Korn Tribute Band Drummer Suffers Stroke Onstage, Still Finishes Playing
Alex Headen, 28-year-old drummer for Korn tribute band Korn Again, suffered a stroke in the middle of his band’s set at Rockstock 2019. Despite losing feeling in the left side of his body and going blind in his left eye, Headen finished performing “Helmet in the Bush” before receiving medical attention.
Rockstock is a U.K. festival of tribute bands, and over two days, acts like Queen, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica were covered in Woodbank Park. Korn Again made it four songs into their set before Headen began suffering symptoms of a stroke, but the drummer didn’t expect the severity of his condition.
"I didn't want to stop the song because it was so early in the set,” the drummer tells the Manchester Evening News. “I didn't want to let the band or crowd down. Never in a million years did I think I was having a stroke. I just thought I had low blood sugar or was dehydrated. I thought, 'If I get through this song, I can grab a fizzy drink or a bite to eat and carry on. I started the show fine but by the fourth song my vision started to go blurry, then my left arm went numb and I dropped my drum stick. I carried on playing with just my right arm but then I completely lost my vision in my left eye. The song finished and I collapsed on my drum kit."
In the video below, you can see Headen stop hitting his hi-hat at around the two-minute mark, instead using his right arm to hit the snare. Korn Again’s singer looks back at Headen after noticing the hi-hat dropped out.
Hospital doctors still don’t know the cause of the drummer’s stroke, but Headen is "making good progress" despite still struggling with his left arm and shoulder.
After seeing the story on the Daily Mail, Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch gave Headen a shout-out on Instagram, also offering free concert tickets to the Korn Again musician:
We’d like to wish Alex Headen the very best in his recovery.
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