This has been sent around on several mailing lists, i'm not sure where it was originally posted but i guess the author info is correct.Enjoy! -:- You may have heard the great news by now that Philadelphia~born master bassist Henry Grimes, who'd been missing from the music world ever since the late '6O's, had been found in good health (though pretty much destitute) living in a single~room occupancy hotel in South Central Los Angeles. He's been living in the same room for the last 2O years but had long ago sold his bass for survival needs & has since contented himself with writing poetry, trying a bit of acting, doing odd jobs, & surviving on Social Security. The person who found Henry Grimes is a wonderful young social worker & writer named Marshall Marrotte, who himself lives in Athens, Georgia. When Marshall Marrotte found Henry Grimes, Henry told him that he very much wished he had a bass so he could start playing again. Here we have a supreme master musician who went to Juilliard, who recorded & played brilliantly with musicians as diverse as Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus (yes, Charles Mingus), Sunny Murray, Perry Robinson, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Charles Tyler, McCoy Tyner, Rev. Frank Wright, & many more. For me, a planet where the great Henry Grimes does not have a bass is not a place I want to be, & being unprepared for space travel at this time, I took it upon myself to stay here & begin a month~long nationwide search for a bass for Henry Grimes. I wrote to, called, or otherwise contacted about 5O of the musicians Henry played & recorded with before he disappeared, as well as many bassists in good standing today who would know him as a music hero, even if he was before their time. I put particular concentration on the West Coast because shipping a bass is a big expense in itself, & I also thought the Western music community would want the opportunity to gather around him, & I thought it would be easy especially for those connected with academia or major cultural institutions out West to hook him up with practice space & an instrument to play, at the very least. So with Marshall Marrotte's approval, I put the word out far & wide, & then we waited for offers of a bass for Henry Grimes. For quite a while, nobody moved. Slowly a few people began to say they'd be willing to do something ~ make a donation, hold or play in a benefit concert, contribute a bow ~ kind, good offers, but not a bass for Henry Grimes to play. A couple of afflicted souls responded negatively, cynically or with hostility. Most just didn't answer at all. Then, just when I was beginning to despair ~ just when I began to question my lifelong belief in the term "music community" as something more than a concept or an ideal, but as an actual living entity that embraces & sustains its own ~ the great William Parker came home to New York City from another of his tours, took a couple of days to relax, began to read his accumulated Emails, & called me up to say he would send a bass & a bow to Henry Grimes. First he wanted New York's great bass specialist David Gage to make a small repair, & then David's shop would build a shipping crate for the bass & arrange & pay for the shipping. One of David Gage's employees, a bassist called Sprocket, even put up $1OO of his own money to help with shipping costs, while Wendy Oxenhorn of New York's Jazz Foundation stood prepared to cover shipping if needed, & was happy to learn she could keep that money to help another musician in need. Henry Grimes received the bass William Parker named Olive Oil (more, I think, due to the greenish tinge of her finish than for Popeye's girlfriend) on December 16th, 2OO2, & we've been in touch with Henry, & he is ecstatic to have Olive Oil & has been practicing happily ever since. In fact, he recently was heard to wish for a pickup & an amp so he can go out to play, & the building manager reports that if someone knocks on Henry Grimes's door, he's been too engrossed in playing the bass to respond. This leads me back to those offers of donations & benefit concerts & such. For all those who wish to help Henry Grimes on his road back into the music, here are some suggestions: (1) If you were a close friend, band mate, or family member of Henry Grimes, please contact me or Marshall Marrotte & we will give you Henry's address (subject to prior agreement from Henry). Henry has neither phone nor Email. (2) We're starting a fund at David Gage's shop so that Henry Grimes will be able to call & order anything he needs for his bass ~ pickup, amp, new set of strings, a wheel, gig bag, some resin, etc. If you'd like to contribute to this fund, please make a check to DAVID GAGE STRING INSTRUMENT REPAIR, mark somewhere on the check FOR ACCOUNT OF HENRY GRIMES, & mail the check to: Mr. Marshall Marrotte 4696 Tallassee Road Athens, GA 3O6O7~2229. Marshall's Email address is email@example.com . This is so that Marshall can tabulate the amount of the fund, & he will then immediately send the donations on to David Gage. (3) Those who want to send donations, letters, cards, or gifts to Henry Grimes directly rather than through the David Gage fund can mail them to Marshall Marrotte (as above), & Marshall will forward them to Henry Grimes. (If you're sending a donation via this route rather than through the David Gage bass fund, please send a postal money order, NOT a personal check, because Henry Grimes does not have a bank account.) Marshall Marrotte has been serving selflessly as Henry's mentor & protector through all this, & we are being careful not to overwhelm Henry with strangers & fuss, so that he has time to work on playing at his own pace & can make his way back into the music when & as he wishes. He is a shy, gentle, very sensitive person, & we certainly don't want to drive him back into hiding. (4) People who want to hold or play in concerts to honor Henry Grimes, please go ahead & do so! Some of us are planning such a concert here in New York, & I think it will be huge & very, very beautiful. Whether Henry Grimes will attend or participate will be entirely up to him. Meanwhile, funds raised can be handled the same ways as described above. Thanks to all for caring! Margaret Davis Editor & Publisher, "Art Attack!," the publication for & about liberation musicians in NYC (& beyond), on the Web at http://www.jazznewyork.org firstname.lastname@example.org .