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30 March 2012
Save the Pickers

Texas musicians are desperate—won’t you help?

Meet Lindsey. He lives among the dusty steppes and depressing strip malls of a lonely region called Texas, so backward and superstitious that local ministers even forbid dancing. His hollow eyes reflect years of economic and cultural starvation. Don’t you want to help?

All over America, the end of music as a money-making activity has left singer-songwriters like Lindsey penniless and forgotten. Look into the face of a guitarist beaten down by decades of grueling work that leads only to poverty and the contempt of the philistine culture in conformist, creativity-killing nations like today’s United States. Imagine the pain of his callused fingers. Sometimes he’s reduced to begging for tips, hoping that the mercy of listeners can relieve his burning need for a Sam Adams on draft. How can you turn away?

For just a few dollars a day, you can adopt Lindsey or another of the thousands of marginalized, neglected musicians like him. While you’re viewing this message from your comfortable couch in a suburban great room, Lindsey is lugging his own P.A. and cases across the litter-filled parking lots of Austin to another venue in heat that may pass 100 degrees, hoping to sell even one CD to ever-dwindling audiences. The price of filling an SUV gas tank might cover one of Lindsey’s copyright fees, or reimburse his Web hosting for a whole month.

Save the Pickers is a nonprofit foundation enabling those who live in culturally and economically fortunate areas to take care of the Lindseys of the world—those pushed out of our capitals of art and fashion for no reason besides lacking the patronage that keeps musicians, writers, poets, and other artists from destitution. Imagine having to live in a place like Texas, where so few people have ever even opened a book. Imagine a place where public transportation is almost unheard of and medical care is pet-quality at best, where a corrupt and failing government is defunding even the public schools. Would you be able to thrive there? Neither can Lindsey. But, for just a few dollars a day, you could make sure he has new strings for his next show—maybe even a promo kit, or a video shoot for YouTube.

Perhaps you think Texas is so remote, nothing there can touch your life. But not so long ago the state gave us giants like Willie Nelson and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Imagine if someone you love ended up like Lindsey, shunned by the professionals and middle-class strivers in affluent Boston and exiled to a fire-ravaged prairie full of flies, pollution, road kill, and fundamentalists. Imagine an area so dangerous, much of the adult population needs to be armed at all times. How can you not be moved by the plight of America’s musicians? They sweat and scrape to create the music some old-fashioned listeners, even in the United States, still consume, only to be cheated out of royalties by massive piracy and intellectual-property theft. Don’t wait for South by Southwest or ACL Fest. Go get your checkbook now and open your heart to a forsaken player like Lindsey.

Even with your help, there may be no future for Lindsey or the others like him. A life ruined by music addiction is always heart-wrenching, and often tragic. But at least we should try. Call 1-888-PATRONS to make your pledge and adopt an unfortunate artist today. Join Save the Pickers now.

Every month you'll get a personalized promo sheet from the musician you've adopted, listing his or her gigs and accomplishments. You'll get a code unlocking special YouTube videos and photos on Flickr. But, best of all, you'll know that you've brought a smilečor at least a cynical smirkčto the face of Lindsey or one of thousands of others like him. So open your heart and your checkbook and call Save the Pickers right now. That's 1-888-PATRONS. Give generously and help postpone the inevitable extinction of American music.

Turn over another new leaf:
17 November 2011
Vatican Hires Paterno, Sandusky as Coaches

Creates NFL Europa team to capitalize on newly available talent

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