I've always said and felt that artists, specifically musicians and singers are some of the bravest souls. I'm speaking of music artists because that's the community we are proud members of. But creative artists of any kind can be included. My reason for saying artists are brave souls is it takes courage to present your work and bare your soul to the world. Thus, opening yourself to all kinds of criticism.
One night at about 10:30pm on July4, 2012, we witnessed a different act of bravery. An act that probably saved real lives or at the very least prevented serious injury to fellow human beings. An act carried out by fellow friends and music artists. You see we witness three, could have been four (there was a lot going on) of our friends run into a burning house and rescue the people inside.
This all began with Debbie Knappers' annual 4th of July party 2012. Debbie by the way is one of the most gifted guitarist we know and we're again proud to say she has worked with us(TN'T Trish N' Tom) for the past nine years. Anyway, this is not just your average party, but it's a celebration where singers, musicians, poets, music lovers come together and jam with plenty of food and drink. It's not a competition, it's just good people making good music for good people. This year the event was held at a private home in St. Albans Queens complete with a stage, lighting, superb sound, chefs, bartenders, good people and plenty of space (an outdoor event). All of these things came together creating a spectacular ambiance.
Okay, so we're cruising through the evening and everybody taking the stage is on top of their game. We couldn't ask for a more receptive audience, as everyone in attendance were fans of the music. Good people, can't stress this enough. We were patiently awaiting our turn to do what we do. I'm standing stage left looking over the shoulder of one my favorite keyboard players (James Preston), you know, trying to pick up a few tips. I'm not a keyboard player I'm a drummer dabbling in keyboard. All of a sudden James looks toward the sky and says "that house is on fire". I thought musically it was getting so funky... that was, well you know that is a term used in the biz when things are flowing well. But no it didn't take long before we all realized the house next door was on fire for real. There was an air conditioner in the window on the second floor which had caught fire. Immediately we sprung into action. The music stopped and about five or six maybe more myself included sprinted towards the house on fire. While I'm running I'm thinking what am I going to do because I have never in my life run towards a fire, maybe away from a fire but not to the fire. So I'm standing on the sidewalk in front of the house, everybody's screaming dial 911. I look up at a second floor window and there's a lady looking out, but she's totally oblivious to the fact she's in a burning house. Now I'm yelling and probably others around me, get out, the house is on fire, but she's not getting it. She's still looking out wondering what's all the commotion. We're screaming at her, get out, the house is on fire! Now this is what blew me away. I look out the corner of my eye and these three guys are running into the burning house, wait a minute I know them, It was Richie Johnson, don't know the other two guys name, I think one was the DJ and the other may have been the sound man. I knew Richie because he's been our drummer for nine years. Finally the lady in the window must have gotten the message, don't know if it was us or three strangers running through the front door of the house. Not only did Richie and the other two guys... man I wish I knew their names escort all of the people out of the burning house. They went upstairs to the room where the fire started and let the dog and cats outs. Everyone including the cats and dog made it out safely.
Here comes the FDNY. I got to give it up to these guys for the way they went about handling the business of controlling and putting out the fire.
I was so proud of my fellow artists that ran into the burning house, because if they had not acted who knows what the outcome might have been. I don't even know if they realize how heroic their actions were. Kudos to them, Kudos to Debbie for having her annual 4th of July bash, for if we had not been there jamming away the fire could have gone unnoticed just a few more minutes and the episode might have ended quite differently.
Needless to say we didn't get our chance to grace the stage, and there were others as well. It wasn't important, what was important is something tragic could have happen but because of some brave souls it was prevented. These were some of the things I recall, there were many other actions taken to help prevent a tragic end. Good people do good things. We're proud to be music artists.