A little more than a month ago, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo was involved in a bus accident that sent him and his assistant to the hospital with multiple injuries. His doctors told him it wasn’t safe to keep touring, so the band was forced to cancel the remaining dates in support of Raditude. But on Wednesday night (January 20), Cuomo makes his triumphant return to the stage at the T-Mobile CLIQ Challenge Concert at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Though doctors have cleared him to perform, Cuomo admitted that he will be relying a bit more on crowd energy than normal at the show. “I’m going to ask the crowd to step it up tonight,” he told MTV News during a phone call Wednesday afternoon. “I’ve still got some injuries, so I won’t be able to do my usual David Lee Roth routine.”
Cuomo describes the accident — which left him with cracked ribs and injuries to his spleen and lungs — as an experience he’s still trying to process. “I remember waking up as the bus was swerving, and I didn’t think anything of it, because the bus has swerved so many times and nothing bad has ever happened,” he said. “And the next thing I remember, the accident was over, and I couldn’t move. I could barely speak. I was trapped there, and I couldn’t move at all, and it was really scary. I was definitely thinking, ’Well, maybe this is it for me. Maybe I’m on the way out here.’ But I don’t remember any impact. I’m about to go under this 45-day meditation retreat, and one of the things that happens to me in these courses is that my memory gets razor-sharp, so I’m expecting that a lot of the accident is going to come back to me.”
In addition to a course of physical therapy, Cuomo has spent his downtime working on new music and connecting with old friends. “I got a get-well card from Danja ,” he said of the producer and Timbaland protégé. “I had written a song with him a few months before, and he’s a super quiet guy, and I am too, kind of. So we sat in a room together for four hours working side by side, but we didn’t really say anything to each other. I didn’t know what he thought of me after the session, but then a few months later, I get in this accident, and one of the first cards I got was from him. I was really surprised and touched by that. So we just went and wrote another song together.”
Cuomo said the past month has been wildly productive for him and that he just needs to figure out what to do with all the music he has written. For the time being, he’s glad to be back onstage with his Weezer compatriots, who Cuomo said were more frightened than he was the day of the accident. “I remember lying in my bed in the hospital, and the other guys came in one by one, and they all looked so concerned and sad and scared,” he said. “I was just thinking, ’What’s wrong with you guys? It’s not like I’m dead or something. I feel fine!’ ” But he’s fairly certain he knows why there was such a cognitive dissonance. “I recently saw video of myself that day, and I looked so terrible,” he said. “I looked like I was on the verge of dying. I think at the time I was on so much morphine, I felt that everything was A-OK.”