Bobby Vee: I have Alzheimer's Disease
Pop heartthrob Bobby Vee has announced via his personal blog that he has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease. The 69-year-old, born Robert Thomas Velline, has known about his condition for about a year, but just recently made the news public.
"As my buddy Fabian says, getting old is not for the meek," writes the North Dakota native and long-time Minnesota resident, whose hits include "Devil or Angel," and "Rubber Ball." "I think he may be right. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with the mild stages of Alzheimer's disease... Since this time I have chosen to remain private and to focus on what is most important to me: my family and my music."
The music portion comes in the form of an upcoming record from Bobby Vee and the Vees titled The Adobe Sessions, which was created in his Tucson garage. Hear a song from the album featuring snapshots of his family on a recent road trip, and read his message to fans below.
From Bobby Vee's blog:
It's been a while since I have been away and high time I share with you my story as it unfolds these days. I've got good news and bad news... first the bad news... here it goes:
As my buddy Fabian says, getting old is not for the meek. I think he may be right. A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with the mild stages of Alzheimer's disease. Needless to say it was a moment that stunned my family and myself to the core. Since this time I have chosen to remain private and to focus on what is most important to me: my family and my music. It has been a time to reflect and to just be. To create memories for my grandchildren and to celebrate life's goodness. To throw baseballs and catch fish. To be the audience.
As many of you may know my beautiful wife of 48 years, Karen, is also dealing with serious health issues as we await a lung transplant for her at Duke University in Durham, NC. Together and with our amazing family we treasure each moment, and we hope and pray for the best outcomes...
Now for the good news: Shortly after this all came down, I hopped into an RV with my family and we embarked on a little odyssey from Minnesota to Tucson, AZ. Together we explored the depths of our reality... the depths of my reality. With very few words, no solutions and a lot of heart, we did what we do. We shared time. We shared laughter, tears, stories, meals and music. We shared thousands of miles of hi-way as familiar to us as the pillows on our beds. As if nothing had changed, as if everything had changed... simultaneously.
This past year has truly been life taking its own course without words that can describe the mystery and conflict that none of us can know. So without a song or a script I am stepping onto a stage that we all share: The mystery of life.
While in Tucson we set up some amps and drums in the garage of our newly built hacienda and made some music. Along the way we flipped on the tape recorder and created a little something special, something sure to last. We just did what we have always done, only this time there was no stage. There were no spotlights and no audience. We made music every day for a week... just for us. For the joy of making music. For the joy of being together. For all of the reasons I ever picked up a guitar or sang a tune in a Fargo, ND garage back in '59. I have truly come full circle! We played songs I grew up with, songs the kids grew up with, songs we wrote, songs that had meaning and memories for us all. No agenda, no set list, no tickets to sell... This was all we have ever done, and all we could do. So we did it.
The video on this website is a preview of the music we intend to share with you all soon. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for every musical moment we've shared. It has truly been a magical odyssey. We have been blessed... and the road goes on. I look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you again down the line~
Peace & love,
Bobby & Family~
Here's footage from the session featuring a song called "If I Needed You."
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