In this unreal time, one of the hardest hit segments of the population is our cultural family of artists, musicians, performers, and members of the music business. Some organizations, such as Live Nation, have set aside a fund to ease the financial burdens of their furloughed crew members, who sit idle as national tours have ground to a halt. Aerosmith and Kiss, among other bands, have produced special edition T-shirts to sell with all the money gong to the fund. Check those band's websites for details.
One smaller effort with a similar goal has been announced by local photographer and musician Joshua Pickering, who felt that he had to do something to help out the struggling people of his profession all around him. Of course, with Boston's large and thriving artistic community, the problem here is a mammoth one. Joshua has been shooting photos and playing in clubs around town for ten years, and, fortunately, has a computer job he can fall back on. But, as he mentioned, "So many friends and acquaintances I’ve made along the way are going through a hard time right now, having had their income and the thing they love doing removed from them in one awful fell swoop."
Joshua has set up a website called DARK ROOM, BRIGHT LIGHTS to sell prints of his many photos, using the profits after expenses to benefit hourly workers at Boston-area music venues forced to close by COVID-19, as well as musicians in the Greater Boston area. The Good Samaritan says he won't make a single cent from this - each item is sold at cost, plus a $5 donation and a 9.9% processing fee, with the option to donate more if people are able.
The site includes photos of AC/DC, Billy Joel, ZZ Top, Buffalo Tom, Belly, Mighty Mighty Bossstones, Dropkick Murphys, Joe Satriani, Heart, The Revolution, The Monkees, Cher, Rick Springfield, and many shots of core Boston artists. Joshua also included some travel photos, thinking they might make nice artwork for people's walls.
So go to the website and check out the photos! Order one or order many! Just remember, you're getting a great piece of art, and at the same time helping some of your local heroes eat or pay the rent!
Once again, the link to Joshua's website is here: DARK ROOM, BRIGHT LIGHTS
Photos of ZZ Top and Dicky Barrett from Joshua Pickering's collection.