Terry Mullan & Chuck Love to headline benefit for house legend Paul Johnson

Categories: Concert Preview
Johnson (left) at First Avenue with promoter Nick Gunz
For legendary house DJ Paul Johnson, December started bad and got worse. The Chicago native, who has been DJing in a wheelchair for the better part of his career, was involved in a major accident that broke several of his bones and led to the amputation of his right leg.

 In the community that's built up around house music at home and abroad, Johnson is a hugely respected figure, responsible for a string of the genre's classic releases (like "Get Get Down") and turning out monster DJ sets on a packed schedule. But, the accident put the music on hold, and Johnson's hospital bills have been mounting for months as he undergoes physical therapy. Local promotions duo Loud+Clear decided to lend a hand in stemming the tide of Paul's medical expenses, hosting Get Down!, a benefit show that features a one-time combination of fellow house major Terry Mullan and hometown hero Chuck Love.

Mullan, who also has deep roots in Chicago, is a major player in electronic dance music and has been for decades, his sets ranging from jacked-up disco anthems to stomping acid freakouts with loads of dancefloor bombshells in between.  He's a genre legend right alongside Johnson, and his involvement in the benefit feels like a respected colleague stepping in to offer a helping hand during hard times.

Terry Mullan. Photo by Denis Jeong Plaster

Loud+Clear have sweetened the deal by asking Minneapolis musician/DJ Chuck Love to take a night off from his increasingly busy schedule and play alongside Mullan.  We said 'play,' not 'DJ'; Love is a talented multi-instrumentalist, and he'll be adding live accompaniment to the set with an assortment of horns and guitar (the two of them did this at Solera last summer and the result was incredible).  Much like the event itself, Mullan and Love's dual performance is a special collaboration of efforts, and it promises to be a weekend highlight for anyone looking for something a little different from behind the turntables.

Matt Veloce and Little Aaron (the faces behind Loud+Clear) are well-liked DJs themselves, but they've given opening duties over to longtime house purveyor and Black alumnus Nick Gunz so that they can focus on making the event as successful as possible.  It's yet another sign of the community strength that surrounds this music and its heroes, especially in local terms. 

Chuck Love
And forget calling this charity - it's far too much fun to use that word.  You can support your local promoters, world-class DJs, and a hardworking Chicago favorite all in one evening--all you have to do is show up and dance. Says Paul on his Facebook page, "Only wish I could be there! I love you, First Avenue!"

Get Down! Benefit for Paul Johnson @ The First Ave Record Room, featuring Terry Mullan, Chuck Love, and Nik Gunz.  Saturday, April 16th.  10pm. 18+. $8. 701 N.1st Ave.  612-338-8388.

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