Everclear frontman, Art Alexakis, has multiple sclerosis. He opened up about the diagnosis directly to fans via a letter on the band’s website.
The 56-year-old started the letter by writing, “I want to tell you something about me that you might not know.” He then goes on to tell fans he was in a car accident three years ago. No one was “seriously injured” but he did have “a tingle and numbness” in his arm. An MRI found a pinched nerve — and a lot more.
“The pathologist also saw lacerations and suspicious marks on my spinal cord as well,” he writes. “Scary, to say the least. I was sent to see a neurologist, who did a ridiculous number of tests… After receiving the results, he told me that I have a form of Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS) and that I have had it for anywhere between 10 to 20 years. I went and sat in my car and called my wife, and cried for about half an hour. I’m sure people in the parking lot thought I was losing it, and I guess I kind of was.”
Once he accepted and learned more about his diagnosis, Alexakis realized his past made more sense. It explained “why I have had balance and gait problems for the last ten years, it helps explain why I have had a higher sensitivity to heat and cold and why I don’t have the energy, vigor, and razor sharp memory that I had 10 years ago.”
Following his diagnosis, Alexakis was still taking the stage which got fans talking. He heard chatter that he was drinking or taking drugs so he also addressed that in his letter.
“To be honest, I have never cared about what people say about me personally — except, that is, for the people that I care about (ie..YOU) and what they think. I wanted you to know the truth, simple as that.”
“So, if you see me stumbling… sweaty, looking both tired and anxious at the same time, maybe a little more confused than usual, or forgetting lyrics yet looking happy (which is weird for me), please know that I have not fallen off the wagon. I am just learning how to be the new me,” Alexakis says.
He also said he’s finishing up his first solo album, Sun Songs, which should drop this summer. He’s also going on tour as a solo artist starting on May 1. He’s actually coming right here to City Winery on May 23 for the tour along with Fountains of Wayne’s Chris Collingwood, Eve 6’s Max Collins and Marcy Playground’s John Wozniak. Tickets are on sale now.
Read Alexakis’ complete letter to fans here.