Last week, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns, John Boutte, Washboard Chaz and more played a benefit concert for Steamboat Willie bassist Doug Potter, a victim of the “knockout game” who, after finishing a French Quarter gig on January 20, was nearly beaten to death on the 800 block of Conti Street by 20-year-old Reeshawn Arnold and 30-year-old Terrell Belvin. Also at last week’s benefit concert, the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation held a blood drive and contributed $10.00 to the Doug Potter Musician Care Fund for every donor.
FIYA AID: Musicians Against Violence, presented by Fiyawerx Productions (the group that also produces the annual FiyaFest benefit for the Roots of Music), a second benefit concert on Potter’s behalf will take place Wednesday, February 12 at the Howlin’ Wolf and feature performances by Ivan Neville, “Funky” Big Sam Williams, Glen David Andrews, Terrence Higgins’ Swamp Grease with Peter Murano, the Johnny Vidacovich Trio, Billy Iuso, PYMP, Bouku Groove, Gravy Flavored Kisses, Eddie Roberts and the NOLA Nights, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr., Trumpet Black and Steamboat Willie. Admission to the show is $15, and proceeds will go towards Potter’s fund. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. The Howlin’ Wolf is located at 907 South Peters Street (map).
Since the beating, Potter has undergone surgeries to remove blood clots from his brain as well as pieces of his skull to relieve swelling. He remains unconscious at University Hospital, although, his condition has improved slightly. Doctors hope to transfer Potter to the Touro Rehabilitation Center soon. Apart from the coverage provided by the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation, the 54-year-old Potter does not have health care insurance. Money raised through Potter’s fund will go towards his medical bills. Those wishing to donate to the fund can do so online via Paypal, at regional Capital One banks or by mail at Doug Potter Musician Care Fund, P.O. Box 3271, Slidell, LA 70459.
With the aid of a surveillance video, days after the attack, police arrested Arnold, who, when detained, also provided false identification to officers. Belvin, however, is still at large. Belvin (pictured right) stands approximated 5’7″, has a stocky build and a tattoo between his eyes. Both suspects have previous arrests for battery and various drug-related offenses. Anyone with information that can assist police in Belvin’s apprehension is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (504) 822-1111.
For news and updates on Potter’s condition, follow the Doug Potter Musician Care Fund page on Facebook.