Cape Cod Rallies Around Local Musician Jim Decatur
By: SAM HOUGHTON, March 4, 2014
On Friday morning last week, a prominent Upper Cape musician walked outside of his home in Bourne to go to work only to realize that his truck had been broken into and much of his musical equipment stolen from the previous night’s gig.
A mixer, a sound board, power amp, guitar pedals, cords—$2,300 worth of equipment, much of it brand new—was stolen.
“It’s a fear every musician lives with,” said James B. Decatur, 32, a Bourne native who goes by the stage name Jimmy D. “It was brutal.”
But his girlfriend, Erica E. Urban, turned to crowdsourcing and less than five hours later she had raised the $2,300 Mr. Decatur needed to replace his equipment. And by the evening, the amount raised had surpassed $3,000. And by 8:30 this morning, 103 people had donated $4,364 for Mr. Decatur’s equipment fund.
The money came from anonymous donors, friends, family, local musicians and restaurant owners, some donating over $200. It took place on a crowdsourcing website, www.gofundme.com.
“It’s been overwhelming and very emotional,” Mr. Decatur said. He first saw the website and the amount of money coming in when he was sitting in a work van yesterday. He installs glass and mirrors for Falmouth Glass and Mirror during the day. “I was trying my hardest not to cry because they would probably call me names at work,” he said with a laugh. Next he called his parents who attend nearly every Jimmy D. show. His mother was in tears, also overwhelmed with the show of support.
“It’s amazing that people will be that generous. I’m not good at accepting charity, but it’s been pretty incredible. I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart,” Mr. Decatur said.
Jimmy D. has played music in the Falmouth, Bourne, and beyond music scene since he was a late teenager. He plays mostly solo and hopes to soon record his debut solo album.
The outpouring of community support has been an inspiration to him. Beyond music, he said, the community is supportive of everything. A friend’s home burned down the year before and he watched the community raise funds to help. “It’s inspirational growing up seeing that, and then to feel it first hand makes it a thousand times stronger.”
Those interested in donating to the fundraising efforts for Jim Decatur can do so here.
When he noticed his equipment was first stolen, restaurant owners in the area—owners of the Quahog Republic, The Beach House, Trowbridge Tavern, the Bog Pub—reached out to Mr. Decatur with sympathy. “So many other people, I can’t even begin to list the rest of the people, but those local businesses were extremely quick to offer help.” After receiving offers to help replace the equipment, he said that he could not accept the money. “There are bigger causes out there other than some local musician. That’s how I’ve been looking at it.”
“He’s the kind of person that doesn’t ever do anything for himself, he’s always thinking about other people,” Ms. Urban said. So, after Mr. Decatur agreed to it, Ms. Urban started the fundraiser. “Honestly, I’m not very surprised we’ve raised that much money. He’s loved by every person that he’s met. It’s awesome to see.”
Mr. Decatur has not yet decided what to do with the surplus raised. He has been encouraged by friends and fellow musicians to put the money toward recording. He was in the process of recording an album previously, but ran short of money.
He said, however, that he might donate the extra funds to a local charity. “I feel guilty. There are so many good things and locals that need help.”
Jimmy D. performs originals and acoustic rock and folk covers from the likes of Neil Young or David Bowe. “It’s all over the board,” he said of his music.
Last night he played his regular gig in Plymouth at the Speedwell Tavern with Daniel Byrnes, another local musician.
The music scene on the Upper Cape, he said “is extremely tight-knit in all genres of music, from heavy rock bands to me, who does acoustic music. We feed off each other... I’ve done shows with bands I never thought I would play with. We love supporting each other and working with one another.”
“I just love playing music,” Mr. Decatur said when asked about future plans for his music. “I just want to keep playing. I want to get this first solo album done and out there and keep doing local shows.”