Being For the Benefit of Joseph Mattson

by James Greer

My very good friend and one of Los Angeles’ finest writers, Joseph Mattson, is in dire need of your help. If you live in the LA area, there will occur on Tuesday December 4 a benefit for Joseph at The Echo. In addition to my band DTCV, other, better-known bands will play, including a one-time-only reunion of noir-punk legends The Starvations. Joseph will read, other writers will read, possibly some very famous ones, and many items of great intrinsic and aesthetic value will be auctioned off, all to raise money for Joseph and his family.

You can read the full story here. Suffice to say that the nightmare Joseph has undergone would tenderize the heart of Baal. If you don’t live in or near LA, there is a site at which you can contribute money. Any amount, no matter how small, will be greatly appreciated.

Last year right around this time I had the pleasure of accompanying Joseph on a West Coast book tour in support of an anthology published by Akashic Books called The Speed Chronicles, which Joseph edited and to which I contributed a story. Wasn’t the first time I did a book tour with Joseph and I very much hope it won’t be the last. In addition to his very evident gifts as a writer, Joseph is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people whose company I have had the pleasure of sharing. He insisted on doing all the driving, he insisted on paying for every hotel room, every gallon of gas, every meal, every bag of corn nuts. He treated myself and Beth Lisick, another hugely talented writer who came along on tour, as his guests. He was unfailingly courteous and attentive and as a result it was the best book tour I’ve ever done.

On the second night of the tour I lost my voice completely, and found myself in the unusual position of having to shut the hell up. During the long hours of driving that ensued, Joseph slowly and reluctantly told us the story of what had happened to him up to that point. It was horrifying. It was unbelievable. It’s gotten much, much worse since then. If you can, please help.