Eddie Erickson and Becky Kilgore, striking a pose in 2008
If you don’t know Eddie Erickson, I humbly suggest that your life has been incomplete. “Fast Eddie,” as he’s also called, is many things: a swinging solo and rhythm guitarist; a blazing banjoist; an incomparable clown and vaudevillian; a remarkably moving ballad singer. I first encountered him as one-third or one-fourth (who’s counting?) of B E D, named for Becky Kilgore, Eddie, and Dan Barrett, with essential swing counseling from the “silent J,” Joel Forbes.
Here is Eddie as the captivating balladeer (in 2011, with Sue Kroninger and Chris Calabrese):
Here is Eddie as the wonderful swingster (in 2014, with Becky Kilgore, Dan Barrett, Rossano Sportiello, Nicki Parrott, Ed Metz):
Here is Eddie the irrepressible comedian, making old jokes seem new (in 2014, with Johnny Varro, Bria Skonberg, Antti Sarpila, Nicki Parrott, Chuck Redd):
How could a man so ebullient have medical problems? Well, if you know Eddie, you know he’s recently recovered from serious heart surgery — a replacement valve — and is slowly, slowly doing all right. He is recovering at home.
But he has expenses to pay. You know what those white envelopes that come from the hospital, the medical group, and other people look like? He’s got a pile of them. And a free-lance jazz musician, a Swing Troubadour, is not always a bourgeois sort with a regular salary. So if you can’t gig for some time while recovering . . . you can imagine.
(This is not, I assure you, an empty appeal. I don’t like to use JAZZ LIVES to sell products or to raise money — but this afternoon I walked to the mailbox and sent a check before writing this blogpost.)
“Here’s the deal,” as Eddie and Bill Dendle would say.
This little appeal for funds has been vouched for by Sue Kroninger, someone I trust deeply, and I’ve just gotten off the phone with Elinor Hackett, someone who loves Eddie sincerely — another secular saint.
Elinor, a dear friend/fan/supporter of Eddie (indeed a supporter of trad jazz, youth programs, festivals and live music) has opened an account at Chase, which will be used to collect any donations to help Eddie in his efforts to get well and pay his medical bills. Eddie has given so much love to so many people throughout his life, that it seems fitting that this time it’s his turn to receive some love in return. At the moment, the account is in Elinor’s and Eddie’s sister, Diane’s name — Eddie will be able to access the money when he is a little stronger.
Thanks for giving this your attention. Please pass it along to anyone who you feel might also be interested. I know that many people who love Eddie don’t always have computers or spend as much time on them as we do.
Please send as ample a check as you can to Elinor Hackett at the address below. Make the check out to Elinor, and write “Gift of Love to Eddie” in the memo space of your check. Mail it to Elinor Hackett, 9037 Mojave Dr, Sacramento, Ca 95826-4521.
All checks will be logged and deposited in this special “Love Eddie” account.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org / phone 916-363-8895
And a few lines for me: it is more blessed to give than to receive, and the joys of doing a kindness last longer than the pleasure one has in being the recipient. I don’t want to belabor the point, but I shall: if everyone who’d ever laughed hilariously or grown teary at a performance by Eddie Erickson sent him the price of a Starbucks coffee or a two-pound bag of supermarket potato chips, he would never have to worry.
Thank you for reading this. And thank you even more on Eddie’s behalf.
May your happiness increase!