Have Fun and Be a Great Human Being on the Way to Gepstock

By George Halas

Undeterred by recent developments, The Inquisition is still predicting several days of 70-plus temperatures between now and September…2016.

Faithful Inquisitors know that one of the primary missions of this column is to provide decision-support information that will enable readers to avail themselves of the finest music available in the greater Fox Cities area and maximize the value of every entertainment dollar.

This month, The Inquisition kicks it up a notch.

On June 22, there will be an opportunity to hear four great bands for just five bucks…and be a great human being in the process.

Mike “Geppy” Gephart is a strong, witty, generous guy who loves music, travelling, and being with his family and friends.  He has played bass guitar for most of his life in bands such as Free Beer No Cover, The Weavils, Twisted Configuration, The Great Garbonzos, Boney Fingers,  Father Mac and The Phry, just to name a few. When someone in the valley needs a bass player for a gig, Gep is often the first call.  He has played with Michael Boyle, Iggy Rae, Bobby Evans and countless others.

“Even greater than his love for music is his love for his family. He is a loving father to two young girls and a supportive husband to his wife, D.,” said Jason Moon. “Geppy has a charm about him that makes him pretty difficult not to like, and it’s been said that there aren’t many people out there that he doesn’t like back!”

On March 12, 2014, Gephart was involved in a serious car accident on his way home from work. Thanks to the efforts of the first responders, he survived this horrible accident but did, however, sustain many broken and fractured bones, as well as a very significant and severe head injury. He spent more than a week in ICU, and his recovery is expected to be a long one.  He has many weeks, months, and possibly even years of rehab and therapy ahead of him.

“It’s still early in the game, here, folks,” Moon cautioned. “Nobody is sure just how long this recovery is going to take or how expensive it is going to end up being. What we do know is that the medical bills have the potential to be HIGH even after insurance pays its part. We also know that it’s going to be a long time before Geppy can get back to work and, as we all know, life doesn’t slow down for anybody. There are still mortgage payments, daycare costs, and general bills that are going to need to be paid, and the Gephart family’s income has been drastically reduced.”

One of the very coolest things about the musical community in northeast Wisconsin is the way musicians selflessly rally to help one of their own.

“People have been coming out of the woodwork with offers to help,” Moon said. “We have started this event so that the people who so desperately and generously want to help Geppy and his family will have a way to do just that. Within 10 days of the accident, we had 21 bands who wanted to help by playing and 25 people willing to volunteer to help in any way they could.  Most of my job has been organizing the massive amount of people and talent that have lined up to help. I am incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support that has come from all over the Fox Valley.”

Tanner’s Grill & Bar in Kimberly will be hosting “Gepstock,” a concert to benefit Gephart featuring The Cool Waters Band (8-10 p.m.), Copper Box (5:30-7:30 p.m.), Salsa Manzana (3-5 p.m.) and the Appleton School of Rock (noon to 2:30 p.m.). Any one of these bands is easily worth a $5 cover.  The community is invited to celebrate and support Gephart at this event made possible by 4Imprint, Bouwer Printing, Rock Garden Studios, and J.J. Keller & Associates. The event will feature raffle prizes, kid-friendly activities and fun for the whole family. The doors open at 11:00 a.m. The Inquisition cannot predict but sincerely hopes it is a pool day. And here is where the value truly kicks in: The cover charge is for adults; kids 17 and under get in free when in attendance with their parents/guardians. The Inquisition promises not to tell any 17-year-olds that someone thinks that they’re a “kid.”

So the traditional “if we only had a babysitter” doesn’t play…

“There will be five music-based kids’ games for a quarter a game with prizes like coupons for free games of bowling and ice cream, starting at noon,” said Moon, the event’s primary organizer.  “In addition, a free paddle wheel with prizes drawn from noon until 2:30 p.m. – after each Rock School band set – every 30 minutes.  Gepstock is completely family friendly. We want this to be an event where people feel not only like they can bring their children along, but where there will be something for the kids to do.”

The adults have not been forgotten.

“We have over 75 items to raffle off through a bucket raffle including two electric and one acoustic guitar (donations by Heid Music, Island Music, and an anonymous musician), a Bluetooth Sound System (donated by, a wheelbarrow full of booze (donated by various bars), and Waterfest Season Passes and VIP tickets,” Moon said. “Right now [as SCENE goes to press], we have gift certificates from Becket’s, Dublin’s, The Roxy, Primo, Oshkosh Lanes, Bee Hive, Solea, Rhapsody’s, The Red Ox, Oblio’s, Touching Tranquility, Glass Nickel Pizza, La Sure’s, Lake Breeze Gold Course, The Bar in Appleton, Shopko in Oshkosh, Headliner’s, Oshkosh YMCA, Timber Rattlers, Lara’s Tortilla Flats, George’s Gaslight, Jeff’s on Rugby, Family Video and Mr. Cinder’s.”

Moon is expecting gift certificates and raffle prize donations to keep coming in up until show time. There will be a 50/50 raffle as well.

Simply can’t make it on June 22?

“Geppy has performed with so many bands that we would need a whole weekend to get every band on a stage,” Moon added.  “Several other friends of Geppy have stepped up to create ‘Satellite Gepstock Events.’ Bobby Evans is doing a round robin set by playing at different three bars on June 5 (Paper City Pub, Greene’s Pour House, and Cooperstill Bourbon Bar – all in Neenah – from 7 to 11:00 p.m., with performances by Jason Moon, Jesse Kaftanski (Mad Polecats), Paul Robert, Evil Evans, Maxwell Jones and more.”

“Iggy Rae is doing a show at Richmond Street Pub on June 14,” he continued.  “All the profits from all these shows go to the Mike Gephart Benefit Fund. People can purchase Gepstock T-Shirts at these events, as well as drop off donations and pick up flyers. Expansion Theory Productions has offered a headlining spot at the August Oshkosh Main Street Music Festival to the band that brings in the most ancillary income as verified by our treasurer.”

“In fact, any musician who knows Gep or knows of Gep can do a show and send the proceeds to: Mike Gephart Benefit Fund, PO Box 1003, Oshkosh, WI  54903,” Moon said.

Anyone can send a donation to the above address or through this website:ν

George Halas is a writer for the Scene


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