For decades, punk stalwart Mike Atta has served OC's divine slice of counter culture as both a guitarist of Santa Ana/Fullerton hardcore heroes the Middle Class and as the shop owner of vintage department store Out of Vogue. You may even recognize him from our list of the Top 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time. What you may not know is that Atta recently resumed a major battle with cancer and is in desperate need of your help.
Over the weekend, the Weekly learned that the cancer that once effected Atta's kidneys has returned and spread to his lungs. In the face of such horrible news, Atta and his wife Pam are about to see their medical bills skyrocket as they try to fight this illness for a second time with an aggressive form of cancer treatment. An online fundraising campaign began to help with Atta's massive medical expenses, courtesy of Atta's sister Joanne Jimenez, which filled us in on the details of Atta's struggle.
Atta was first diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer in January of 2010.
After having the kidney and an adrenal gland removed, he and his family
were hopeful that he'd never have to deal with it again.But a few weeks
ago, his doctor told him and his family that the cancer has returned
and has now moved into his lungs.
“If you know Mike he is a happy, positive, resilient person before
and after his initial diagnosis/surgery,” his sister writers in her
campaign statement, “and you'd never know he'd had cancer and major
surgery if you saw him during the last 3 years.”
As a small business owner, a father, and an member of an active old-school punk
band (The Middle Class started playing shows again after his first
recovery), Atta has never even had a moment to slow down. But staggering medical bills and time away
from his shop and 10-year-old son Van during his treatment over the
holiday season is obviously taking a major toll on him and his family.
Despite the devastating circumstances, an outpouring of support from
friends and family, which includes OC's punk community, has already
started. In addition to donations via Fund Razr (so far Jimenez has
raised over $7,000 of a $50,000 goal), local legends are getting together to throw a benefit concert for Atta next month at the Echoplex.
January 25, the Adolescents, Mike Watt and the Second Men, 45 Grave,
Audacity, White Flag and more are taking the stage to drum up some funds
for Atta's treatment. A Facebook page dedicated to help Atta's cause
was just created yesterday. While it seems the ball is already rolling
on this community effort to save one of OC's prized punk heroes, let's
make sure to keep it that way until he gets what he needs.
Nate Jackson is the gatekeeper to your dreams of local dive bar stardom. If he writes about you, expect your band to be offered at least one more drink ticket than the rest of the bands on the bill. Get his attention with some groovy tunes and he might just do it. Then, boy will you feel special.