, famed for his guitar work with Alice Cooper
and Lou Reed
, played a show in Michigan on November 11 that is some achievement. Wagner suffered a heart attack and stroke five years ago, leaving him unable to play guitar. He then suffered kidney failure, a coma, water on the brain, a head injury from a swimming pool fall and a near-fatal blood clot in January 2011.
"I've come back from a lot of major stuff,
" Wagner now tells The Detroit Free Press
Wagner is the guitar player on Lou Reed's "Rock 'N' Roll Animal
" and many Alice Cooper staples such as "Welcome To My Nightmare
". He's also played with Aerosmith
, Lou Reed
, Meat Loaf
, Steve Perry
, Peter Gabriel
, Rod Stewart
, Little Richard
and many more.
He's always been a sideman: "I never wanted stardom. It's not what I was born for,
" says Wagner. "I'm a musician first and foremost. Whatever stardom I do have is strictly bestowed on me by people who like what I do. All I want, really, is to have great music.
In recent years, Wagner had to re-teach himself how to play guitar. "It was so terrible at first,
" he admits. "It was a lot of work, a lot of stress, but I came through it with sheer determination and some brilliant doctors.
Wagner reunited with Cooper and producer Bob Ezrin
for 2011's "Welcome 2 My Nightmare
" album, contributing the song "Something To Remember Me By
" and guitar work to the album-closing "Underture
"It's a miracle that I'm here that I was spared to do what I think I was born to do,
" Wagner said.
Thanks for the report to Michael Leonard