Blues Traveler have postponed their upcoming tour in order for singer John Popper to undergo “urgent” surgery to treat a spinal issue, the band announced Friday.
“It is with profound regret and acknowledgment that out of necessity I must go under the knife for surgery and I mean fast. It seems that there is an issue with my spine that if treated quickly will ultimately have me up and running in 2 weeks,” Popper said in a statement. “If neglected as it has been, it would be far worse to the point of paralysis so need to take care of this now.”
Popper also penned a long Facebook note detailing how “3 vertebrae in my neck have long been collapsed,” which stems from a “busted leg” he suffered at the beginning of the year. Popper added that if he didn’t undergo the procedure now, he faced “total & permanent paralysis” within a few months time.
As a result of the surgery, Blues Traveler have postponed half the dates left on their joint tour with the Wallflowers and G. Love and the Special Sauce, as well as festival gigs this weekend at Mankato, Manitoba’s Ribfest (Big Head Todd and the Monsters will take Blues Traveler’s place on the lineup) and Chicago’s Taste of Lincoln Ave fest.
Blues Traveler have already begun rescheduling postponed shows; find the new tour dates at the band’s website.
“I’m only sorry we couldn’t identify the problem sooner and forgo being forced to postpone, reschedule or in some cases cancel upcoming appearances,” Popper continued. “We take any such actions very seriously and can only assure you that a very tight second to my physical health and that of my family, is the quality of our shows and a sense of reliability to you that we all take pride in. I’m afraid now I’m going to have to rely on you for your patience and positive thoughts. I want to thank you all for being with us through all this as well as for your thoughts and prayers. Will keep you posted on my progress.”