Why was the Niagara show canceled? Are you OK? George S. Patton and losing. Now what?
Roger CortonThe fans have questions so let’s just jump in. First off. How are you?
JCHPhysically, I’m fine. Which is annoying.
RCBecause you ought to be dying to have punked out, motherfucker!
Progressive rock fans were one of the last bastions of people who actually pay for music, but nowadays, it’s just not enough.
JCHThat is how I feel in my heart.
RCI should point out that I was quoting from a note left by a disappointed fan who was at the non-show. I think he was being sarcastic, but even so, it struck me as insensitive.
JCHHe was just pissed off in the moment. I probably would’ve felt the same–under my breath, anyhoo. But regardless, the short version is that I had a severe headache on the flight into NYC as we were descending. And by ‘severe’ I mean I passed out on the plane. I woke up in the hospital Saturday morning. They did some tests and it turns out that the nerve which feeds my jaw had flared up due to the change in air pressure as the plane descended.
RCLike when your ears pop.
JCHIt sounds so trivial, doesn’t it? But the pain is ridonculous. However it wasn’t life-threatening in any way. It’s just another part of this whole neck/spine ‘thang’.
RCBut you’d had surgery on that, right? So why did it come back?
JCHI did. But dude, the sheer tonnage of what they don’t know about how the nervous system works would fill Yankee Stadium. All I know is that it hadn’t been a problem for ten years and then Friday at 8,000 feet? POW! But here’s the maddening part: the flight of shame back home was almost completely uneventful.
RCI was wondering about that. It must’ve been pretty scary getting on that flight back.
JCHI got this drug which basically numbs the entire face. And apparently it worked. But yeah, as we descended back into Seatac on Sunday I was literally on the edge of my seat.
RCI bet. So… now what?
JCHI honestly don’t know. There are a couple of things. First off, I lost a ton on this show. So it puts the next record in jeopardy; not to mention the new opera I’ve been thinking about. And long term, I can’t make a living at this without touring. That’s just the reality now. Progressive rock fans were one of the last bastions of people who actually pay for music, but nowadays, it’s just not enough. So I have to physically get on top of this.
RCAnd then there are the fans.
JCHRight. I can’t imagine how disappointed people must be. You were there. What was it like?
RCPeople were disappointed. My critique is that I think most people felt blind-sided. Since I’ve been helping with the site, I’ve been trying to keep fans up to speed on your on-going health issues because I think they care. I know you disagree so I balance that with your desire for privacy.
JCHIt’s not about that. It’s that I’ve never wanted to be a killjoy. I just don’t think fans wanna hear about my chronic aches and pains like their Old Uncle Frank. They want… oh, I dunno… MUSIC! Not health reports.
RCSure. But in this case, it seemed so out of left field. If you had been hit by a bus? No problemo! (laughs) But no one expects something like this.
JCHWell, I sure didn’t.
RCI’m just telling you the mood in the hall. Plus, we didn’t actually get the news until right before showtime which left people hanging–including the rest of the band, I might add! Overall, it was confusing. One fan put it well, “I feel like I’m in this giant elevator with about a hundred and fifty people who don’t know what to do or where to get off.”
JCHThat’s great. I owe that guy a free CD.
RCIn any case, most people seem to be sympathetic once they got the facts. I think the thing we need to focus on now is making sure you are OK to get back out there and then start taking the temperature of fans.
JCHI think I’m fine. But yeah, this can’t happen again so I’ve got some more thinkin’ to do Lucy. I had a consult with a doctor this week and they want to do more tests. I think I’m more psychologically bothered than anything else.
RCNot sure what you mean.
JCHI’ve cancelled tours before over health problems. But I’ve never before said I was going to show up and not shown up. It’s anathema to me or to any musician. It’s like a player missing the Super Bowl. Guys suit up even with broken bones. There’s just a raw shame to it. Like that opening scene from Patton where he talks about how Americans hate losers. It’s almost unthinkable to let people down like that. And that flight home was one long walk of shame. Er…. seat of shame.
RCWell, I think George also says something about ‘America has never lost a war and will never lose a war.’ The guy wasn’t right about a lot of things, man. And citizen or no, you’re not a real ‘Americuhn’ anyhow (laughs).
JCHPicky. Picky. Picky. But you get what I’m saying. And I think this is enough ‘sharing’ for one day. I can’t even talk about it any more right now. Straight up.
RCHang in there, man. I think you said what needed to be said. We’ll take a few weeks off and then reconvene. We’ll try to have a plan for what comes next then.
JCHAs I probably don’t say often enough, THANKS for all you do. You don’t really know who your friends are until the shit hits the fan. And realizing that you, Sasha, Peter, Timo, Nick and other key individuals (you know who you are!) had my back on Saturday was about the only silver lining in the whole maelstrom. I will never forget it. I dunno exactly how at this point, but if everyone will let me, I will make it my life mission to make this up to everyone!