Cancer and the Artist: A Benefit for Mike Brunz

03/31/2015 07:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

I think it's possible, choosing an artist's life puts you at a higher risk for cancer, and perhaps, puts you at a higher risk of dying from it.

Most artists I know, don't take the best physical care of themselves. There are many sedentary hours in the van, or on the bus, in the studio or just practicing, eating poorly, either smoking or exposed to rooms and vehicles filled with it.

They tend not to go get regular check-ups. Who has insurance?

They may wait until they are too sick not to go to the doctor, and get diagnosed late in the game. Ultimately, the artist who gets cancer, often cannot afford to pay for the best care.


I was reminded of this, when I heard of the group of musicians who are collaborating to organize a benefit to help a beloved and renowned sound engineer who, after ten years of remission has had his cancer return. Members of Boston, Whitesnake, Dio, Montrose, LA Guns and Ozzy are all part of the "Let's Rock Against Cancer" event for Mike Brunz, which will be held at The Saddle Rack in Freemont CA on April 26th, 2015.

"Mike has a uniquely rare generosity of spirit towards every human being he encounters. He is devoted not only to his family, his work and his friends, but also to strangers and the entire planet. He is an example of a human being that we should all aspire to. He is a deeply, deeply kind person of incredible talent, empathy and humility," says one of the main organizers, extraordinary vocalist, Keith St. John (Montrose, Lynch Mob, Burning Rain).

The artistic gifts Mike Brunz has bestowed upon us, though sometimes hidden and unrecognized, are great. Musicians know, the band sounds as good as the sound engineer makes them sound. She or he is the most important member of the band. Mike Brunz has made bands such as Boston, Whitesnake, Montrose, Ozzy, Dio, Kansas, Pat Benetar, Tony Bennett, hundreds of bands that you and I know - sound their best. Shows you may have been to, nights and memories you have, may have been nights you will never forget, because Mike was there.

Knowing that he is not alone in the financial struggles cancer puts on artists and all indiviuals and families, Mike insists that the benefit not be solely to help him. Proceeds will go to the Mike Brunz foundation, the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life.

"I'm so used to being behind the scenes for my career, so it's super humbling to see all of these people coming together with me as their special guest of honor," says Brunz.