Overkill frontman Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth has spoken of his shock after being told he had just six months to live by a doctor.
It turned out to be a misunderstanding due to language differences – but he only found out after 12 hours of believing he was close to the end of his life.
The experience inspired the track Another Day To Die from the band’s 17th album White Devil Armory, released last month.
Ellsworth tells RockSverige: “I cancelled a show in Hamburg and ended up in hospital with borderline pneumonia – and a guy there told me I had six months.
“I sat up all night. I remember going through my computer wondering, ‘Who do I owe money to? Who owes me?’ It was a fucking awful 12 hours. I wasn’t expecting that – and I never expected it to come as news to me in broken English. Next day the woman in charge says, ‘No, you have to change your habits or in six months or you’ll be in another hospital.‘”
By that time he’d already “scratched down Another Day To Die.” He reflects: “I suppose I got my wish.”
It’s not the first time the veteran frontman has suffered health issues. In 1998 he was diagnosed with cancer of the nose, and he suffered a stroke on stage four years later. As a result, Blitz says, he now feels “bulletproof”.
“I just turned 55 and I don’t think of myself as someone who is unhealthy,” he says. “I’m really into hiking – I climb small mountains twice a week with my German shepherd. It just becomes what my body needs.”