The McBournie Minute: What’s wrong with our fragile rockers?

In case you’re skimming through this, that’s “fragile rockers,” not “Fraggle Rockers.” I will discuss the medical issues of Gobo and the gang in a column some time in the future.

As many of you now already know, we lost Ronnie James Dio yesterday. He died of stomach cancer, surrounded by friends and of course, lots of fake blood. His death brings a sobering moment to us all, especially the metal community, who are among the most conscious of mortuary affairs of all musicians.

What his death points out is something very important: our rock singers are not as flawless and ageless as they would have us believe. No, they are mere mortals, blessed with the ability to rock us. What can we do to save them? There’s no easy answer.

Poison frontman and avid wearer of cowboy hats Bret Michaels made headlines recently when he was rushed to the hospital because his brain was bleeding, also he had an appendectomy. The nation was shocked not that Michaels was in the hospital, but that, after several seasons of Rock of Love, the reason for his stay was not a mutated form of super-syphilis.

Was it the tight bandannas? Some tainted Chinese makeup he wore during the Look What the Cat Dragged In tour?  We may never know what caused Michaels’ illness, but we do know that he made a speedy recovery. He’s expected to return to Celebrity Apprentice and even star in a new VH1 reality show about his life at home.

Then there’s the case of Metallica drummer and noted douche bag Lars Ulrich, who revealed late last year that he has ear problems. He suffers from tinnitus, a constant ringing in the ears that never goes away. He now has to wear ear protection when he plays because of it. During an interview, he said very loudly that rocking out for so many years had taken a toll on his ears.

And there it was, he rocked too hard.

We need to preserve our rockers before they end up in rockers. Could you imagine seeing Gene Simmons take the stage, in full KISS attire, with a walker. (Come to think of it, the walker would probably have fireworks shooting off of it, so maybe that would be kind of awesome.) Would Bruce Springsteen still be able to do his famous knee slide if he had arthritis?

It’s time to preserve the rock for as long as we can. We can no longer sustain the amount of rocking we have become so used to. We need to be more efficient with our rocking to make it last. Next time you’re at a concert, tell the band to tone it down a bit. You want to enjoy them for decades to come.

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