Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: <i>Home Again</i>

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Home Again

I've written a bit about Edwyn Collins and his recovery from a brain aneurysm and two strokes (here, here and here). I'm a long-time fan of Edwyn and his band Orange Juice, but he never got much of a foothold on this side of the Atlantic either with the group or in his subsequent solo career. I always assumed that there was more coverage of his situation in the UK than there is here.

Tonight I came across a BBC Scotland documentary about Edwyn's efforts in returning to the recording studio and to live performing. Called Home Again after his first single since his health problems, it's a bit more than 30 minutes and is quite inspirational in parts. Initially, Edwyn was unable to speak or walk, but two-and-a-half years after the strokes, he was back onstage. We see Edwyn going through physical therapy, relearning how to read again (using 1984), and relearning the words to the songs he's written. I'll admit to one segment that completely choked me up. In the TV show, at least, he did not recover the use of his right hand or arm (an artists as well as a musician, he simply taught himself to draw left handed), so he doesn't play guitar, but he's in full voice. We don't see the whole gig at Dingwalls (broadcast by the BBC, no less), but we see enough to fully recognize how Edwyn persevered and triumphed. You can find the documentary on YouTube in four parts: Here's one, two, three, and four. It's well worth watching.


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