I am a music fan. My tastes have always run more in the medians and shoulders, of contemporary music than the middle of the road. Even today, I hold a special place in my heart for what is described as "progressive" or "prog" music... that genre of self-indugent, pompous, pretentious and overblown fusion of orchestral & rock. During my teens and early twenties, I lived in Washington, D.C. and was introduced to the music of european bands like Genesis, Gentle Giant, PFM, Henry Cow...
In 1977, I was introduced to D.C. area residents and legendary U.S. prog proponents Happy the Man. Many were the evenings that my friend Izzy & I would spend time at the band's Reston, Va. rehearsal & band home. During those years, I became friends with HTM Guitarist Stanley Whitaker. Though I haven't seen or spoken with Stan since I moved away from the area, I have followed his career with HTM, Ten Jinn, the HTM reunion, his solo career with wife LeeAnne and is latest projects with former HTM bandmate Frank Wyatt "Pedal Giant Animals" which morphed into the most current project "Obivion Sun".
I just got word that Stan was diagnosed earlier this summer with a rare form of cancer and has undergone two surgeries so far to remove a large growth in his neck and the lymph nodes surrounding it. So far things are looking upbeat and Stan is now undergoing radiation 5 days a week to further improve his long-term prognosis.
Unfortunately, the disease and subsequent treatment have left Stan unable to work for the near-term. It has also left him with a huge pile of medical bills. Composing adventurous, critically acclaimed yet commercially unviable music has never been a road to riches by any stretch of the imagination. So... if you're feeling charitable and have a couple of extra dollars left at the end of this month or next, here's someone that could put it to use. Stan can be reached at:
Below is a live performance clip via YouTube of a recent Oblivion Sun performance in Northern Virginia.