Del Amitri Frontman Justin Currie Candidly Discusses His Parkinson’s Battle

Scottish music icon Justin Currie, the voice behind Del Amitri, has opened up ’bout his recent Parkinson’s diagnosis, confessin’ his willingness to let the disease call the shots on his touring days.

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At 59, Currie broke the news to his fans just weeks ago, despite being diagnosed back in 2022.

He’s kept on rockin’ with Del Amitri—a band born in Glasgow’s vibrant music scene back in 1980—even when their classic Nothing Ever Happens becomes tougher to play. In a candid chat with Sunday Times Weekend mag, he admits it’s tough: “You need, like, a really strong arm for that one, right? And a chilled-out wrist, but I just can’t do both now. If I try, the pick just slips, gets tangled in the strings. It’s like you’re back to square one, a total newbie again. Your body just rebels.”

The rocker’s renamed his Parkinson’s tremor “Gavin” to wrangle some sense of control over the ailment that slowly wreaks havoc on parts of the brain.

Currie’s take is kinda unique. He reckons calling it a “shake” is just too grim, so he’s opted for “Gavin” to personify the condition that’s felt like an archenemy within.

While he’s still up there on stage, Currie’s got a realist’s view on performance dignity, or the lack thereof. “There’s zero dignity in bopping around on stage, belting out your own words, all while begging folks to pay attention,” he says.

But dignity ain’t his concern when it comes to Parkinson’s doing its thing. “So long as I don’t turn into some crazy, obsessed old rocker refusing to quit, I’m okay,” he remarks.

He’s resigned to letting “Gavin” make the ultimate call. “If Gavin decides, ‘Nope, I’m out,’ then that’s it for me,” Currie states, facing the prospect with a mixture of defiance and acceptance.

Currie wasn’t completely in the dark ’bout Parkinson’s—legends like Michael J Fox, Sir Billy Connolly, and Ozzy Osbourne have all been open ’bout their own fights with the condition.

His own reveal came during a BBC Radio 4’s Tremolo doc on March 10, and he’s since discussed it on BBC One’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg.

The NHS describes Parkinson’s by its hallmark symptoms: uncontrollable shakes, slow movements, and rigid muscles, all due to the loss of brain cells in an area known as the substantia nigra.

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