Joel Burrows, former guitarist for the Thermals and drummer for the Minders, has died, according to the Portland Mercury. The local musician was left severely disabled after being hit by a van while crossing the street in early 2011. After several months of hospital care, he’d been moved to an assisted living facility for people with brain injuries where, according to Wild Flag’s Janet Weiss, via Facebook in February, his family tended to him 24 hours a day.
Weiss organized and hosted a benefit for Burrows, “Songs for Joel,” on February 16, which featured performances from Spoon’s Britt Daniel, Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock, Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker, Quasi’s Sam Coomes, Laura Viers, and other Portland-area musicians. They’d aimed to raise $4,500 to pay for a wheelchair insert that Burrows’ Medicaid did not cover, and were successful according to a followup comment by Weiss.
A YouTube user captured some of the intimate show: