Peter Lang’s urgent medical appeal and my common sense health care appeal to America
Dharma Blues was Peter Langs comeback album after a lengthy sabatical from the music industry. It is Dharma, and its miriad meanings, I hold in mind while i tell this harrowing story, and with Dharma in my heart that I make this appeal.
This on a very personal level, as ive intimated is a heart felt appeal for a friend, who happens to be one of the best blues pickers Ive met. He finds himself in real trouble through, I suspect no fault of his own.
On a wider level while debate rages on health care in the American judiciary, this is my personal appeal that common sense prevails over business vested interest so the scenario I’m about to describe will never again be part of American life.
Peter Langs Story:
There won’t be many roots music fans unaware of Peter’s contribution to American music, particularly aficionados of Blues.
For Forty Years, Guitarist Peter Lang has been a fixture in America’s traditional music scene. Over the last 18 months Peter has been battling a number of serious medical emergencies and their mounting expenses. He is asking for our help.
Peter Lang was discovered in 1972 by legendary guitarist John Fahey. Lang’s first solo album, entitled The Thing at the Nursery Room Window, was released in 1972. Along with Lang, Fahey launched the careers of other notable artists on Takoma Records, including Kottke, George Winston, Robbie Basho, Bola Sete and others.  Peter Lang toured, and recorded for nearly ten years, developing a reputation as one of the nation’s top acoustic players. In the 70’s he was in good company, having recorded or performed with Ry Cooder, John Fahey, Jerry Garcia, Chet Atkins, John Hartford, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Emmylou Harris, Leo Kottke, Freddie King, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, John Hammond, Keith Jarrett, Phoebe Snow, Maria Muldaur, The Yellowjackets, Robben Ford, and many others.
Lang’s musical career was postponed in the 1980s, to allow him to pursue a career in animation and special effects production. He took time out from this position in 1999 to pursue music once again, culminating in the release of Dharma Blues in 2002. This was followed by Guitar in 2003.  Both Lycurgus and Prime Cuts were re-released in 2003 it was then I met and became friends as well as a fan of Peter Langs.
Grammy Nomination, 1975 (Lycurgus)
Guitar Player Magazine 1974 – Readers Poll, ” Best New Guitarist” category
Minnesota Music Awards, “Best Guitarist” 1981, 1982, 1988.
I met and worked with Peter when he came and headlined the Easter West Festival in Ullapool in 2006 and connected with a man of amazing talent and deep sincere humility, who gave of his spirit skill and time to every aspect of that Festival. So its with great personal sorry Ive become aware of these serious turn of events.
In May of 2008 Peter Lang was involved in an Automobile Accident. He suffered neck and back injuries including nerve impingement which has affected the use of his left hand. His no fault insurance provider has refused to cover medical expenses and they continue to accrue. His medical insurer will not cover his expenses as they consider them the result of the automobile accident. The auto insurer has taken the position that the problems are due to pre-existing conditions. It is presently in the court system. In the meantime Lang’s expenses continue to mount.
Following the accident Lang struggled for six mouths with a major infection in his ear and skull which In February necessitated the removal of bone from behind the ear and reconstructive ear surgery. Two months later Lang faced hip replacement surgery. Needless to say his performance schedule has been decimated, and may continue to be based on the ongoing issues with his auto injury.
His friends have set up an appeal fund to help him and his family sustain his mounting medical and living expenses.
The Lang Fund
During the short term. At the fund’s site six of Lang’s albums have been made available for download as a partial thank you to all those whom have so generously contributed. They represent over 30 years of Lang’s recorded work from 1975 to 2002.
For some someone who all his life has collected and promoted American musical culture, has been a world wide ambassador for his countries heritage, and who seems to have done everything he could to cover himself within the system, to then find himself in this position, to this reporter, is not only depressing, but it is purely and simply wrong!!.
As someone who was born and has grown up in the care of a welfare state, The fact medical care is not available at the point of need as part of the USA’s citizen charter in this centuary, in the richest country in the world is frankly astounding. Further more the set circumstances that Peter is facing is vivid illustration that the provision of care should be given over to the people who are paid and trained to care and taken away from those that do not care about anything other than their, and their share holders profits.
The fact our health service here in the UK was delivered to our populace at the end of a devastating world war, is very pertinant. Our economy was at an all time low and our national dept at an all time high. The bold truth is the people who had faught for the freedom to vote, voted against the government of the day who had actually won that war, to bring in the change. The upshot being for them and their decendents, the spector of “Can I afford to be ill? Will I die for the lack of money”? has been banished from a nations psyche for ever?
Now Obama has been elected into power on the same remit, I can only hope he has the resolve and strength to get the same job done.
In the mean time whatever happens, it won’t happen in time to help Peter Lang, only we can do that, please consider donating to his health fund and/or sending this appeal to any Peter/Blues, Fans, or infact any people you think would be moved by this article.
The Lang Fund
During the short term, at the fund’s site six of Peters albums have been made available for download as a partial thank you to all those whom have so generously contributed. They represent over 30 years of Lang’s recorded work from 1975 to 2002
Good luck Peter and a speedy recovery