Hank Williams III, Jane’s Addiction, Big & Rich, B.B. King…
Former Beaumont Club main man Jon Lunkwicz has partied with the best. For year’s he was the force behind hundreds of Kansas City’s top club level shows in the popular Westport live music emporium.
Three short years ago the 60 year-old Lunkwicz awakened to find himself paralyzed. He’s since retired and now lives in a long term care facility just outside Kansas City.
"My world’s very uncomplicated," Lunkwicz muses. "It’s about an eight by eight space and I suspect the food’s about as good as prison food. And I get to shower about twice a week, that’s pretty exciting."
"Most of the people here are in their 70s and 80s," Lunkwicz says. "One floor’s all Alzheimer’s patients – that’s a treat. The best thing about them is you can run over their toes with a wheelchair and they can’t say anything."
It was on January 26, 2009 that Lunkwicz predicament unfolded.
"I woke up that morning and was paralyzed from the waist down," he says. "I’ve been thinking about writing a book. I was going to write a book about the Beaumont Club that was subtitled, ‘They took the hotdogs but not the buns.’ "
"Somebody broke into my apartment about two months before I became paralyzed," Lunkwicz says. "They took everything. They took my guitar that was autographed by B.B. King. And I went to my refrigerator and they had taken my hotdogs but not the buns."
All things considered, Lunkwicz has retained an upbeat attitude.
"It didn’t kill me but…" he pauses. "I just don’t get mad about stuff, it’s just not worth it. There’s too many moments you can look back on in life that were just so wonderful."
Lunkwicz take on the state of live music in Kansas City today?
"I think it’s wonderful but there’s almost too many venues," he says. "There’s got to be a weeding out."
Lunkwicz was disappointed, but not surprised, at how KanRocksas turned out, for example.
"They couldn’t get some of the smaller acts that would have drawn 2,000 or 3,000 people that would have made it a bigger event," Lunkwicz says. "And I’m sorry – the name KanRocksas – it made me think of somebody kicking Kansas in the ass."