Lend a Hand to Vlad. A Fundraiser.

For the first post in a long time, this is a bit of a difficult one. We’re writing to ask you to lend a hand to an Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir alumnus in need, if you’re in a position to do so.

Vlad Sobolewski, bass player and driving force in AMGC/Agnostic Phibes/Great Uncle Bull/tons-of-other-Calgary-bands, has fallen on tough times. He was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2009, not long after the last time the Choir was on tour in England and Ireland. On that tour, the symptoms like numbness in his limbs were affecting him, though any of you who were at the gigs wouldn’t have been able to tell.

What is MS? It is a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system). In MS, the immune system attacks the protective myelin sheath that covers nerve fibres and causes communication problems between your brain and the rest of your body.

Vlad had the bad luck of having a disabling case of MS. His symptoms progressed and he lost the use of his right arm/hand by 2011. Now the MS is spreading to his left arm/hand. He hasn’t been able to play the bass for years. As you can imagine, this has been hard on him. Music has been a huge part of his life. If Vlad could still play, the fanatics among you would be reading posts about the two to four bands that he would be gigging with at any given time. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

More distressingly, finding work and earning a living has been difficult for Vlad. He has always been someone who worked with his hands. On top of the losing strength and mobility in his hands, MS also causes fatigue and pain.

Therefore, we former AMGC members have a couple of things in mind; one we’ll tell you about now and another we’ll tell you about a little later.

We’re asking you to buy what’s left of the AMGC and Agnostic Phibes CDs, one at a time…or two or three, if you’re feeling so inclined. We’ve got a few copies of Ten Thousand, Fighting and Onions, and the Agnostic-Phibes CD kicking around from the days before streaming killed the idea of buying a physical copy for all but the most dedicated fans.

A CD (or vinyl, cassette, t-shirt, or poster) is an artifact. An Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir CD is a small piece of history of a cult band that made its mark in its own little way. It is tangible evidence that they existed. So what if you don’t have a CD player? (By the way, bluray DVD players make perfectly good CD players.) Put it on display. Buy it as a gift for a friend who, as your vague notion suggests, might like it. Send it to someone at random. Maybe you’re an old fan or someone who recently discovered the Agnostics through streaming. Whether you can effectively play the thing on your stereo or computer system or not doesn’t matter. You would be helping out someone that was instrumental in making music that meant something to you and, in return, would be getting a little token for your caring gesture.

The entirety of the proceeds from sales of the remaining CDs will be split between helping Vlad earn a living and making a donation to the MS Society of Canada.

If you can get behind this, we ask that you also share this post through your social media circles to get the word out. It’s not like the AMGC is a going concern anymore.

Asking for help is difficult. We write this knowing that so many people have been hit by hard times in the last two years. Regardless, we thank you for taking the consideration to read this post. Take care of each other and look out for those who need help.

Instructions to Buy a CD to Help Vlad

These are the CDs we’re selling for this campaign:
– Ten Thousand by Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir
– Fighting and Onions by Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir
– Campfire Tales by The Agnostic-Phibes Rhythm & Blood Conspiracy

1) Click this Pay Pal link paypal.me/vladimirsobolewski. Choose Send. After logging into your Paypal account, you will be asked to enter a price and details.

2) For the price, this is a donation in Canadian dollars. We suggest Canadians and Americans donate $16 per CD. This will include postage and handling. We suggest $20 per CD for the rest of the world. Of course, if you want to pay more for a CD, Vlad will appreciate it.

3) Enter which CD you want, how many, and the address it should be sent to.

4) Consider making a donation to the Alberta MS Society through this web site: 

If you don’t have a Paypal account and want to pay by credit card, we will have an option up on the Buy CDs page shortly.