The measure of a community is reflected by how they treat one of their own when one of their own is in need; That’s where the rubber meets the road.
Mojo Collins is as close to an OBX musical legend as one could be. He’s been propagating his beloved blues for decades on this beach and beyond. I first heard his name when I was still living in Southern California. I first heard him play live at a benefit to raise money after a child was killed while on her bike in a crosswalk on Colington Road.
He was giving back to the community that has given him so much. That was not the first time and surely won’t be the last. Now it’s our turn to do the same.
Six weeks ago, Mojo was performing at Craving’s Tap Shack in Duck with his band Triple Vision and, during his gig, suffered a heart attack. Like most dedicated, seasoned professionals, the concept of “the show must go on” prevailed, and Mr. Collins finished his gig. He was transported to Sentara Hospital in Norfolk, and it was revealed he had a 95 percent blockage of his artery. Surgery was required as a result.
He is now in recovery mode at home and under the care of doctors who have advised he stop working until he’s well enough to deal with the rigors that come with being a working musician.
That’s where we come in. Mojo needs a little help. He’s determined to get back to the stage, but until he’s been given a clean bill of health, he’s unable to make his living. This is about helping plug a financial hole, not building the whole dam.
There are ways to help. Online, there is a GoFundMe campaign — Mojo Collins Heart Attack Fund — established by Allen Deaton. For every $25 donation to the fund, Deaton is offering a copy of Mojo’s yet-to-be-released CD “Gladitude,” which was recorded earlier this year in New Orleans.
You can lend a hand and get some great music at gofundme.com/mojo-collins-heart-attack-fund#.
As of July 17, $2,545 of the campaign’s $10,000 goal had been reached.
On July 27, Turner’s High Moon Bar on Hatteras Island will host a benefit to raise funds to offset the loss of gigs that Mojo has had to cancel. (The date of the fundraiser is one of those gigs.)
Turner’s is at 40618 NC-12 in Avon.
“I’m still working on all the details, but what I envision is the benefit starting at 7 p.m., having different live music through the night, a silent auction, and a cover of $10 — and for $20 they get in and get a signed copy of Mojo’s new album,” says Bobby Sink, Turner’s owner.
In addition, RAVRA Productions is setting up an additional benefit scheduled for 8-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25, at Pamlico Jack’s, 6708 S. Croatan Hwy., in Nags Head. The lineup isn’t complete yet, but it’s sure to be an incredible night of music.
I talked to the esteemed Mojo Collins, and he’s seemingly unaware of how many folks he’s touched and how much they want to help him. He’s actually more concerned about how the venues’ bottom line might be affected if they host a benefit. That’s just the kind of guy he is. He’s a quietly proud, humble man and his playing days are not over by any stretch.
There’s much more great music yet to come from him and as a community, we need to help him share it with us all.