As you hopefully know, Baroness were involved in a major bus crash last month. Yesterday afternoon guitarist/vocalist John Dyer Baizely posted an update on his condition and a haunting recollection of the crash itself. It’s rather long so I won’t re-post the entire thing, but all members of the band are back on US soil and working toward recovery. Some snippets of the statement along with some pictures are below.
I was hospitalized for two weeks, following an eight-hour surgery in which my arm was rebuilt with the aid of 2 massive titanium plates, 20 screws and a foot-and-a-half of wire. The 15″ incision took almost 50 staples to close up. I was left completely immobilized for the remainder of my hospital stay, able to do next-to-nothing on my own and in need of constant care.
While I cannot lift a glass of water to my lips to drink with my left arm and hand, I am still able to play music with it. I picked up a guitar and played the day after I returned. Not without pain (for the time being), but the hand still acts out the creative impulses I give it. I’m told I was quite lucky to have regained any use at all of my hand and arm, though I have sustained quite extensive nerve damage. In spite of this and against my logic and reason, when I pick up an instrument, my hand remembers exactly what to do. It’s far from perfect, and will require a lot of therapy in order to recover mobility and strength, but I am encouraged by the ability I have been allowed. I do not believe in superstitious signs, but I am truly overwhelmed to have been granted the continued use of my hands.
We can do nothing but attempt to make something constructive and beautiful out of all this disaster, and we are well on the way to becoming active again. I have used this time, stuck inside my own head, to consider the importance of music and Baroness in my life. I can say, after nearly 6 weeks of reflection, that I feel more resolute and passionate about our music than ever. I have come to realize the importance of time in this particular equation, that is, I have none to waste and none to spare. There is no better moment than now, broken and in physical stasis, to devote ourselves more fully towards our art than ever. We cannot allow the traumatic fallout of our crash to cripple us internally. It seems simple: the shows we have cancelled we will reschedule and play in the future. It isn’t going to happen next week nor will it be next month. But it will happen. We will be back on tour as soon as we possibly can.
He ends with this:
There was one moment in the crash that cut me deeply. For one heartbeat and one tiny sliver of time, I became disconnected entirely. It was, specifically, the moment I impacted with the glass. In that barest heartbeat of a moment, I came face to face with the infinite. I didn’t see a light, or the tunnel or hear any music. Nor did I get a “best-of” montage of my life. Instead, I felt the tip of my nose brush up against the very same fate I had accepted moments before. I looked into a cold, unreflective mirror. It was the dark, silent, dispassionate logic of the end. I realized in that moment that life can be seen as a light switch: “on” or “off”. When the moment passed and I heard the screaming, felt the pain, and tasted my own blood, I was overcome with joy. I was ecstatic to be back amidst all that chaos and horror because it was alive and real. I finally glimpsed the relative importance of all things. The support of our fans, our friends and our families has real meaning to me now. I say that now honestly, without false humility. Thank you. Everyone.
All of us here wish John and the rest of Baroness a a speedy recovery and want to see them back on the road as soon as possible.