Lester Chambers. (Courtesy of Flicker User Doc Searls)
Disturbing news emerged early Sunday that Lester Chambers, 73, a founder of the classic '60s group The Chambers Brothers (who sang the immortal psychedelic/soul “Time Has Come Today” and much more) was attacked on stage by a white woman at a blues festival this weekend and rather badly hurt—after he dedicated “People Get Ready” to Trayvon Martin.
Details were murky for awhile, and based mainly on his son’s Facebook page, as covered in this report. The assault took place at a Blues Festival in Hayward, California. Chambers was hospitalized and seemed to be feeling better, with bruised ribs and more. His Facebook page soon filed with condolences and photo of damage to his back.
Sadly he had just started a comeback (he’s long claimed he was screwed over for royalties) aided by musician support groups and Kickstarter.
Lester Chambers goes all the way back to mid-’60s, when the group appeared with Joan Baez at Newport. The eleven-minute “Time Has Come Today” came out around 1968 and appeared in numerous movie soundtracks, most famously (in its entirety, or so it seemed) at climax of the Jane Fonda/Jon Voight Coming Home. The group Appeared with John Lennon when John co-hosted Mike Douglas Show during a famous week in the ’70s. And so on.
Later on Sunday came the first mainstream account here. A woman, 43, had been arrested and charged with battery. Chambers’ family firmly believes it was racial incident, citing the timing of her attack.
And now, the immortal “Times Has Come Today” in rare, live, fourteen-minute version. Most cowbell!