Lester Chambers gained fame in the 1960s as a member of the group The Chambers Brothers, performing some iconic percussion work on the song “Time Has Come Today” and lead vocals on their cover of “People Get Ready.” It’s no secret that he has seen his share of hard times in his more recent past.
He’s battled health issues, most notably fighting cancer, which helped lead to financial struggles and times of homelessness. Chambers — who celebrated his 73rd birthday in April — still lives on a fixed income, and through the help of Sweet Relief Musicians Fund and friends like Yoko Ono he’s able to pay rent on a home in Petaluma, California.
The last thing he needed was an unexpected trip to an emergency room to be examined after being injured in an attack by a member of the crowd while he and his band performed onstage at a blues festival in Hayward, California, Saturday night.
The assault came after Chambers had dedicated “People Get Ready” to Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old who was gunned down by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in February 2012, a case which spurred controversy around the nation. A jury found Zimmerman not guilty of Martin’s killing Saturday night, saying Martin was killed in self-defense although Martin was unarmed, but no one at the festival in California knew about the verdict at the time of the attack.
Chambers suffered bruised ribs, nerve damage and soreness after he was pushed hard into some equipment and landed on the stage. He was treated and released at a Hayward area hospital.
Video of the attack and the story surrounding it has made it to various news outlets and circulated heavily online. Chambers has said the fear that he’s felt as a result of the attack has left him reluctant to ever perform in front of a live audience again.
Chambers’ son, Dylan, has said that many people have contacted him asking about any way they might be able to help. The best thing people can do to help, Dylan says, is to donate to the Lester Chambers Fund at Sweet Relief in order to help with any immediate living or now additional medical expenses.
- East (Coast) vs. West (Coast) for Trayvon Martin (viewfrommiddleclass.wordpress.com)
- A Song for Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers Who Tried to Sing for Trayvon on The Night of The Verdict (thisblksistaspage.wordpress.com)
- Bay Area Musician Attacked After Dedicating Song To Trayvon Martin (sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com)
- Blues Artist Lester Chambers Attacked During Trayvon Tribute [WATCH] (myhoustonmajic.com)
- Lester Chambers Trayvon Martin Tribute: Soul Singer Attacked After Performing Dedication Song (huffingtonpost.com)
- Classic rock musician Lester Chambers assaulted on stage at Blues Festival (examiner.com)
- R&B Singer Shoved After Trayvon Martin Dedication (blackamericaweb.com)
- Blues singer attacked on stage for dedicating a song to Trayvon Martin (oldschool945.com)