Pinoy Rock pioneer Wally Gonzalez needs help. The 71-year-old musician, a diabetic, suffered a stroke last week and his medical bills are mounting, according to his son John.
In a Facebook post on 22 January, John said that, after the stroke, Wally has been “extremely weak and unable to move on his own. He is currently confined at Perpetual Help Hospital in Las Piñas and initial findings saw an onset of pneumonia.”
John said he launched an online fundraiser to help pay for his father’s medical expenses, which are expected to mount since Wally “isn’t well enough to be discharged. The cost has already ballooned to an extent that it has eaten up what budget we set aside for it.”
In 1968, Gonzalez, Edmond Fortuno, Sandy Tagarro, Bing Labrador and Alex Cruz formed the first incarnation of the Juan dela Cruz Band.
In 1971, a new lineup of Juan dela Cruz composed of Bobot Guerrero, Clifford Ho, Larry Martinez, Tony Rodriguez, with Gonzalez as band leader, released Up in Arms, arguably the first Pinoy Rock album since it contained original compositions.
Two years later, in 1973, the band, which, by then, comprised the power trio of Gonzalez, Mike Hanopol and Joey “Pepe” Smith, released Himig Natin — whose title track became the anthem of a generation of music fans that formed the fan base of Pinoy Rock.
Donations for Gonzalez’s medical bills can be made through John Gonzalez’s BPI account 3319 1927 69; GCash 0998 8839647; for other payment channels, message John Gonzalez directly on Facebook.