Texas is known for taking care of their own when someone is in need. Recently, a local musician, Scott Lathrom, lead guitarist for the Jon Austin Band out of Killeen, became very ill. The local community of musicians rallied in prayer and support. After twenty-six days in a coma with Legionnaires’ disease and pneumonia, Scott has recently been released from the hospital and is on the long road to recovery.
In the effort to further support Scott while he recovers, Jon Austin has put together a series of concerts called the “Rock For Scott Music Series.” It is one of the biggest gatherings of local music anywhere and is a testament to how the music community can come together to support each other. The first concert will be held Sunday, June 14th, at Jokers IceHouse at 3pm and will play until late in the night. Admission is free and is for all ages. With over twenty bands on the lineup, there is enough entertainment for everybody.
Scott Lathrom joined the Jon Austin band about four years ago. According to Jon, “Scott was friends with Tim Hopkins of One Fine Burrito and Hearts Afire. They weren’t playing as much as they used to and someone gave me his number and it was perfect. Jon says “He’s the nicest guy that you could know. We were inseparable after that. Our music just gelled perfectly.”
Jon knew that at some point, he would try to gather his friends to do a benefit for his good friend. Putting the plan into motion started quick and he tried to get anyone that could to participate. “Every band that could. There is a lot more bands that would sign up if they could have. I had to throw this thing together pretty quickly and a lot of bands were already booked. I imagine if everybody could have made it, it would have been even more huge. I’m pretty excited about who we’ve got.”
Putting together such a big series of shows is not an easy task. “I got laid off last week. If I hadn’t gotten laid off, I don’t think this would have happened. I’ve gotten up every day at 7:30 and made phone calls. The amount of time it takes to organize things is crazy. Things like face painters, bounce houses, sprinklers, food, radio ads, venues, bands, graphics, flyers. You can’t do it all by phone. You have to go talk to people. It’s quite a process. I could have gone back to work on Monday but I told them I’ve got too much to do and can’t let Scott down. I go back to work next Monday.”
Scott contracted something called Legionnaires’ disease which is a type of bacteria that affects the lungs. Scott developed pneumonia and was in a coma for over twenty-six days so that his body could repair itself. Several complications made the news grim several days of his ordeal. After coming out of the coma, Scott had a difficult time being confined to the hospital. Currently, Scott has recently been released from the hospital and is re cooperating at home. He still has a long road of recovery ahead, but, according to Jon, is an independent spirit. “He’s just hard headed. He can’t drive. He decided to walk to Best Buy the other day. I’m not sure where he started at but he walked all the way there and had to call somebody. I guess he can walk alright. He’s just tired of being in the hospital and at home.”
Expectations are that within the next month, Scott should be recovered enough to start playing guitar again. His friends are just glad that he’s around at all.