I noticed blood on my t-shirt and could not feel my legs. I could not move at all – it was like the heaviest hangover ever! Next thing I know I was being carried off my bed down the stairs onto an ambulance. My wife nearly died of shock that night when she saw me convulsing and biting my tongue.
I was thinking my life is over – this will be the end of any joy. My arms felt painful – perhaps I could never play a guitar again? Certainly no more touring up through the UK. No more weird art rock – shipping around all the bits of crap or ‘props’ as I called them for the live shows which were always one offs. And well I know how people loved the chaos and unpredictability.
But not me, in my own little life…
A few weeks before this seizure I had taken part in a psychology experiment at the University of Cardiff (Wales). For a day I gave them an object I had a sentimental attachment to. They then put me in an MRI scanner and showed me videos of my childhood toy badger being destroyed in various ways making me press buttons on how I felt about it. They did say that if they found any abnormality in the scans they would contact my doctor.
I had only taken part due to an instinct that told me I needed some scans of my brain. For free. Doctors don’t refer you based on your feeling about something. Sometimes you just need to find a way and an opportunity can land in your lap if you’re tuned in.
So as I was sat there in front of the neurologist it all made sense – the badger had helped me spring the trap. They knew what caused the seizure and they knew ultra fast because of immediate scans. I needed surgery to remove a lesion on my brain and fast.
As they were about to put me under it suddenly hit me. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to play music ever again. How would I feel then? I love my family but I also love my music like I can’t breathe without it.
Long story short I made it through the operation. Phew! Even though I Iooked like a beat up boxer I laughed to myself – well no-one sees my face on stage when I have become the badger anyway.
The euphoria post-surgery turned into a number of songs even madder than I could previously imagine. A few years on I suddenly have a young family and that has provided a huge amount of inspiration for songs. You know, children invading and disrupting my life ( in their lovely way…!) But also music about misspent youth and all my continued comical angst with people. So I made a record that is driven by a sort of pre mid-life crisis. And I enjoy such wildly swinging emotions. Luckily it turns out so does the typical excitable Badgertrap fan.
My purpose in life is to write and play and give people inspiration to be themselves. And perhaps save themselves like my badger has saved me.
I received a lot of support from friends, family and fans over the years and we share pains. We laugh together as the words spill out of my mouth. Rebellious as ever.
And Badgertrap’s latest adventures in lo-fi are captured in this collection: Man Shed Head Crisis.
I’d be interested in what you think. You know best.