Ivan Julian was the last member recruited to The Voidoids, Richard Hell’s seminal punk band from the ’70s. According to a letter Hell sent friends last week, guitarist Bob Quine “was so impressed by Ivan’s chops, he copped the slot on the spot. He’s only gotten better, year after year, as a player and all around monster of goodness, and that’s the truth.”
Ivan’s got cancer, and on a Go Fund Me page set up to help raise money from all fans of real rock’n’ roll — and this means you! — they are just over halfway to the goal of raising $20,000 to pay a portion of his medical expenses. Yeah, a portion.
Ivan’s a great guitarist, a producer who’s twisted knobs for such stalwarts as The Fleshtones and Capsula. But as a guitarist? Oh yeah, even in a band with Quine, Ivan more than held his own, adding pure liquid propulsion to one of the great guitar tandems of the age (the other one, of course, being Verlaine und Lloyd in Television, the band Hell helped found and then left behind.)
Two stellar musical lineups have been assembled for a pair of fundraisers for Ivan at New York City Winery on May 4th and May 7th. You’ve already missed your chance to see Debbie Harry MC that first evening with Richard Barone, the Bush Tetras (!), the Dictators (!), Richard Hell, Ian Hunter, Garland Jeffreys, Lenny Kaye, Willie Nile, Vernon Reid & Burnt Sugar, and special guests. It is possible you still can get tix for show #2 with Lydia Lunch (!), Ira Kaplan, Arto Lindsey, the aforementioned Dictators, Thurston Moore & Lee Ranaldo, Reid & Burnt Sugar, Jim Scavulos of 8 Eyed Spy renown, and Matthew Sweet, on at least one of whose best ’90s albums saw Ivan bring his swing. Is there any question about whether these will be the best shows of the season? And, with an assemblage like that, do you get how respected and revered a musician and human being Ivan is?
Look, we all know you are eagerly awaiting Friday’s release of the new Black Mountain album, that you’ve pre-ordered Kevin Morby’s next ‘un, that Woods and PJ Harvey will have new recs out soon. Buy all means buy ’em. But before you do, if you really love rock’n’roll, click the link above, and contribute at least the cost of two albums. The life you save may play a blistering lead on the next album that, yeah, saves your life.