Above photo taken exclusively for BLURT by Marty Perez at the Sept. 23 Chicago appearance of Filthy Friends.
By Fred Mills
Anybody remotely familiar with BLURT will know that we consider Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M., Minus 5, The Baseball Project, Filthy Friends, etc.) a permanent member of our extended family. We’ve hung out with him numerous times during our SXSW day parties, more recently getting to reconnect with he swung through our home base of Raleigh with The Baseball Project.
So yesterday we received word that Scott had suffered a stroke while on the road. According to a post at the Minus 5 Facebook page by his wife, Mary Winzig:
Scott McCaughey, the ever-smiling, sunglasses-wearing front man of the bands The Minus 5 and the Young Fresh Fellows, and side man to countless bands — including M. Ward, The Baseball Project, Tired Pony, and R.E.M. — suffered a stroke while on a West Coast tour with Alejandro Escovedo. He is in stable condition. Loved by many and a best friend to all, Scott brings a very bright light to the stage. In his ever-changing hats and loud sports coats, Scott exudes such joy while he performs.“Scott McCaughey is one of the unsung heroes of rock n roll. A true believer and one of the most creative people I have ever met.” says guitarist Peter Buck.
The road to recovery will be a long one, and we believe it will come through music. We can’t wait to see him back in action. The collective energy of the entire creative community is powerful enough to overcome this hurdle. With the love and support of all of you, Scott will continue to share his love of music with the world. We promise to provide continued updates and will share any messages of support you want to send with him.
Sent with love from Mary Winzig (wife of Scott McCaughey) and the entire R.E.M. community.
Then earlier today Winzig added the following:
Thanks Y’all for all the kind words, thoughts, prayers, messages, videos, texts, emails & calls. Scott is in a great medical facility & we trust the doctors & hard-working staff implicitly. We have such a long road ahead, but with your love & Scott’s amazing drive and work ethic, we will get there. Being surrounded by caring folks, our family & friends & Y’all — gives us hope beyond messure. Many of you are asking what you can do — and those answers are coming. Sean Nelson wrote a beautiful piece for The Stranger, (Thanks, Sean! Love you) about Scott & there are other ideas as well brewing as well — (gofundme, benefit concerts, etc). We are also getting a PO Box for cards & letters in Portland (Thanks Shari & CB, xo) In this struggle, we are truly learning the definition of “it is not a sprint, it is a marathon.” Thanks to all, put on your favorite record, & everyone embrace the healing power of music in this time. We love you.
An outpouring of expressions of support from fans and peers followed the initial announcement, of course. There’s not much I can add at the moment, other than we’ll keep you updated on Scott’s progress and any of the future plans that Winzig mentions above. Hang in there, brother, we got your back.
Read “The Return of Scott the Hoople,” about McCaughey, elsewhere on the BLURT site.