“I’d been living in pain and without health insurance for about six years,” says Cathryn Beeks, who nonetheless managed to promote over 500 local concerts during that time period. “I finally got insurance and had an MRI, which showed a fairly large, presumably benign tumor called a schwannoma growing on my spinal nerve, in and out of my L4 and L5.” Beeks underwent surgery in late July to have the tumor removed.
“It took almost eight weeks for me to be able to walk normally again, but I’m getting better every day and am out of the horrible pain. I’m finally sleeping...back to work hosting my shows...and I’m looking forward to performing again in the near future.”
A Cathryn Beeks Appreciation concert happens November 11 at downtown’s Hard Rock Café, with proceeds going toward her recent medical bills. Around 20 acoustic performers are expected, including Josh Damigo, Rob Deez, Jeff Berkley, Veronica May, Lindsay White, Astra Kelly, Lenny Morris, Kenny Eng, Tori Roze, and Summer Mencher.
“Cathryn was the first person to give me a show outside the coffeehouse scene,” says Josh Damigo. “I was nervous and excited and probably stuck out like a nun in a strip joint.” Damigo has been a regular at the Game, Beeks’s frequent songwriter showcases where she provides a song title, around which anyone is invited to write and perform their own tune. “My set at the Hard Rock will consist of the songs I’ve written because of her prompting for the Game.”
Astra Kelly first met Beeks while camping in Colorado, eventually accepting Beeks’s offer to play a San Diego show. “A year later, I packed up a moving van and thankfully made my way to California, where Cathryn opened her arms and her heart and helped me get to know the local scene.”
“She’s the one person every beginning singer-songwriter has to know when they start playing music in San Diego,” says Kenny Eng, who began performing for Beeks’s events at downtown’s Dublin Square in 2007. “She’s like the nice version of the Godfather. If she gives you her blessing, you’re good to go.”