An Anthem for the Broken (A single to benefit John Anderson)

John Anderson meets The Boss.

Here’s a thing: My friend John Anderson (who some of you may remember did a guest stint here at Whatever a few years back) has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” His friend Matthew Ryan, who happens to be a hell of a musician, decided to do something to help John and his wife Amanda with some of their expenses related to the disease. He released a single, “An Anthem for the Broken,” from his upcoming album for their benefit, with the everything (minus Bandcamp processing fees) going to John. 

Matthew released the song in February and it’s already had a positive effect on John’s life, as he details here at the American Songwriter web site. But I figure there’s more that needs to be done, and more that can be done.

So: here’s the single, which really is a rousing, moving rock anthem. Take a listen to it, and if you like it (or just want to help), follow this link and kick in for John and Amanda. The song is available for a dollar but if you want to contribute more, you’re welcome to do that too. At the link you’ll also see Matthew Ryan’s own thoughts on John, which are well worth reading.

A personal note about John: I’ve known John for close to twenty years now — we worked together in the 90s at AOL and were part of the same tight group of friends when I lived in Virginia. He’s been my musical guru for years, sharing with me (and many others) all the bands and musicians he’s loved over the years, including Matthew Ryan. A non-trivial portion of my music collection is directly due to his recommendations. He is a good friend and an excellent person, and my life would have been immeasurably poorer had I not known him. He is, simply put, important to me.

I would look on it as a personal favor if you would consider helping him now, and also if you let other people know about this.


20 Comments on “An Anthem for the Broken (A single to benefit John Anderson)”

  1. Roger that!

    Purchased. Hopefully what I donated will help!

    Beautiful song . . . really feels you with emotion.

  2. Purchased+. My mother-in-law died about a month ago after 3 years with ALS. It is horrifying; you can’t fight it, you can’t slow it down; everything it takes is gone forever, and it eventually takes almost everything. Grace and dignity and loved-ones: these things remain. Thoughts to Mr. Anderson, his family, and friends.

  3. Purchased in honor of the beloved wife, many friends and doctors who supported, loved, bullied, and cajoled me with health after my brain injury last fall. Here’s to John getting everything he needs, all the way from all areas.

  4. Lost my sister-in-law this year to ALS. She was diagnosed a month before giving birth to her daughter. :(

    Will buy this for her for Mother’s day.

  5. One of my favorite actors, Michael Zaslow, died of ALS. I am happy to be able to help (in a tiny way) one of your favorite people.

  6. You work has given me much pleasure. Thank you for allowing me to show appreciation by helping your friend, albeit in a small way (in my next life I want to be a wealthy philanthropist!).

  7. Thanks for posting this. Liked the music, so got one for me and one for a friend who might like.

  8. Out of free cash at the moment, but telling my family and friends about this.

    Thank you for posting this, sir.

  9. My mom died of ALS. Awful, awful disease. I will do what I can to help.

  10. Hey, I’m John’s (the one referenced in the entry, not Scalzi’s) brother. I just want to say thank you to all of you lovely, lovely people who posted above, as well as Scalzi for bringing attention to his situation.

    I’m a very infrequent poster, but long, long time reader of Scalzi’s blog (and as long as he’s been publishing books, I’ve been reading them, too). I believe the first entry I read was something about the giant green wall behind his house that he had an unnatural urge to tame into a more pleasing shape — back when he lived in Northern Virginia, like a normal person, rather than Ohio.

    I will be less polite than others above and say that ALS is a fucking bastard of a disease — as John said to me recently, every day is a little bit worse. It’s inhuman, it’s monstrous, it’s…fucking terrible.

    But! John is doing his job, here — he’s enjoying his life to the fullest as long as he can. Thankfully, his pleasures run to the more cerebral — reading, watching movies and television — if he could only find happiness on the golf course he’d be, let’s say, less happy.

    One thing we’ve found since this happened is that — despite how much the world wants to tell us how awful our fellow neighbor is, the fact is that most people are lovely and if they can help, they will.

    If you can donate and choose to do so, I thank you on my brother’s behalf. If your situation doesn’t allow you to donate, I hope your situation will improve in the future.