It was quite a tragic shock to an otherwise awesome hang with John 5, this past July 11.
The two of us had just finished filming interviews and gear tests for Roland/Boss at CenterStaging studios in Burbank, California, when John received a phone call informing him that his good friend and guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, had been diagnosed with stage four cancer.
Velasco had been working for Rick Springfield when he was taken ill. Springfield insisted Velasco seek treatment, and that's when the awful truth was discovered.
“Ruben Velasco, our friend and guitar tech extraordinaire is fighting for his life,” says Springfield. “He has been diagnosed with fourth stage cancer and has a lot of medical expenses coming up in his fight. Any and all donations would be loved and welcomed.”
To assist Velasco in his battle and raise money for his medical expenses, Springfield is hosting a "Rock for Ruben" benefit at the Hollywood House of Blues on Wednesday, August 20.
Springfield and his band will perform a full concert, and John 5 will also join in. Other special guests will be announced in the following weeks.
“I have been with Ruben since 1998," says John 5. "He has been my guitar tech for many years and a very close, dear friend. It was heartbreaking to hear this news, and it is so important to raise this money to help Ruben in his battle against cancer, as well as raising awareness.”
The "Rock for Ruben" benefit will also include some exclusive VIP opportunities, including a private pre-concert dinner with Springfield. For more information, click here.
In addition, Velasco's favorite charity, Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary, is also accepting donations on his behalf. Donations can be made here.