Deep Purple and Black Sabbath alumnus Glenn Hughes says he purposely kept news of his near-fatal heart surgery last year quiet -- and is only now, with the release of the self-titled debut album by his new band, California Breed, revealing what happened.
"I don't need to talk about this to sell records," Hughes tells us. "I never really thought I would speak to anyone about it. I'm sure some people will be upset with me for not telling them. I wasn't frightened or anything. I don't know to explain it; I just wanted to get it out of the way and move on."
Hughes' doctors had been watching his enlarged aorta since he became sober back in 1991. After not feeling well during a tour in South Africa last year, his cardiologist ordered a transplant on August 21, his 62nd birthday, in Los Angeles. The recover was "not easy," Hughes says, and he survived some near-fatal post-operative complications.
"The whole thing made me very dark and gloomy for a good six weeks afterwards," Hughes recalls. "I wasn't me. I wasn't able to go anywhere or see anyone. It was a hard time."
Hughes made his first public appearance at Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum's wedding in October, where he sang for the bride and groom, and he was in the studio in Nashville by December to work on the California Breed album with fellow Black Country Communion member Jason Bonham and guitarist Andrew Watt; the album came out this week, and Hughes says the impact of the surgery can be heard on tracks such as "All Falls Down" and "Breathe."
"I'm singing about life and death, if you will, and what goes on in between," Hughes notes. "I don't write about fiction. I'm a human condition guy."
California Breed will play releases shows in Los Angeles on May 28 and New York City on May 31, but with Bonham committed to his own Led Zeppelin Experience shows and a tour with Sammy Hagar during the summer, the group is planning to release three videos for songs from the album and then hit the road in mid-September, mostly likely in Europe first and then returning to North America.