How many people continue friendships for almost 60 years? There are four lifelong friends that do. Our dear friend, Arty Simon needs help desperately to pay for medical bills and living expenses until he gets back on his feet, literally! This is being written by 3 of us who began our friendship when we formed a band in 1960 in Queens, New York City. We had so much fun playing at the NY Worlds Fair in 1964, and at venues on Long Island and NYC, and at colleges and clubs in the northeast. We shared the stage with the Hassles (Billy Joel’s first band), the Isley Brothers, the Rascals Jay and the Americans and many others. We even recorded a song on the Laurie Record label.
Arty Simon was our musical leader. He was a wonderful drummer, songwriter and singer; we sounded much like the groups from the British Invasion of the ‘60s like the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Jerry and the Pacemakers. You can hear our original songs and see our photos on the Youtube channel “fabulouschalets”
But time moves on. Three of us married and established careers. Arty took a different route. After graduating from college, Arty felt destined to make it in the music business, and worked as a disc jockey, and then for Billboard magazine, did songwriting with Lou Christie and others, and did some record producing at Capital Records, United Artists and 20th Century. But then unfortunately 15 or so years ago the record industry went downhill and was replaced by MP3 and internet sales. This was an example of Richardson’s disruptive innovation; a whole industry, the world that Arty lived in just disappeared. He could no longer find work doing what he knew and loved best. He still held his vision to make it in the music business or as a DJ, and planned to go to LA or Las Vegas to rebuild his life in his late ‘60s. This was a dream that has yet to happen.
Arty lives alone in a small apartment in Queens, New York and has been a taxi driver for many years. He managed, but still dreamed of leaving NYC and starting a new life. Then another catastrophe hit. Over the last few years, Uber and Lyft have taken over the taxi business in NYC. While he previously earned $200-250 a day working, now on a good day he may make $30-60! For this he gets up at 2 AM, takes a subway into Manhattan to start work at 4 AM; he works 12 hours. He can’t pay his rent, eats what he can find that’s not too pricey and lives on small Social Security income. He has no retirement funds, no personal transportation, and only a few friends.
One might think he had hit bottom, but then things worsened. Arty had a hip replacement and has a bum knee with painful arthritis. The knee swelled a few months ago, required surgery, and then drainage of fluid several times. On February 8 after the last drainage, things really went downhill. He was unable to walk at all, and had to take private transportation multiple times to see several doctors who were not too helpful. With persistence he went to the ER at Mt. Sinai, got an MRI that indicated enough damage for a surgeon to again drain the knee only to find a septic (infected) joint. A surgeon drained purulent fluid and washed the knee joint.. He has a severe staph infection (the kind that can be serious) and is now hospitalized receiving IV antibiotics for six weeks. It’s unclear how much damage has been done and when/how he will be able to walk.
Arty’s medical bills could be $200,000 or more, but at least he has Medicare. He will need to pay rent and other bills, but won’t likely work for many months. We don’t even know if he will be able to walk to take care of his personal needs. He may need assistance to get out of bed, and to shop. We are helping him, but need more help. Can you help us?
Doug, Marv and Steve
DonationsSee top donations
- Erin Yarrobino
- adele lynn
- Susan Coren
- Jane Goldman
- john knapp
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more