Five days after a well-known Des Moines musician was killed in a father's day boating accident, fiends gathered Thursday evening to find healing in music.
Kelly Starrett was killed Sunday when the boat he was riding in collided head-on with another on the Des Moines River. Starrett is being remembered as a loving father, grandfather, brother and son, but also a musician who shared his love with metro audiences for years.
“The last couple days have been like being in a vacuum, like the music died,” said Michael Gust, a friend of Starrett’s for more than 30 years. Thursday night, friends, family and fans of local musician Kelly Starrett revived that music in his honor.
The group "Alchemist" was the first to take the stage. It was the last group Starrett had performed with, just the night before the accident. They took the stage for the first time since then, and even though they were missing their drummer, Starrett’s inspiration was everywhere. Friends say Starrett never wore his shoes on stage. Everyone that took the stage doing the benefit followed in his footsteps- leaving their feet bare.
The packed house was not only celebrating the life of Kelly Starrett, and mourning his loss, they were also there to support the entire Starrett family.
“The whole Starrett family is suffering right now, with everything that happened and with the whole family being involved,” said Chris Sergio, a family friend.
Along with emotional support, the night offered financial help for Starrett's family.
“Just to show everyone can be there for him as he was here for us and to help his family get through the time and take care of the expenses and help, because things will pop up here and there down the road,” said Charlie Tassin, a friend of Starrett’s who helped plan the event.
So many musicians wanted to pay tribute to Starrett that friends and family will spread out the events over four nights. Thursday night is just the first benefit set for the next four days.