Fremantle rock outfit The Growl have issued a statement regarding an unprovoked violent attack on band member Marc Earley that occurred around 3am Monday, 2nd February, leaving him with two fractures on the upper knuckle. The bassist has been flown to Perth from Sydney for surgery.
According to the statement, the attack occurred at an Oporto restaurant near the corner of Pelican and Oxford St in Sydney’s Surry Hills. The attacker blinded Earley with one hand and intentionally broke the ring finger on the musician’s left hand at a right angle, causing the fractures.
Doctors at the emergency department at the Prince of Wales Hospital have informed Earley’s bandmates that he must undergo specialist surgery within 48 hours to achieve the degree of recovery necessary for him to continue life as a working musician and music teacher.
The band describe Earley as “an integral member of The Growl, a widely respected upright bassist in the Australian jazz community and a mentor and role model to the students he teaches,” in addition to being a talented film scorer and a “gentle, friendly and ever laughing bloke.”
“Not only has this act of unprovoked violence caused Marc a lot of pain and distress it will severely impact his livelihood in the coming months. Marc will have to attend occupational therapy everyday after his surgery if he is to regain the full use of his hand,” reads the band’s statement.
The attack follows the passing of NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell’s “one-punch” laws, which impose minimum sentences on the perpetrators of alcohol-fuelled violence, though the band specify that Earley’s attacker “did not appear to be intoxicated or under the influence.”
The band have appealed to fans to donate to a special fund organised to aid their bandmate’s recovery, saying, “Being a week to week working musician Marc doesn’t have health or income insurance. If you can spare anything…a donation would be so appreciated. His hands are his life.”