The name Larry Humphrey is synonymous locally with good-time funk music.
But, as of late, his life hasn’t been much of a P-Funk party.
“I didn’t want to do this,” Humphrey explained, tears in his eyes. “I didn’t want to get emotional.”
The colostomy bag concealed under his clothing is like an anchor, keeping him from traveling far from home.
The well-known Springfield musician was hospitalized for a month in September after it was discovered he had an abscess on his colon that was about to burst.
“They said if I would’ve waited one more day, I would’ve been gone,” he said.
Humphrey, 57, is now in need of a second operation, but he doesn’t have insurance.
“All I’ve ever done is play music,” he said.
Two fellow local musicians, Jeff Davis and Darrell Gossett, have stepped in to see that the man known as Hump will be put back together again.
They’ve organized a benefit concert for Humphrey scheduled for 8 p.m. April 13 at the Night Gallery, 1610 Mitchell Blvd., that will feature a host of local acts. They’re asking for donations of $5 to get in.
Donations also can be made to the Larry C. Humphrey Benefit Fund at any Security National Bank.
“He’s a funk master. A legend,” Davis said.
The thought of losing Humphrey is one local musicians can’t fathom.
“It would be devastating,” Davis said.
By his own admission, Humphrey briefly lost the will to push on.
“I was about ready to give up,” he confessed.
Quitting is practically a foreign concept to Humphrey, as a man who’s never short on CDs to sell and as a musician who’s kept the flame of prime Ohio funk burning.
A man whose basement studio on Southern Avenue has been visited by such funk legends as Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner and Marshall “Rock” Jones of the Ohio Players and Steve Arrington of Slave — their signatures adorn the basement door — Humphrey is strengthened by the fact that he’s still here. Bonner, a close friend, lost his fight with cancer in January.
“It feels good to know that people care,” Humphrey said. “I’ve always tried to be a good person. When you do good, good always comes back.”