Overkill Blitz's shock over death warning

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.”

Blitz recently spoke to TeamRock about Overkill’s legacy after 35 years in the business, recalling: “It was totally about free beer and chicks.”

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.