Benefit to help musician who’s been there for others.

April 30, 2019

Benefit to help musician who’s been there for others.

John Bailey – Photo by Paul Chase

By Kate Krieger-Watkins, MCP correspondent.

Local musician, husband, father and business owner, John Bailey, 51, has been struggling lately with a lot of unanswered health problems. He and his family have health insurance, but due to the uncertain medical issues, John’s insurance doesn’t cover everything he needs, the tests to get the answers he’s looking for, his travel or all the time he has missed from work. John is the owner of Director’s Cut, a hair salon on South James Street in Ludington and he is the main income contributor to his family of 10.

Over the last few decades, John has been a well-known performer in the west Michigan area, probably most known for his time in Lou Thunder and the Rainmakers. John was the lead singer of the band and performed throughout Michigan and the United States, taking his character as Lou Thunder into different venues each night as a high energy, over the top front man.

“I met John through Gerald (my husband) and I loved it when he and his daughter did a show at the Sandbar. I thought it was an awesome. The showmanship and talent they had was awesome and his kindness, always showed,” said Dawn Britton, owner of the Sandbar in Ludington.

The musical community has come together to help their friend and brother out and they are hosting a benefit for John to help offset a lot of his ongoing expenses. Many have either performed with John or hosted him as a musician in his/her establishment over the years.

“John has inspired me,” Gerald Britton said. “From the first time I met him, my sister introduced me to him as Lou Thunder. I called him Lou and he answered every time like it was his name. He carried on with it the entire evening. He was singing with the band and I was running sound, at Val Du Lakes (in Mears),  I think it was. Anyway, he acted like an idiot on stage, big guy, moving around, climbing on stuff. I thought he’s going to have a heartache. Well, he didn’t! The crowd was in love with this portly man acting like a 15-year-old on stage. I must say, it made me want act like a kid too! Thanks John, for being you.”

“Some of the best moments of my musical career were made on stage at Michael’s in Ludington with John Bailey,” Mike Boxer said. “We had a lot of fun at those gigs, maybe too much.”

The fundraiser for John Bailey and his family will be held from 3 to 7 p.m., Sunday, May 5 at the Ludington Area Center for the Arts, located at 107 S. Harrison St. Many local and west Michigan-based musicians who have performed with John will be performing at the benefit including John Merchant, Mike and Laura Boxer of Plain Jane Glory, Bog Wizard, The Stinks, the former front-man of Mojo and the Boogieman and DC90 lead singer, Bryan Fischer and many, many more. There will be a silent auction featuring a huge selection of local merchandise and there will also baked goods and food for sale during the event.

“John is a guy with a passion for everything he does that shows through in all his work,” John Merchant said. “I’m always impressed by someone who gives more than he takes, and John always gives everything he has. I’ve seen him drain himself to entertain an audience, literally leaving it all on the stage. On a person level, I appreciate the fact that whenever I see John, he’s always fast with a sincere hello and a welcoming smile no matter what personal challenges he may be facing.”

All the proceeds raised at the event will go towards John’s ongoing medical and travel expenses.

“Not only have I been impressed with the hard work he puts into his business, but he has a personal relationship with all his clients,” Random Messeder said. “I will never cease to be amazed with how he balances that all out with caring for his amazing family. He never stops giving back.”

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