Jeff Tweedy writes about how severe headaches have affected his life for the New York Times’ Migraine blog:
I remember one time we were opening for R.E.M. in a soccer stadium in Italy. There were 70,000 people there, just an enormous audience. I was really in bad shape trying to get ready to go on stage. I was just sitting in the shower on a chair in the dressing room with cold water raining down on my head because it was the only thing I could do that felt good. The road manager got the local paramedics and they came back and looked at me and said, “What did he take?” It was really hard in broken English to explain that wasn’t really that case. There wasn’t anything they could do for me. I wanted them to give me something to take.
6 thoughts on “Jeff Tweedy on Migraines”
Is it me, or does Tweedy consistently come off as a whiny bitch?
I’m sure migraines suck and all, but he seems to be perpetually complaining.
I’m not sure what you mean; I tend to think he is quite positive about most things. From what I’ve seen and read, I don’t think he’s whiny at all.
Plus, he was asked to contribute his story to the New York Times’ Migraine blog, to “reflect on how this affliction has affected their lives, and on their efforts to manage and cope with the pain.” At least Tweedy’s story has a happy ending!
Helping to fight the stigma of mental illness/addiction and offering hope to people who are in pain is never a bad thing, IMO. His willingness to be so open and honest about his own experiences is one of things I like best about the guy. Go Jeff!
Fuck – that sucks like everything. Could you imagine performing in a rock concert with a migraine? I wouldn’t go as an audience member under that circumstance, let alone be on stage playing.
Hey, Yikes: Not sure if you’ve ever had a migraine, but honestly, Tweedy doesn’t come off as whiny at all. I’m already a Tweedy partisan, but this makes me think of him as pretty frickin’ heroic. I mean, to be able to soldier on through one of those suckers and not miss a show? From my own experience, round about hour 10 or so you start thinking that an icepick or drill to the head would be preferable–not to mention the constant nausea, the sensitivity to light and sound (!) that a lot of people get, and the way it can mess up your equilibrium.
I’ve been following the NY Times blog on this pretty religiously and I think Tweedy is one of the only ones that seem honest about the reality of it (instead of, for example, the one writer who has an “embrace the pain” attitude–as though it was somehow somehow beneficial to the creative process, which I find to be about as big of a joke as the people who claim mental illness is somehow inherently “beneficial” to the creative process.)
Plus, it’s kind of fascinating to think how the migraines impacted the music (like “Spiders”)…I mean, maybe there’s an explanation for why “Sky Blue Sky” is so mellow after all?