The Denver music scene has always been good at taking care of its own. Now, friends of Joe Richmond are asking people in the scene to help the musician and producer cover some massive medical bills following a motorcycle accident.
"He's kind of the ultimate Denver music guy," says Nate Meese, who played with Richmond in the now-defunct band Meese and the still-operating Tennis. "Joe’s one of those guys that’s so friendly and knows so many great people."
Richmond has also played in the bands Navy and Churchill, was a sound engineer at the hi-dive, Bluebird and Syntax, and was the house engineer for the Fray. He's also produced albums and songs for a number of local bands.
Jessica Broom, Richmond's girlfriend, said he rented a motorcycle on October 10 to go for a ride in the mountains. It's something she said he does often, when he's on tour and wants to get away for a bit. "He's been on a bike a million times," says Broom.
About nine miles outside Cripple Creek, she says, Richmond hit a deep patch of sand in the road and went down. The accident ripped off his shoe and his bare foot was dragged beneath the motorcycle as it slid, eventually crashing into a guard rail.
Richmond was discovered by a motorist who happened to be a retired paramedic. He made it to the hospital, and his wounds, though serious, were not life-threatening. But he soon learned his problems weren't all medical.
"Basically, he was dropped from his insurance," said Broom. She says Richmond had medical insurance through an old band but was apparently dropped some months ago. The notice that he was losing coverage was sent to the address of an old business manager, she says, so Richmond had no idea he'd been dropped.
"It was a huge blow," said Broom. "It's already an astronomical amount." And the medical bills aren't going to go away any time soon. Broom said the wound on Richmond's foot is too large to be stitched up.
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"It's about the size of a tennis ball, down to the bone," she said. "It’s so large that it can’t be closed." Richmond now has to visit a wound clinic three times a week, she said, to have a specialist clean and redress the wound. Eventually he'll need surgery to repair fractures in the foot and skin grafts to cover the large wound.
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"He's stuck with a lot of bills," says Broom. To help cover some of the medical expenses, Richmond's friend Dave Blauvelt set up a Gofundme page in his name. The site has a goal of $50,000.
Broom said she and Richmond are grateful for Blauvelt's support as well as that of the Denver music community. "It feels very hopeful knowing there’s so many people willing to help," said Broom. "It’s amazing what people can do together."