Some of you may remember an e-mail we sent out about a year ago letting everyone know that the Cuties were taking a little break while I was recovering from surgery. I intentionally kept that e-mail vague. The truth is at the time I was afraid I might not really recover, and I didn’t want to get into the details of what was happening while I was going through it. I think everyone deals with these kinds of things in their own way, and this was part of my way of getting through it.
What happened is that I had a brain tumor. After a great deal of research and debate I elected to have surgery to remove it. The surgery itself was a huge success, at least initially. It was almost surreal how smoothly it all went. But it turned out there was more in store for me. A couple of months after my surgery and recovery I was back in action, out on the road for SXSW and generally back to my old ways. That is until one day in April 2014, while standing at the counter of the post office, I was overcome with a terrifying episode: Severe slurred speech, numbness and tingling in the face and hands, and a deep and uncontrollable panic. The result was another trip to the hospital and a much longer and more difficult series of surgeries and recoveries.
One day I hope to be able to share everything that happened on that journey, but for now let’s just say it’s a long story. And it was also a long recovery, both physically and emotionally. As you can imagine, it’s something that has been influencing a great deal of the new material we’ve been working on.
So lying there in a hospital bed, surrounded by a fog of fear and confusion, I decided to listen to some Cuties music. It’s usually somewhat unnerving to listen to your own work. I don’t do it often, but strangely, at that moment in time, I found it very comforting. I also found that the songs that I have known so intimately now took on entirely new meanings. One song, more than any other, came back to me in a deeply affecting way, ‘I Would’. It’s always been my favorite song of ours, but laying there in that hospital bed, it seemed to describe perfectly what I was feeling. How I was waiting for what seemed like forever and with such unbearable uncertainty.
It’s my pleasure to share with you a new live performance video of Austin and I playing this old song with the brand new meaning, ‘I Would’. We hope that you enjoy it.
As you can see from the video, I am well, and thankfully, able to pronounce words again. It is hard for me to explain how special a gift it is to be able to share music with all of you. In a way, whether you knew it or not, you all helped me get through this.