Friday 28 July 2017

Two members of R&B band Tower of Power hit by train just moments before performance

David Garibaldi and bass player Marc van Wageningen recovering in hospital

Bass player Marc van Wageningen (left) and drummer David Garibaldi are recovering in hospital
Bass player Marc van Wageningen (left) and drummer David Garibaldi are recovering in hospital
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Two members of R&B group Tower of Power have survived being hit by a train as they walked across tracks before a performance in their home town of Oakland, California.

Calling it an "unfortunate accident", manager Jeremy Westby said drummer David Garibaldi and bass player Marc van Wageningen were "responsive and being treated at a local hospital".

The group has been an R&B institution for nearly 50 years, with Garibaldi playing in the band since 1970.

Van Wageningen is substituting as bass player.

Without identifying them, the Oakland Fire Department said earlier that two pedestrians were hit by a passenger train at Jack London Square at about 7.30pm on Thursday and taken to hospital.

The accident was near Yoshi's, a jazz and R&B club where the group had been due to play two shows that night.

It was not clear why the men were on the tracks, but pedestrians often need to cross them in the area with trains running across and in between streets, including right outside Yoshi's.

The Tower of Power, a band of about a dozen members, most of them horns, has been beloved members of the R&B and pop communities since forming in Oakland in 1968.

The group and its rotating cast of musicians have recorded behind many far more famous names including Sir Elton John, Otis Redding, Aerosmith and Santana.

They were also a national TV fixture in the 1980s with frequent appearances on Late Night With David Letterman.

Tributes and well wishes quickly emerged on Twitter, including one from pop star and drummer Sheila E, who tweeted: "Pleez pray for my frenz."

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