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Buckethead Reveals Life-Threatening Heart Condition: ‘Even Walking Across a Room is Difficult’

Ethan Miller, Getty Images
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Guitar master Buckethead has revealed in a new interview that he was diagnosed with a life-threatening heart condition. The shredder underwent surgery in an attempt to correct the problem, but continues to struggle with simple tasks like walking across a room.

Buckethead is one of the most prolific guitarists in history, having recorded over 300 studio albums at just 48 years of age. He’s also well known for his four-year stint as a member of Guns N’ Roses, being credited for guitar work on the majority of GN’R’s Chinese Democracy album.

Buckethead was a recent guest on the Coming Alive Podcast, where he spoke about his health scare during the hour-long conversation. “Well, really recently, I have a heart problem where my heart beats out of rhythm. It’s been doing it for a long time, but recently it just really kicked up and became really intense,” Buckethead says. “I really didn’t know what was going on, I just tried to deal with it, and let it do what it did, and eventually it would stop, but it got really intense so I went to the doctor and they said, ‘You’re on the verge of having a stroke.’ I’m like, ‘Wow.’ Because I felt so good prior to having it, I was doing pretty well and everything.”

He continues, “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.”

“It seems like now I’m letting this thing sort of exist now in me, I can’t really escape it,” the musician adds. “I’m always aware of the intensity of my heartbeat, it’s just not something that I’d ever experienced, so 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.”

In true Buckethead fashion, the guitarist revealed he recorded a record while laying in bed “the day after” he had his procedure. “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,” Buckethead proclaims. [via Alternative Nation]

We’d like to wish Buckethead the very best in his health and continued recovery. Take a listen to his appearance on the Coming Alive Podcast below.

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