It didn't take long for Wellington's roots music fraternity to rally behind DJ Danny Lemon. One of the founding members of Roots Foundation, Lemon said he was pain-stricken after losing 8500 records in the Kiwi Self Storage arson in April.
Within hours of hearing of Lemon's loss, mates in Wellington's roots scene began planning a fundraiser to help rebuild his vast collection.
Tomorrow night, Cuba St's San Fran will have a "very high likelihood of sonic whoopee" as the foundation holds its Rockers Sermon gig.
All proceeds from the "all-night reggae powerhouse" will go to Lemon so he can begin the slow process of hunting down and re-acquiring some of the rare vinyl he lost.
"They're not only things, it's music," Lemon said of the loss.
His collection, which he and fellow Roots Foundation member DJ Koa estimate was worth $300,000, included soul and jazz records but was primarily reggae.
Many of the records were pre-production presses and demos.
Lemon says he probably has 5 per cent of his collection left.
"I started collecting seriously when I started work at 16.
"I was always buying music, always looking at music."
DJ Koa said everyone involved in Sunday's gig is providing services in kind.
"All these people are jumping on board to help."
Lemon says the lineup the foundation organised for the night was stirling.
"They're all committed music people and they've been involved for years."
It was humbling to have such people lining up to help out, he says.
"I don't really know what I've done to deserve all this. It's gratifying. I mean, I'd certainly do the same for someone else."
Roots Foundation fans had benefited from Lemon's collection over the years as they heard his records playing, Koa said.
"They'd been part of that journey, having good memories of those nights. I guess that's why there are a lot of people reaching out and supporting him."
Even producers and label owners had reached out to Lemon, including Roy Davis Jr and Brian Harden. Rockers Sermon, named after DJ Lemon's first NZ radio show, Rockers Sermon People's Sound, opens 8pm tomorrow night at San Francisco Bath House in Cuba St.
Door sales only.
- The Dominion Post
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