Joe Bonamassa, at age 12, in 1989, opened for B.B. King. Imagine: not only was he 12 but there he was, playing guitar ahead of one of the guitar-playing greats.
That worked out well. Bonamassa has become something of an axe-wielding phenomenon in the 30 years since.
Speaking of the situation that COVID-19 has brought on, Bonamassa said: “Musicians have a tough road ahead and this will help them regroup until they can head out on the road again when everyone gets a green light.”
He is talking about a live-stream fundraising event that he is holding tomorrow night (May 14, 8 pm EST).
Bonamassa is going to perform and talk about his vintage Fender guitars.
The proceeds will go to his Fueling Musicians Program, which is an emergency relief plan that was created by his 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA).
The program will provide musicians with financial assistance for living expenses as well as pre-paid fuel cards so they’ll be able to literally get on the road.
The Fueling Musicians Program is being supported by Fender Premium Audio and Volkswagen. (VW offers Fender audio systems in many of its vehicles.)
The event will be on the VW Facebook page.
Over the years I’ve cracked car companies on their sometimes-craven use of music.
Not this time.
Musicians need all the help they can get, and credit to VW for its support of Bonamassa’s efforts.
Incidentally, if you’re interested in contributing to the Fueling Musicians Program or if you’re a musician who needs help and would like to fill out an application form for assistance, go here.
(Photo: Christie Goodwin)