Rockin' for resources
Music lover hope concert will help fund transplant
Posted: December 21, 2012
If you go ...
All proceeds from the benefit concert will go to the Steve “Bumpy” Cape Kidney Transplant Fund. A $5 donation is suggested.
Each dollar donated will enter participants into a drawing for a $50 Cosmic Debris gift certificate.
5 p.m.: Doors open
6-6:20 p.m.: Mark Bradley
6:30-6:50 p.m.: Joel Delgado
7:00-7:20 p.m.: Hector of Acoustic Thunder
7:30-8 p.m.: Grand Revival
8:15-8:45 p.m. The August Exchange
9-9:30 p.m.: Two Alpacas
9:45-10:15 p.m.: Fear and Whiskey
10:30-11 p.m.: SLeePFeeDeR
Rocking flannel shirts and band tees since his teenage years, Steven “Bumpy” Cape knows who he is — a record store owner who has spun his 48 years of musical passion into a Greatest Hits album of personal highs and lows.
The spectrum of notes, uncompressed like the sound on one of the hundreds of vinyl records padding his Newman Avenue nook, could scratch to an early stop if Cape doesn’t receive the kidney transplant he needs to survive.
Addicted to music
On a trip from his home state of Georgia to New York, I-81 led Cape through the Valley and to his future home in Harrisonburg. He spent the next seven years working toward opening his own shop here in the Valley.
The obsession — his only addiction, Cape says — began at age 12 with a radio show prize: the record “Waking and Dreaming” by Orleans.
“It was just the coolest thing ever,” he boyishly recalls.
Visiting record stores with his father, soon he was collecting and selling albums himself, pinning up posters at school and making sales through mail orders.
Cape opened his first record shop, Savannah Videos Comics and Record, in 1987. Small ventures speckled the next 18 years, until the original Cosmic Debris — named for a Frank Zappa song — opened in Athens, Ga., in 2005.
“When I moved up here, I resurrected the Cosmic Debris name, because it gives me the opportunity to add any type of collectible and the name still fits,” he says. “It’s all just cosmic debris.”
At its inception in 2010, Harrisonburg’s Cosmic Debris was the only record shop in town. Now, Cape’s joined by a handful of other enthusiasts, in what he calls “a fraternity of record shop owners,” each referring customers to one another’s collections.
The shop isn’t about making money, Cape says. “I tell people, when it stops being fun, I’ll stop doing it ... and it’s still fun.”
Rocking to raise funds
Ultimately, the shop keeps Cape busy at a time when he’s unable to pursue much else. Being on a disability program prevents him from getting a second job, but his medical issues keep him from sitting still or standing for too long.
Two years ago, a heart attack, kidney failure and diabetic coma brought his health issues to a fever pitch. With Type II diabetes, his kidneys work at only 15 percent capacity. Congestive heart failure and a family history of disease keep him from obtaining insurance to cover a transplant.
Area hospitals have told him that he’ll need $10,000 to save his life — an obstacle he’s hoping to tackle with the fundraiser.
On Jan. 19 at 5 p.m., Cape invites the community to an eight-band lineup benefit concert, with all proceeds contributing to his transplant fund.
According to Mark Bradley, promoter, agent and performer, benefit concerts are worth the work. “[Cape] has always been a fan of music ... so it was apparent that we needed to do a concert for him,” he said. “Benefit shows raise awareness really well and are a great way to have a good time while also supporting someone in need.”
For more information on the benefit concert, visit facebook.com/markbradleymusic.