Hughes tells of heart surgery

Glenn Hughes struggled through a “dark and strange” recovery from heart surgery just before he recorded the debut album by new band California Breed, he’s revealed.

He went under the knife late last summer – and four months later he was in action with drummer Jason Bonham, guitarist Andrew Watt and producer Dave Cobb.

And the experience led to the writing of a song that’s so unusual it didn’t make it onto the album.

Hughes tells Billboard: “For some reason I wasn’t frightened. I felt like I was going to be okay – but I’m still supremely grateful to be here. For me still to being this at my age, with what I’ve been through with drink and drugs…

“There was a time everyone was putting bets on me: ‘Hughes is going to be the first to go.’ But he’s still here.”

The former Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Black Country Communion man had been monitored by doctors since he got himself off drugs in the 1990s, before they decided it was time for him to have surgery on his aorta.

He suggests he came close to death – and one of the most unexpected results was the writing of a song about Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan.

“I’ve never met Dave,” admits Hughes. “I was telling my manager, ‘You’ve got to call his manager,’ and he’s going, ‘Yeah, sure.’ God knows how Gahan got into it, but that’s how dark and strange my recovery became.”

California Breed have just released a video for their track The Way – view it below. Their self-titled debut is on sale now via Frontiers Records.

California Breed: The Way

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.