Hit-And-Run Victim DJ Toph One Talks About Music in Recovery, Dangers of Cycling in the City, & this Weekend's Benefits in his Honor

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
In an overwhelmingly positive display of heartfelt support for much loved longtime San Francisco music ambassador & avid cyclist TOPH ONE, who was recently the victim of a nasty hit-and-run accident on his bicycle, local Bay Area DJs (myself included) have rallied together to help raise funds for the injured DJ/writer/rider's rising medical expenses
via two separate fundraisers in San Francisco this weekend: tonight Friday(Jan 20th) at Public Works and on Sunday (Jan 22nd) at SOM Bar in the Mission - scroll down for full details. 

This morning the Amoeblog caught up with the native San Francisco DJ born Christopher Evans who, despite all he is dealing with ("pain, meds, bed positioning, etc.") since been rushed in serious condition to intensive care in SFGH (San Francisco General Hospital) twelve days ago, was in a surprisingly upbeat good frame of mind.  But then that is the kind of guy Toph is and always has been - looking on the positive and loving life.

Toph One has long been a renaissance man and diehard music fanatic (hip-hop, funk, reggae - anything good he's dug up and spun) known for his talents as a writer (both a graffiti writer and a music scribe who wrote for XLR8R and other outlets), and as a DJ who has tirelessly been spinning music in Bay Area clubs forever - and often spinning 10 times in a one week stretch. He also promoted his own Red Wine Social and Pepper parties for many years. In short Toph One loves music and life. He also has much love and compassion for others including those who are suffering from AIDS and each year he religiously participates in the AIDS/LifeCycle to raise funds & awareness in the annual "ride to end AIDS" and is hoping to be able to make a recovery in time to participate in this year's event in five months time.

This morning Toph One talked to the Amoeblog about his accident, the dangers of cycling in the City, the music he finds healing, his reaction to the outpouring of support with this weekend's benefits, and also what he would say to the hit-and-run driver that struck him? In typical Toph form there was no malice in his reply. "Folks just gotta learn that the streets were built for everyone's use and that (as with Life in general) we all need to share," he said continuing, "There are plenty of shitty bike riders, but when you put yourself behind the controls of a thousand-pound machine you gotta realize the responsibility there. If you're texting or not bothering to put on a turn signal and get into an accident; that's a minor fender-bender versus another car, but it's a potentially lethal collision to a cyclist!"  And what advice does Toph have for cyclists in the City? "Defense! You gotta be aware of and ready to react to any situation that might pop up in your 360 degree radius. We (cyclists) always gotta keep an eye on them (motorists). Otherrwise we're dead meat! Ride hard, ride fast- have fun!"

I asked Toph specifically what his current status was, as a result of his accident that occurred two Sundays ago in San Francisco at the corner of Ocean and Geneva avenues (near City College), and what his recovery looks like?  "Well I'm in the very first stages of recovery from 12 hour surgery to put my pelvis back together. The doctors had to use screws and plates to hold everything in place. And since the procedure was taking so long, they want to go back in on Tuesday to tighten everything up. Another complication was a major nerve in my left leg that the docs had to gently move aside during surgery, so now I have very limited to nil feeling and response in my left leg and foot. Very frightening! But on the positive side, I already met with my physical and occupational therapists to talk about recovery and they had me sitting up already- extremely encouraging!" Continuing in that positive mode Toph stressed that, "Oh man, you gotta find the positive in every situation... I'm always glad for some downtime when you can step back and assess your Life; look at where you're at and where you're trying to go!"

A constant positive in Toph One's life has always been music so I was curious, while laid up in his hospital bed what music (if any) he has been listening to and what songs has he thought are applicable to his current situation? "Ahhh- music and books have been the key to holding my shit together through all this," he replied. "And my buddy Elizabeth Clayton passed me her spare iPod! When I need to release the pressure it's all about Metallica's Black Album, but most of the time I'm looking for that warm, fuzzy place where the pain goes away and I can sort out everything floating around in my head: BrightBlack Morning Light's "Everybody Daylight", Leonard Bernstein conducting Aaron Copland's "Rodeo", Erik Satie "Gymnopedie No.1" and of course the absolutely perfect  "She Hangs Brightly" from Mazzy Starr mingling with Gresham's "Belly Dish""

Mazzy Star "She Hangs Brightly"

BrightBlack Morning Light "Everybody Daylight"

Metallica "Enter Sandman" (from the Black Album)

Erik Satie "Gymnopédie No.1"

One thing that Toph said that totally surprised me was when I mentioned how he would not be able to participate in his beloved AIDS LifeCycle this year he interjected to say that was not the case. "You better believe I'll be leading the Winos to LA with AidsLifecycle in June!" Before letting Toph go I asked him what would he like to say to the many caring folks who will be attending this weekend's benefit gigs in his honor? "I'm just floored by folks' generosity and the outpouring of love and support! Not surprised, because I know what our graf/wino/bike/skate/funk/punk/hip-hop community is capable of, but to be a part of it in action is an awe-inspiring thing!"  The two Toph One benefits this weekend are tonight Friday night (Jan 20th) at Public Works with J-Boogie, Jimmy Love, E Da Boss, Chris Orr, B-Cause, Smoove, Kirk The Selecter, Pleasure Maker, Matt Haze, and Johnny Venetti all spinning sets for TOPH's needed funds. Then on Sunday (Jan 22nd) at SOM Bar in the Mission DJs spinning will include DJ Pause, Sake One, DJ Stef, Rolo 1-3, Doc Fu, Mr E, Rascue, Jah Warrior Shelter, Maneesh the Twister, Myk One, J-Boogie, Ren the Vinyl Archeologist, DJ Beset, Mr. E. and myself. There will also be open turntables between 8pm and 10pm. $10-$20 donations will be collected at the door (nobody turned away for a lack of funds), of which 100% will go directly to TOPH. Plus SOM is generously donating 50% of bar sales. Folks can also help out by donating any goods that can be sold for a “silent auction” during Sunday's event. If you are unable to attend the benefit events but would still like to help, please spread the word by sharing via Facebook, Twitter etc. a link to TOPH ONE benefit page. Alternately you can also donate online here

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Toph One (4), Toph One Benefit (1), Smoove (1), Som Bar (3), Kirk The Selecter (1), Mr E (1), Rascue (3), Jah Warrior (1), Matt Haze (1), E Da Boss (2)