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I return from a needed 10 days vacation and a few weeks work on assignment for Spin magazine (more on that below), to the news you probably already know. Our longtime friend and features and reviews contributor and super nice guy JOHN “STABB” SCHROEDER, former singer of GOVERNMENT ISSUE and more recently of FACTORY INCIDENT and now MANCHURIAN GARDEN CLUB , was viciously, brutally, murderously attacked July 17, for no apparent reason. Five or six teenaged thugs beat him senseless on a Maryland street near his home, causing three facial fractures, two broken bones, and a broken nose which required four-and-a-half hours of surgery to repair, requiring the insertion of five metal plates in his face and braces for his teeth. Ouch. Needless to say, a liquid diet ensued.
I will leave aside the oddity that a normally dressed, unthreatening 46-year-old is so violently battered in the suburbs of Maryland, whereas he managed to escape such a terrible fate back when he was 20 and a pioneering D.C. punk rocker in one of the most dangerous cities in the nation. Because, frankly, it’s just plain a bizarre, inexplicable, and senseless assault by any context. To date, none of the youths have been identified or arrested. But if not from the long arm of the law, I’m still betting they’ll get theirs someday, somehow, someway, some sunny day. Life has a way of punishing such insanely wicked deeds.
Meanwhile, the opposite (loosely “good karma”) is now happening to our Stabb. John was fortunately not among the 43 millions of us lacking in health insurance. But as the other 250 million of us have found out, what our insurance actually covers when we need it and what it does not can still bankrupt us as quickly as having none at all. For instance, John’s hospital stay was covered, but the surgery itself, costing several thousand dollars was not.
So his friends—and he has many, not only because of all the music he has given us, but because he is so personable—have taken to a series of benefit concerts and have set up a paypal address where a few bucks can be sent.
All the info is found here including, interestingly enough, photos of poor John’s face right after the beastly assault (it’s pretty gruesome to witness, folks, for anyone who knows this guy, and in general) and what he looks like now, which is thankfully a lot closer to the way we remember him. (And judging from his recent interviews on the subject, he hasn’t lost his sense of humor, either, despite having frequent nightmares and other mental trauma.)
It also includes the listing of benefit shows upcoming, including ones in Atlanta, D.C., and Denver, and a place where you can donate items for auction.
A speedy recovery to our comrade is wished from myself and all of us here at Big Takeover.
Quickly, as this seems quite unimportant compared to the above, but since a number of you asked me where I have been (Hey, it’s nice to know you folks actually miss my blog when I don’t post something—there’s an awful lot of content for free on the net, so I’m actually genuinely pleased!), I ended up flying straight to Los Angeles from my vacation to conduct two long interviews for Spin with a bunch of 1977 punk rockers being recognized for giving us that genre of music back when that was a really unpopular and threatening thing to do. I’m not sure that I am at liberty to reveal which of these historical (and all still quite musical!) figures I was assigned to chronicle, so I will play it safe and just let you know the final result should be appearing in the October issue. And when it is out, I will once again mention it here in this space so you know to look for it.
And lastly, work has begun in earnest on the writing of our upcoming fall issue 61 of Big Takeover, which, I can reveal here, will likely have NEW PORNOGRAPHERS on the cover! Hurrah! What a great band! If you have anything to advertise with us, and/or if you just feel like supporting us and print magazines in general in this net-challenging environment, I’d be glad to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or, for that matter, if you just feel like writing me, or submitting a letter for our letters section (or both), I’m always glad to read comments. If you have some music to submit, though, better get it in fast to our Brooklyn office address; our next issue after this won’t be until May of next year.
Thanks again to everybody for the kind words, and for missing me (!!!) and happy rest of summer. And again, our thoughts and best wishes go out to John.
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