Hooray For Tommy Roe. A year after major surgery, the singer looks back and shares plans for the future.
Retirement hasn’t been able to stick with Tommy Roe, who by his own count has stepped away from the concert spotlight at least five times. What makes the pending return from his February 2018 retirement different from the others is that this time he’s coming back from the quadruple bypass surgery he underwent in July 2018.
“I was in Atlanta, and I got off the airplane, and I couldn’t walk to baggage claim without sitting down,” the singer- guitarist recalls. “I was so out of breath, and I had this terrible pain in my chest.”
Roe visited his cardiologist and had an angiogram. Although he was given anesthesia, Roe says he wasn’t “completely out” and could “watch the thing happen on video.”
“And all of a sudden I see this black spot, and I say, ‘What is that black spot?’” Roe adds. “And my cardiologist said, ‘That’s your problem: 90 percent block- age of the main artery.’ I said, ‘Maybe we can do a stent.’ She said, ‘We can’t do a stent because it’s right before the two veins fork off.’ So she put me right in the hospital, and three days later, I had quadruple bypass surgery.”
More than a year later, Roe says he feels better than he did before the surgery, and since the operation, he’s exercised regularly and altered his diet.
“I eat more fish (now) than I ever have in my life,” he says with a laugh.
In good health and good spirits this summer, Roe checked in from Califor- nia to revisit some career highlights and turning points, as well as to confirm he’s well on his way to ending his most recent retirement.