Last Saturday evening, not long before the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial in Florida was announced July 13, blues and psychedelic soul-rock artist Lester Chambers was attacked on stage during the Russell City Blues Festival in Hayward, CA where he was performing. The 73 year old Chambers had just dedicated Curtis Mayfield’s 1965 anthem “People Get Ready” (which the Chambers Brothers covered four years after Mayfield released it) to the late Trayvon Martin – the teen slain by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman last year in Sanford, FL – and was less than a minute into the classic song when a 43 year old woman jumped onto the community festival stage, pushed Chambers down and began hitting him with her fists.
Chambers is a member of the legendary 1960s group the Chambers Brothers, perhaps most famous for their hit “Time Has Come Today,” and just last week announced that his re-making of several of the original Chambers Brothers songs he co-authored was finally cleared through publishing rights, a forthcoming re-issue album confirmed. He was performing Saturday at the Hayward/Russell Blues Festival alongside other blues and soul-rock icons such as Mississippi’s Johnny Rawls, Bobby Rush, Sister Monica and Sammy Lee.
The woman who launched at Chambers during his set has been identified as Dinalynn Andrews-Potter and is reported by Chambers’ wife and son, who were on-site, to have exclaimed “you motherf*****, it’s all your fault, it’s all your fault!” before pushing him to the ground. Status updates on Chambers’ webpages state that Andrews-Potter was arrested, cited with a misdemeanor and released. Meanwhile, Chambers spent several hours in a local hospital where he was treated for several surface wounds and severe bruising to the ribs. He is currently recovering at home.
Fuse TV released live video from the incident, which can be viewed here. Chambers is shown giving the peace sign as he is wheeled into an ambulance on a stretcher.
Countless classic songs, like “People Get Ready,” creatively address hard times and difficult situations in peaceful and constructive ways. “People Get Ready” is ironically one of the anthems of the 1960s civil rights movement, a song that advocated unity and peaceful solutions during trying times. Over the weekend the song’s relevance was proven once again during the Chambers / Andrews-Potter incident.
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