Michael shannon musicians' fund
Michael Davis Shannon died April 15, 2012. He was the 35 year old son of Lindsay and Jo Shannon, owners of BB's Lawnside Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Mo. He worked at his parent's business most of 21 years with the exception of 2003-2006 where he lived "the dream" on the Garden Island of Kauai. Mike was passionate about his music, sports, good food, and the company of friends.
"If I'm bitter it must mean I'm comfortable."
- Michael Shannon, 2002
July 20, 2015--Tonight at BB's your beloved CONFESSORS dedicated the whole night as OFFICIAL MIKE SHANNON BIRTHDAY NIGHT! Big cheers from the crowd ensued! We sang songs and ate cake! In the immortal words of Lee McBee: "Happy Birthday You Cool Breeze Mutha Fucca You"!
July 11, 2016--One night after a gig there, at BB's my Wife Sharon asked me why I coiled my mic cord, then threw it back out and coiled it again. As I showed her how I did it and why, I threw out the cord, and along came Michael. As I coiled it and drew it to me, Michael bent down and chased it across the floor like a cat after a string. "This, I said, is why I do it this way". So Michael reinforced my method, so I still do this, at least, to honor him.
Above, photos of Mike displayed at the golf tourney.
Right, Mike holding Eli, the son of Danielle Nicole Schnebelen (2012). Danielle and brothers Kris and Nick as the group Trampled Under Foot, having played a long-standing weekly gig at BB's, were good friends with Mike.
Below, the golfers giving the one-finger salute that Mike was so fond of (2016).
Left, art work for the publicity of the golf tournament.
Many people--not just music industry people--can suffer devastating financial setbacks when faced with health care crises. Musicians often do not have health care coverage due to the nature of the business, and even those who do have coverage can experience high out of pockets costs for copays, medicine, travel, and other expenses not covered by insurance.
The number one cause of bankruptcy in the US is health care--unpaid medical bills, said a 2013 study. Even without bankruptcy, one financial setback can take months and years to recover from, and it's easy to lose a house, a car, or a job along the way.
The Kansas City Blues Society is committed to helping KC area folks in the music industry through our Michael Shannon fund. Here, now, is the story of one person who received assistance from the fund:
"My name is Mark Ballard. I was a full-time musician here in KC during the late 70's through 1985. I needed a day job at that point, but I do believe that I played more jobs "part time" than I did when I played for a living.
I then spent 23 years in the radio business but had had enough of that by 2004, so I opened KC's first rock music school "ROCK U" in 2004, which I eventually sold to the large national chain 'School of Rock'. I continued to work for 'School of Rock' for seven years but left to start 'KC Music Academy' and 'KC Music Store' in June of 2014.
In March of 2016, while driving home from diner, I was forced to pull over after suffering what felt like a lightning strike to my head. Immediately after than, I noticed that I was seeing double so I got to NKC Hospital as quickly as possible. Come to find out, I suffered an Aortic Dissection, a condition survived by only 8% of those who are lucky enough to reach the hospital. Emergency open-heart surgery was performed that evening.
Before the surgery, the doctors were very honest as to the very real risk that I would not survive the operation and that if I did, I would be likely be partially or fully paralyzed from stokes during the procedure. They had me say my goodbyes to my children just in case. That was pretty tough to do to say the least.
The good news is that I survived with no strokes or paralysis. The bad news was that I was unable to run my store and school for two months, even after two months, I was unable to be there more than a few hours per day and the businesses suffered mightily.
It was during this down time that I was made aware of the Michael Shannon Fund, administered by The Kansas City Blues Society. I contacted them, told them of my dilemma and before you know it, they had paid my mortgage for a month which brought me tremendous relief financially.
I'm doing much better now and I will be forever feel indebted to the Blues Society and will always do what I can to repay their kindness!
KC Music, LLC"