On a recent episode of the podcast Coming Alive hosted by Barry Michels and Paul Stutz, guitar virtuoso and former Guns N’ Roses member Buckethead revealed that he’s been struggling with a life-threatening heart condition. In the hourlong episode, he revealed that he has had an ongoing “heart problem where my heart beats out of rhythm,” though recently, the condition has worsened, to the point where doctors warned he was on the brink of having a stroke. During the interview, he talked about a heart surgery he recently underwent as well, though procedure did not seem to help his condition.
Unsurprisingly, the prolific guitarist who has already recorded over 300 studio albums at the age of 48 also noted that following his surgery, while he was bedridden the day after the procedure, he recorded a new album. During the interview, Buckethead also elaborated on the surgery, “They suggested I had a thing called an ablation, they go in and freeze your heart. It’s supposed to do something with the nerves, because they said my heart was fine, but it could be a genetic thing, they didn’t really know. I had that procedure, and it didn’t really stop it, and I’m still dealing with it. I take medication, which is tough, because I never took anything my whole life, although if I eat food or drink something that’s probably worse anyway (laughs). So it’s been really difficult, because it’s scary because it comes on. Even walking across a room is difficult, luckily the medication I’m thankful for, because it’s kept it from going berserk, but it’s pretty intense.”
While this is terrifying news for anyone to receive, Buckethead seems to be taking his medical condition in stride, adding, “It seems like now I’m letting this thing sort of exist now in me, I can’t really escape it. . . . it definitely kind of scares me, but I also see that it is also doing a lot of good, because I need to do all of the things I want to do. . . . I could be gone tomorrow, anybody could be gone, but that’s a heavy experience. I want to play right now, and I want to play that experience.”
Live For Live Music is sending love to Buckethead and wishing him the best of health during his recovery process. You can listen to the full Coming Alive podcast below.