Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd Hospitalized, Cancelling Appearances

Band cancels gigs in Florida and Memphis due to multi-instrumentalist's undisclosed illness.

The [artist id=”1070″]Flaming Lips[/artist] were forced to cancel their Thursday night appearance at the SunFest in West Palm Beach, Florida, when longtime guitarist/keyboard-player Steven Drozd was hospitalized with an undisclosed ailment.

“Due to unforeseen circumstances SunFest is announcing a last-minute schedule change,” a statement from the event reads. “The Flaming Lips have withdrawn from the festival. We regret any inconvenience that this may cause. … SunFest has been informed that the cancellation is due to the hospitalization of Steven Drozd and therefore extends wishes for a speedy recovery.”

A spokesperson for the band could not be reached for comment at press time, but a publicist told Spinner that Drozd is “expected to make a full recovery.”

As of Friday, the band was no longer listed on the roster of expected performers at the five-day event, which includes Weezer, ZZ Top, Shinedown, REO Speedwagon, Nas and Damian Marley, Patti Labelle, and Ben Harper. The Lips’ spot was filled by Ladies and Gentlemen, led by local radio DJ Smitty, after organizers were unable to find a national headliner to replace them when word came down on Tuesday about Drozd’s hospitalization, according to the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

The Lips were also forced to cancel a gig at the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, Tennessee on Saturday (May 1), though it was unclear at press time if any other upcoming gigs would be affected. They are slated to play at the Hangout Music Festival in Alabama on May 15 and to perform their version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon at Bonnaroo on June 11.

Drozd joined the Lips in 1991 as a drummer, and his massive percussion was one of the anchor sounds of 1999’s psychedelic pop masterpiece The Soft Bulletin. His crippling battle with drug addiction was depicted in the 2005 Lips documentary “The Fearless Freaks,” but the multi-instrumentalist has reportedly been clean for several years.

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