Support laid-up rocker

Mon. April 30
Doors at 7 p.m.
Music at 8 p.m.
Lola’s Room
at Crystal Ballroom,
Donations welcome

Portland is a big city. Usually, when someone hears those words, they assume a few things go along with it. Big traffic problems, big buildings and a big cold shoulder.

If you’re from a small town, you can count on people taking care of each other. When someone falls ill, thier neighbor stops by with dinner. When your dog is hit on the road, you can bet on a face-to-face explanation. Not in Portland right? It is a “big city” after all. On April 30th, you’d better start telling your friends it’s a small town.

Let me explain. Not long ago, a local musician named Robbie Duncan was playing basketball with his friends. For one reason or another, he took a bad spill. He’s young and in good shape, but unfortunately osteoporosis runs in his family.

Next thing Robbie knew, he was in the hospital with a broken pelvis. Ouch. Here is what really hurts: no insurance. That’s why the Crystal Ballroom is collecting donations for Robbie at a special showcase of local bands.

You see they’ve gotten to know him over the past decade pretty well. Robbie Duncan grew up in Portland and deeply entrenched himself in the local music scene. He got his start with a band called Spectator Pump and moved on become the drummer for The Pinehurst Kids.

Although he still set the beat with them, he had taken on yet another group, The Standard. Music was everything until his drum went silent. Right now he is in a body cast and won’t be able to play for a year. Ritchie Young has temporarily joined the band, but even a favor like that won’t pay for a broken pelvis.

Here’s where you can join in on this story. On Monday the 30th, go to the Crystal Ballroom for a free showcase of local music. The Standard is headlining the show and will play for an hour or so.

Also featured will be Dig Men, Delorean, Vespertines and Velvet Underground tribute band Foggy Notion.

The doors of Lola’s Room open at 7 p.m. and the music well liven things up around eight. Remember, there’s no cover, so you can give your extra cash to the Robbie Duncan fundraiser. The Crystal ballroom hasn’t set an exact goal for how much they need to raise, but I think it should be pretty clear; enough for Robbie to get back on the scene.

Bright lights and loud music might be enough to convince some people they’re in the big city, though. Let’s try to keep in mind that this whole thing is about helping somebody else out.

Robbie didn’t ask for osteoporosis, he didn’t ask to fall during a basketball game, and even if he did ask, no one would have given him free insurance.

I suppose Robbie could’ve quit doing what he loves and found a job with better benefits, but if every artist did that, who would make music? That’s right, no one. How would your life be without your favorite bands? Wouldn’t it be better to foster a closer community based on compassion, good music, and the American Dream?