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Friday, July 24, 2009

Please Help If You Can

Back in September of 1979, I was wandering aimlessly on the third evening since my family had helped move me into the dorms at Syracuse University. I heard music coming from the quad, and drifted over. A band with a female lead singer was playing AMAZING rock and roll, so I sat down at the periphery and listened. I caught the name of the singer after a few more songs, and a week later, bought her self named debut album at a local campus record store.

Along with the first two albums by The Cars, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' DAMN THE TORPEDOES, Blue Oyster Cult's SECRET TREATIES and AGENTS OF FORTUNE, and Carole King's TAPESTRY, that self titled debut album, CAROLYNE MAS, became a vital and permanent part of the musical backdrop of my adulthood. I've always thought it was a great pity that Carolyne Mas never caught on; she had a fantastic voice, was a wonderful guitar player, and a terrific songwriter. A few years later I managed to find her third album and snatched that up, too. It wasn't as good as the first, but it still had a lot of really solid tunes on it.

Fast forward to last summer -- I came across an article online about Carolyne Mas, about how she'd never quite made it in rock and roll and was currently, in her early 50s, running a shelter for abandoned animals in Florida. I put up a blog entry lamenting the unfairness of a world in which hack non creative types become incredibly successful while genuinely talented artists languish as unknowns.

Fast forward again to a few weeks ago, when that blog entry got its first comment... from Carolyne Mas. She thanked me for the entry, said she loved my writing style, and suggested I help her write her biography.

That began an email correspondence, the latest installment of which is below (in response to a note I sent on Monday, asking if she was doing okay, as I knew from a phone call on Friday she was heading into a rough weekend):

"We're not okay...I have been desperately trying to raise money. I have no money for cat food, dog food, and now people food. No matter how many times I post my plea on FB or MySpace...we are all on the verge of starvation. I am trying to make sure my mother and my son have something to eat. There is a place that gives free meals on Sundays, so we will be able to eat then, all of us, if we can get the gas to get there. I am worried about the cats and dogs, too.

I have sent this letter to all the production and publishing big shots I have known, who are all wealthy, with no response. When you are poor, no one wants anything to do with you. It's a sick world, especially the entertainment business...if you cannot serve them in some way, you are invisible.

Here is a link to my letter...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/note.php?note_id=90734634069&id=637561082&ref=mf]http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/note.php?note_id=90734634069&id=637561082&ref=mf

Hope I can hang on long enough for you to finish this...

Love, Carolyne"


This is not a joke or a hoax. This is a real person who is really at the end of her rope and has no idea where else she is going to turn, or how she's going to eat, or feed her husband, or the hundreds of abandoned animals in her care, past this Sunday, assuming they manage to get to a food bank and the food bank actually has any food.

I don't know this woman at all well, but I believe her to be one of the genuinely good people in this world, as well as an enormously talented performing artist, and while there is little to nothing I can do for her, or my family can do for her, at this distance and given our own financial situation, still, I can reach out on the Internet, and I am doing so.

If you check out this link and scroll down a little, you will find a lot of information about Carolyne's life and career and current undertakings and desperate situation, and you will also find a PayPal link. I'm sure Carolyne will be deeply grateful for any contributions whatsoever that may come in. As will I, for whatever that may be worth.

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