Chambers’ story, he said, showed how that business really treats its own sometimes. Furthermore, he said, it was personal.

“I was raised right by my dad — the Stones, Dylan, Janis, Hendrix … . I had no idea, and my dad had no idea, of the fate of Lester Chambers,” said Ohanian, 29.

View the Kickstarter project: “Lester’s Time Has Come Today”

He wasn’t the first person to reach out to Lester and his family. But they say many of the offers they’d gotten sounded just as dodgy as ones from the days Lester said his band would play concerts for 1/10th of what other acts were getting.

“Sure, you’d get five or six snakes out of the grass saying … I want to book you a gig or something,” said Dylan Chambers. “But I was familiar with Reddit and checked out who Alexis was. He said ‘I want to do this project with you guys and I want this to blow up.’ “

Ohanian helped Chambers host an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on Reddit and create a project on crowd-funding site Kickstarter to pay for his first new album in decades.

With 16 days to go, “Lester’s Time Has Come Today” had raised $37,000 of its $39,000 goal on Monday. If successful, that cash will pay for rehearsal, production and musicians. This time, Chambers will retain the rights to the songs he records.

“It’s very, very different — much cleaner,” said Chambers, who has continued to perform live through the years. “You don’t have to sit and hear somebody (with a record company) tell you their little stories.

“There are so many of us who never got anything out of being a musician. I’m just so blessed to have this opportunity to come back into the music world and put my feelings and lyrics and music out.”

He’s already gone into the studio to record a pair of Christmas songs, which were sent digitally to Kickstarter backers. (To listen, click the audio links to the left of this story.)

To Ohanian, it all shows the promise of what the Internet could, and should, be.

“It fills me with so much hope and optimism … ,” he said. “That’s why you saw millions of people fighting for this.”

The man who sang that his “soul’s been psychedelicized” puts it differently.

“You can get on the Internet with all your creative processes and thought processes and it will take you to higher places than you could ever dream,” Chambers said. “A whole lot of people are going to be able to come out of the dark and into the light and the mountains that were so high will be easy to climb.”

« Previous page 1 2

Also On New Pittsburgh Courier:
comments – Add Yours