I hear more details.

I woke up in the dark
My covers on the floor
Stripped of all my dreams and my pride
The vast black night that conquered me
Was coming back for more
Until I turned and saw the angel by my side
We kept the secret hidden deep inside
Hidden love, unbidden love,
And all the tears we cried
Though I've loved you for a long time
It can't be denied
Someone sees the dreams we hide
-- Peter Case, "Hidden Love"


Anonymous said...

Very nicely written tribute to Peter Case. He has also "enriched" my life since the "Blue Guitar" album. I am of a mind to contribute to his relief fund, but I am leery of this sort of appeal for money on the internet. How can I verify the legitimacy of the Hidden Love relief organization?

Andy Whitman said...

Stan, here's the link to the Hidden Love Relief organization: http://www.hiddenlovemedicalrelief.com/

I honestly have no way to verify that this is legit, but I also have absolutely no reason to doubt that it is. Art Shingler, who contacted me about Peter, is a longtime friend of Peter's, and contributes regularly on Peter's blog. I have every reason to believe that he, and everyone associated with this organization, have come together in an ad hoc way very quickly with the simple goal of helping their friend. I'm content to leave it at that.