In the face of wrongdoing, GJ community makes things right
If there is one truth about being part of a music community, it’s that musicians take care of each other.
There’s an unwritten code musicians abide by. For example, if someone needs a PA system for a show and you happen to have one available, you let them borrow it. If you are playing a show and someone needs a guitar cable, you let them borrow one.
Simple things like this happen in all music communities. Here in Grand Junction, though, our community has raised the bar of support.
By now I’m sure you’ve heard about what happened to local band Zolopht. Having had over $20,000 worth of music equipment stolen in Houston during the homestretch of their last tour, Zolopht found themselves in a tough spot. How do you continue on as a band when you’ve literally lost everything?
Thankfully for Zolopht, Grand Junction came together to help make things right.
Local radio DJ for Drive 105 and host of the Local Legends show Dustin Coren played a big role, helping to organize multiple fundraisers that brought 20 businesses and 11 local bands to the table to raise money for the band.
Greg Hartman, operator of the Grand Valley Live music blog, donated proceeds from his first local music compilation, “Grand Valley Music Volume 1,” to Zolopht.
Sabrosa and Roasted opened up their venues for an all-day benefit concert and silent auction, again with event proceeds going to Zolopht.
All in all, over $4,000 was raised over the weekend at the “Save Our Zolopht” benefit concert, and approximately $7,500 was raised pre-show through direct donations.
The generosity of these individuals, business and many more unnamed individuals is staggering. Unfortunately it’s not an uncommon occurrence for bands to have their gear stolen while on tour. The way our local community responded is, however, absolutely unique and quite shocking.
If this were to happen to a touring band from a metropolitan area, do you think they’d be as lucky as Zolopht? Absolutely not. Most bands in similar situations would be left begging for help on online fundraising sites.
Not our Zolopht. Not in Grand Junction. This spirit of collaboration and cooperation amongst our music community is special.
If you look closely around the valley, that spirit lives on in places like the Electric Ballroom, a multi-use rehearsal space and art studio for local bands and artists. It lives on the 970West Studio at Mesa County Libraries which provides space and equipment for audio and digital production.
You can watch that sense of community take place in real time at the new Wednesday Open Mic night at the Rockslide.
This Open Mic is a joint effort between musicians Lloyd Anthony and Gabe Smith, and videographer Nick Moore. Anthony hosts the event, Smith runs sound and records audio, and Moore documents the whole event through video and photo, and posts content to social media. It’s a collaborative effort, which aims to bring musicians together and highlight the area’s talent.
Just last Wednesday I watched four individual musicians from Grand Junction and Montrose play 15-minute sets. A couple touring bands also stopped in to play a quick set before heading off to the Underground Music Showcase in Denver. I also chatted with a number of drummers, guitarists, and singers about upcoming projects and, of course, what was happing with Zolopht.
Local bands form and dissolve. Great venues come and go. What will always remain, though, is the bond between musicians and the overwhelming support they share for one another. In an area so economically and socially distressed as ours, this is one thing Grand Junction can be proud of.