Guitar work can be demanding, even exhausting. So says guitarist Bruce Dean of local honky tonk band, Honky Tonkitis. He was hospitalized this week for exhaustion.
"It all just got to me. It drove me down," Dean said while recuperating in a local hospital.
"It was all just so overwhelming. I can still barely talk about it," Dean commented with a hitch in his throat.
Dean's exhaustion was driven by a combination of factors, he claims, including his 45-hour-a-week job at Radio Shack, his management of former White Stripes drummer Meg White, and his bi-monthly gig work with Honky Tonkitis.
"I mean, I'm so exhausted, I'm having a hard time talking in run-on sentences," Dean whispers.
Dean's exhaustion was initially diagnosed by honky tonk drummer Kurt Weber.
"Let's face it," Weber revealed, "Bruce was addicted to baby aspirin."
"At my worst point, I was downing like one or two at a time," Dean explained. "The work at 'the Shack' was really getting to me, and Meg's solo career just wasn't going where we hoped it would go. And Maplewood (lead singer of Honky Tonkitis) has been a real slave driver with these bi-monthly gigs. I was turning to the baby aspirin again and again."
Dean's unsure of the length of his hospitalization.
"Right now they're slowly weaning me off the baby aspirin," Dean explained. "In the meantime, when I'm not medically sedated, I'm assessing all of the work in my life: Do I cut my hours at 'the Shack'? Do I cut down on my work time with Meg White's career? I'm just not sure."
But Dean finds something to smile about.
"I'm definitely cutting back my time in Honky Tonkitis. There's just no reason to keep up that bimonthly gig pace. It's a grind. It's taking the whole band down and was definitely my most direct reason for jumping on the baby aspirin. Yeah, that's gotta go."
Dean's road to recovery could be slow, he admits.
"I have to take a day at a time, an aspirin at a time," he says, becoming serious. "My first step is confronting Maplewood this afternoon, and maybe talking to Meg White next week. I'll deal with 'the Shack' when I can handle it emotionally." Tears well up in his eyes. "It's gonna be hard. Day at a time. Day at a time."
Bruce Dean: doing exhausting work