March 31st, 2009 | News

Paul Williams was the founding editor of Crawdaddy! zine and later close friend to Philip K. Dick, as well as eventual executor of his estate—two positions that dearly inform what L.A. RECORD hopes to do. (In fact, Chris interviewed Paul twice for Philip K. Dick-related articles.) We learn via fellow Roky Erickson listener Jonathan Lethem that Paul’s family now needs donation help to pay for medical care necessary after a serious bicycle accident some years ago:

Paul Williams, the legendary creator of Crawdaddy! Magazine, fell off his bicycle in 1995 and suffered a traumatic brain injury, which has led to early onset Alzheimer’s. His family’s having difficulties with his care, and so a few of Paul’s friend have set up a website both as a tribute to his life and work and in order to make an appeal for help.

The difficulties Paul’s wife, the singer Cindy Lee Berryhill, and his son Alexander, now face due to Paul’s need for full-time care are an opportunity for crowd-sourcing at its best. This is a rotten time to be hitting anyone up for contributions for anything, but it is simply the case that if everyone who acknowledged how Paul changed their life by his music-writing and editing — or by his efforts propagating the writings of Phil Dick back into prominence — were to give even five or ten dollars it would transform a very unfortunate situation. (If everyone whose life had been changed by Paul’s work but didn’t even know his name were to contribute, they’d build his family a castle.)

Short of donating, just visit the website and glimpse some of Paul’s many cultural legacies. The “Writings” section contains a lovely cascade of testimonials from people like Peter Buck, Lenny Kaye, Johan Kugelberg, Michaelangelos Matos, David Fricke, and others, some nice links to material like the original two-years run of Crawdaddy, and his legendary Rolling Stone interview with Phil Dick, as well as a guide to every book Paul ever wrote.

Here is a good interview with Paul where he talks about starting Crawdaddy! and you can read many of his pieces on the website of the online Crawdaddy! here. Our best wishes to Paul and his family.