Iron Maiden’s Nicko McBrain Reveals He’s Recovering From a Stroke
Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain says he suffered a stroke in January. He was left temporarily paralyzed on one side of his body and feared his career was over.
McBrain, who has been the band's drummer since 1982, shared the news in a written statement and a separate accompanying video on social media. He has recovered enough to join Iron Maiden's Future Past tour as it kicked off in May, but says he's not quite back at full speed yet: "I unfortunately haven't been able to give you lot 100% of my performance."
He described the stroke as a "minor one, referred to as a TIA," which stands for transient ischemic attack. McBrain was initially left "paralyzed on my right side from my shoulder on down. Of course, I was very worried that my career was over but with the love and support from my wife, Rebecca and family, my doctors, especially Julie my OT [occupational therapist], and my Maiden family I was able to bounce back to somewhere near 70% recovered."
McBrain underwent 10 weeks of therapy before rehearsals started for these dates. "I feel it's important to let you know about this now instead of earlier, as I was mainly concerned with doing my job and concentrating on getting back to 100% fitness," he said. "I'm not there yet, but by the grace of God I'm getting better and stronger as the weeks go by. Thank you all for a most wonderful and magical tour so far, you have all been so amazing."
Iron Maiden manager Rod Smallwood praised McBrain's recovery efforts in his own statement. "The rest of the band and I think that what Nicko has been able to achieve since his stroke shows incredible belief and willpower, and we are all very proud of him," Smallwood said. "With this new and musically very complex set to learn ahead of him, he just got his head down and concentrated on recovery. We honestly did not know if he would be able to play a whole show until band rehearsals started in May and there was just so much support for him from the band and then genuine relief for all when we saw he was going to be able to do it."
You can read the rest of Smallwood's statement below. He added that McBrain held back on revealing the news immediately so that he wouldn't cause any distractions: "We are all delighted he battled though this so well and look forward to many more tours together."
Iron Maiden is set to perform at Germany's rain-soaked Wacken Open Air festival on Friday, Aug. 4 and will bring their new stage show to America for the first time on Friday, Oct. 6 as part of the Power Trip festival in Indio, Calif.
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