Spoonman recovering from heart attack, needs cash

Artis the Spoonman, well known as the subject of and for his appearance on Soundgarden's Grammy award-winning video "Spoonman," is recovering from the heart attack he suffered May 16.

He is now promoting a benefit concert to raise money to pay the hospital bills.

"He was against it at first," said Kathleen Keenan, a spokesman for Artis. "But his friends gave him so much support on the idea."

This Sunday and Monday from 2 to 4 p.m., during the Folklife Festival in Seattle Center, there will be "hat-pass for our buddy Artis" shows in the Alki Room.

According to Keenan, various "busker" friends of Artis, including Jim Page, Jim Hinde, Leif the Action Humorist, Johnny Hahn and other well-known Seattle musicians will be performing "Artists for Artis" sets. There is also a "Keep Artis Fine and Funky!" benefit planned for Saturday, June 22, at the Fremont Fair after the Solstice Parade.

Keenan reported Artis was "in coronary ICU [of Providence/Swedish Medical Center] until Tuesday, but is now in the regular coronary wing and doing very well, but needs money since he will not be able to work for the next two months." She also said the Spoonman would have to take medication for the rest of his life.

The Global Alliance of Performers has asked fans of Artis to donate one dollar to the Artis the Spoonman Fund at any Key Bank of Washington.

"We know The Daily realizes that Artis' main source of income is busking," said Neal Strome of Northern Stars Limited. "And asking his fans (worldwide) would not be a burden on them."

Artis the Spoonman, author of Aspirations to Manifestations from the Womb to the Void, is known as the Spoonman because of his virtuosic playing of spoons as musical instruments, known as "busking."

According to Keenan, Artis was busking on campus last Thursday, then discontinued playing because he was experiencing serious heart burn. Soon after leaving the University, the pains got worse and Artis was hospitalized at Providence/Swedish Medical Center on Capitol Hill, where he experienced a heart attack.

Artis has since canceled his scheduled performance at Folklife with friend Jim Page.

Parties interested in sending monetary gifts to Artis the Spoonman Fund can direct them to the Ballard branch of Key Bank of Washington: 1536 N.W. Market Street, Seattle, WA 98107.

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