Sweet Relief Supporting Legendary Musician Lester Chambers on Purchase of Home
At the age of 78, musician Lester Chambers of the pioneering and legendary Chambers Brothers is looking to make the move to a home of his own. The three-time cancer survivor who also suffered a physical assault during a live performance is looking for assistance from the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund to spread the word and raise $30,000 to bolster his down payment.
The incredible story of Lester Chambers begins in the 1960’s. The
Chambers Brothers released seventeen full-length studio albums, had numerous chart-topping hits and toured the world only to have their finances ruined by both bad management and dubious contracts. Creating music for over fifty years, Lester‘s first royalty check came in 1994 and to this day he still has not been paid for several of The Chambers Brothers studio albums, none of the over 100 compilation albums the band is on, or for numerous commercials/movies. These setbacks could have been overwhelming on their own, but Lester has also courageously battled and beaten cancer three times in his 78 years. He is grateful to still be able to do what he loves which is producing new music, singing, playing harmonica and sharing his amazing stories with family, friends and audiences.
Five years ago Lester was working on a major comeback. He had released a new studio album in 2012 with the help of Alexis Ohanian (the co-founder of Reddit) and The Fuse Network began filming Lester for his career resurgence. Things changed drastically for Lester during a performance at the Hayward Blues Festival on the evening of the Trayvon Martin shooting verdict (February 24, 2015). While
onstage Lester asked the audience to pray for peace and positivity during the song “People Get Ready.” He was then viciously attacked by an audience member who jumped on stage. The assault caused broken ribs, a dislocated hip, numerous contusions and PTSD. This senseless attack would forever change him mentally and physically.
In an attempt to recoup medical expenses and costs of lost performances, Lester pursued litigation. An out-of-court settlement was accepted after five long, stressful years, which held the security company responsible and not the city of Hayward.
Sweet Relief Musicians Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides assistance to career musicians and music industry workers who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Grant recipients include recording artists, club and session musicians, and composers and songwriters from every musical genre. Since its inception in 1994, Sweet Relief has helped musicians with medical and living expenses, including insurance premiums, prescriptions, medical treatment and procedures, housing and food costs, utilities, and other vital living expenses.
About Sweet Relief’s Directed Artist Program:
Over the past several years Sweet Relief has developed a much needed and previously unavailable program to assist a substantially under-served constituency. Some artists face such overwhelming financial and personal distress when major illness or injury is coupled with a complete lack of, or grossly under-insured, health plan. In many of these cases, treatment for cancer, brain injury, stroke and MS can accrue expenses reaching several hundred thousands of dollars or more. Our organization takes on the role of organizer, administrator, advocate, event planner, and media partner to bring together family, friends, industry partners and fans when an overwhelming financial obstacle is encountered by the most unfortunate artist. We call this our Directed Artist Program.