Todd Wolfson, Public Eye

Normally, you hear the words “bike wreck” and you expect some road rash, occasionally a bit of amnesia from a head wound, but Austin’s mean streets (perpetually under construction, it seems) were the site this summer of a bike spill that nearly ended the career of one of the most dependable and vividly artistic chroniclers of the city’s world-renowned music and arts scene. A leisurely cruise on July 11 turned into a Frankenstein movie for our beloved photographer, Todd V. Wolfson, when his front wheel hit a small black hole in the pavement universe and he was catapulted over the handlebars. His forehead took some of the impact but the worst of it was his elbow, so elaborately smashed that the surgeon declared it to be absolutely one of the worst cases he had ever encountered. The elbow joint was split in half and there were two other compound fractures. We all know how hard-headed Toddy is, so the eleven stitches required should come as something of a shock as well. How many needles were broken during the suturing we were not told. 

The Skunks by Todd Wolfson, overjoyed when they heard they had been voted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame after 30 years.

The Skunks by Todd Wolfson, overjoyed when they heard they had been voted into the Austin Music Hall of Fame after 30 years.

Todd being ministered to by caring public, from left, clockwise, Mickey Mann, Maria Corbalan, Samera Owhadian,Lois Richwine

Todd being ministered to by caring public, from left, clockwise, Mickey Mann, Maria Corbalan, Samera Owhadian,Lois Richwine


Toddy suffered internal injuries, too, but let’s get to the point, since they turned out to not be life threatening. His arm was put back together with the help of 16 (that’s right, sixteen) metal pins, and the whole right limb encased in a strange, sci-fi type brace with an adjustable elbow hinge on it, which makes him look like the offspring of a soap opera star and RoboCop. Or Son of Frankenstein, maybe.

Did we mention the staggering medical bills? Enough to gag a maggot, to scare a buzzard off a gut wagon. Then there’s the painful road of rehabilitation and therapy so that he may regain some percentage of the use of his right elbow again.

Yes, even a hack photographer needs two arms to do his magic, and Toddy is no hack. He needs help.

For the past 30 years, Todd V. Wolfson has been one of the keenest eyes of the Austin music scene. The list of Austin artists he has worked with runs the alphabetical gamut from A for Alejandro to Z (Although I can’t think of any Z-bands at the moment). We need him back in action and we need your help.

Therefore, a big party to raise money. Yes, I’m on the bill, playing with my colleague of the past 31 years, Jon Dee Graham. We’ll be doing our murder ballad set. But there are many other great artists. The list of confirmed artists is at the end of this post.

Included here are the photos Todd did for the jacket of my last book (Never the Same Again: A Rock N’ Roll Gothic) and the photo for the induction of The Skunks 2008 to the Austin Music Hall of Fame, also one of a recent visit to bring him some of Lois’ home cooking. I know it helped put me back together many times over the years we’ve been together. When Todd sends me pix of his robo-arm, I will post those here, too. If you are a friend of his on FaceBook, you can find them yourself.

The show will be on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 at Antone’s nightclub in Austin. Go to Putting Todd Back Together to buy tickets online and find more info or even donate money online.

CONFIRMED BAND LIST/NOT IN PERFORMANCE ORDER:

Jon Dee Graham & Jesse Sublett
The Trishas
Skyrocket!
Paula Nelson
Ian McLagan & The Bump Band
Alejandro Escovedo
Carolyn Wonderland
Triple Cobra
Will Sexton & Ruby James
Special Guests

Contact JoRae for more info.

The portrait photo for my last book, Never The Same Again: A Rock n' Roll Gothic.

The portrait photo for my last book, Never The Same Again: A Rock n' Roll Gothic.

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