Meet your Neighbour: Brian Vollmer-Helix's front man and so much more!
Helix (Source: Brian Vollmer)
LONDON, ONT. -- There are celebrities, and there’s everyday people that have celebrity status just because of who they are. Helix’s fron tman, Brian Vollmer happens to be both.
Vollmer who resides in London, is best known as the lead signer with Helix. The group formed in 1974, playing with over 200 of the world's top rock acts including KISS, Aerosmith, Motorhead, Rush, Mötley Crüe, Whitesnake, and Heart, to name a few.
Others will recognize Vollmer as an actor and composer for the 'Trailer Park Boys: The Movie', and 'Trailer Park Boys: Countdown to Liquor Day'.
Brian Vollmer with 'the Trailer Park Boys' in 2000 (Source: Planet Helix)
A composer, producer, teacher, actor and more makes him someone to celebrate in our community.
But that’s not where this story ends. It does however bring us to another story.
On July 21 2019, then 18-year-old Tristan Roby was hit by a vehicle in a hit-and-run while riding his bike on Exeter Road leaving him in a coma.
By September Roby began breathing on his own, but by October doctors were still unsure as to how much more he would be able to recover from his traumatic injury.
This brings us back to Vollmer and what makes him a celebrity in more ways than one.
In February, Vollmer created a virtual benefit concert to raise money to help Roby obtain stem cell treatment and other expenses his mother continues to face while taking care of him.
"I had been feeling down in the dumps about my own problems. The music biz has been decimated by COVID-19. After reading Tristan’s story, I realized how trivial my problems really were," says Vollmer.
How did ‘Tristan’s Journey Rockathon Fundraiser with Helix and Special Guests' come together?
"I decided that all money from HELIX OLD SCHOOL T-shirts sold during the month of February would go to Tristan. OLD SCHOOL was an album Helix released a couple of years ago. We raised over $1,000 from those alone. The real focus was on straight money donations as Tristan’s mother Abby needed help in that regard to send Tristan to Michigan for stem cell treatment. There are an array of other costs she faces as well."
On top of selling merchandise, created on online concert.
"We decided to have my friends in the music business each do an acoustic video and on a pre-determined night we would have a 'Brian Vollmer Telethon' of sorts. In all, there were 13 bands who submitted videos, although two (The Mudmen & After the Lounge) were really electric pre-filmed videos because of logistics. We had Todd Kearns of GnR's/Slash, Danko Jones, Tim Hicks, Sarah Smith, Bobnoxious, Weapon, The Norsemen Company, HELIX, SYRE, Ray Lyell, Lee Aaron, Al Harlow of Prism, and Blu Bones."
They exceed their goal of $12,000 raising almost $17,000 with money still coming in.
Brian Vollmer of 'Helix' meets Tristan Roby ahead of thier benefit concert. (Supplied)
"We consider this amazing considering there are numerous charities going on right now. Our appreciation goes out to all the people involved and to the fans that supported us on this."
How was it to create a virtual concert?
"Not easy," Vollmer said. "I think we spent just a weekend figuring how to set up a donation button on the Helix website. I owe a lot to my webmaster, Jay Paneseiko. Without his technical know how, I don’t think we would have pulled it off nearly as well as we did. He’s actually going to be helping me on my upcoming documentary, 'The Golden Age of the Canadian Bar Circuit'."
For those interested in donating to help Roby’s family by donating to help raise funds for a better more accessible home for Tristan, you can visit do so here.
You can watch the recording of Tristan’s Journey Rockathon Fundraiser with Helix and Special Guests on Helix’s Facebook page.
You can keep up to date with Vollmer and Helix online at Planet Helix.