A Song for Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers Who Tried to Sing for Trayvon on The Night of The Verdict (w/Updates)
UPDATE, JULY 16, 2013, 3:37 P.M.: Footage was released today from Fuse regarding the attack. Dinalynn Andrews Potter seems to make a beeline from the right towards Lester Chambers. And she did not just knock him down, she began beating him up when he was down until she was grabbed and restrained.
Later, Lester responded to Fuse’s request for an interview by telephone:
The cops let her go with a misdemeanor charge. He started it, huh? I’d sue this broad until the cows come home.
This is a news story from KPIX Channel 5 in San Francisco regarding the attack that goes into more detail, and Chambers’ son Dylan is also pictured.
Remember the Chambers Brothers from the late Sixties, early Seventies? They were, to me, black hippie/soul/gospel/psychedelic types who definitely put together some great jams like the one above.
Lester Chambers, the lead singer, still performs at the age of 73, although the band broke up years ago in 1972. Last night, in Hayward, California, upon hearing of the Zimmerman verdict, Chambers dedicated a Curtis Mayfield song, “People Get Ready,” to Trayvon Martin during his set at a music festival. Unfortunately, before he could complete his performance, a white woman came rushing up from the audience and attacked him. From Daily Kos via another fan, identified as Kurt Kangas:
Lester is fine, just a bit sore and he will feel it tomorrow, the woman who attacked him was white and yelled something like “it’s all your fault” before she hit him; he went down hard but was halfway caught by Barren, thank God; she was subdued by police and taken away while the paramedics came and took him to a local hospital where he went thru a series of cat scans, no broken bones; the only injury for now is a 8″ scratch in the kidney area of his back and it’s starting to swell. Thank you for all your well wishes, he will be up and running soon.
Chambers is struggling to receive back royalties from Columbia Records. He put up this photo above during the Occupy protests to outline his particular woes, and thousands responded to his plight online. The Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, “a nonprofit, worked diligently in Lester’s behalf and thanks to the Internet, in only 24 hours’ time last March, over $10,000 was raised the first day.” Sweet Relief also helped to find him a home in Petaluma, in Marin County. Then:
And in even more exciting news, enterpreneur and businessman Alexis Ohanian created a Kickstarter project for Lester to be able to record and release a new album, with all proceeds going to his benefit via Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. Over $61,084 was raised via Kickstarter from 2,193 backers, whose generosity exceeded the $39,000 needed to produce the album.
I can well imagine the kind of vitriol that this white woman—later identified as Dinalynn Andrews Potter, 43, of Barstow—felt towards Chambers not only for bringing up the murder of Trayvon Martin, but what Chambers and his group represented from that time and last night: a more inclusive America, an antithesis to hatred and repression of spirit, a call for decency and humanity. I hope that Potter will be prosecuted and sued for her assault of this man who is now elderly and who can barely pay his medical bills, much less his rent, bottomline. Chamber’s family and friends are pressing the cops to file hate crime charges because Potter is white and Chambers, of course, is black. From the Contra Costa Times:
Hayward police took Andrews Potter to the police station, where she was arrested on suspicion of battery. She was cited and released, and could face additional charges in the coming days, according to Hayward police Lt. Ruben Pola.
Chambers, a Petaluma resident, was taken to the hospital but has since been released, and is using a cane to walk. A photo his son posted on Facebook shows a large welt on his backside. His son said Chambers had a “bruised rib muscle and nerve damage and he is sore all over.”
It also means that Lester could not complete his set because of this unwarranted attack, and he may have forfeited his fee from The Russell City Hayward Blues Festival. Any serious injury would incapacitate him and keep him from getting and performing at gigs, which no doubt is grocery money. If anything, Lester Chambers could file another civil lawsuit.
Lester’s Facebook page is here. The time has indeed come today. I hope that Lester Chambers continues to stand up for what is right.
- Chambers Brothers Limited Editions on YouTube (billives.typepad.com)
- Beyonce Holds Moment Of Silence For Trayvon Martin (tampa.cbslocal.com)
- Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Tells Musicians To Go Crowdfund Themselves (hypebot.com)
- “Unfortunately, in the blink of an eye, and again in another 24-hour period, everyone’s favorite…” (shortformblog.com)
- Beyoncé Holds Moment of Silence For Trayvon Martin (essence.com)