Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Danny 'Daddy O-Grande' Amis Rejoins Los Straitjackets, Claims 'Obamacare Saved His Life'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Local fans of instrumental rock 'n' roll have had a couple of opportunities to catch Nashville-bred, mask-clad surf rockers Los Straitjackets in recent years, but not with founding member Danny "Daddy O-Grande" Amis in tow. You see, Amis was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer, in 2010, and was forced to take a hiatus from the band in order to seek treatment.

But according to a release from the Straitjackets, the 53-year-old Amis — now "healthy and in partial remission" — is back in action. Amis rejoined the group to record Jet Set (out Aug. 7 via YepRoc), and play select dates with the band — among them an Oct. 13 tour-wrapping appearance at Mercy Lounge. How is it that he managed to get back into fighting condition? Well, despite the fact that Amis lacked insurance when he was diagnosed back in 2010, President Obama's much-debated Affordable Care Act — which has come to be known informally, of course, as "Obamacare" — allowed the guitarist to be approved for insurance in December of 2010 despite his pre-existing condition. Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The day his coverage went into effect, Amis was admitted to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where he received an MRI and was told that the cancer had deteriorated his spine so much that his back was broken in 6 places. “I don’t think I would have made it to the end of 2010 if the insurance didn’t kick in.”

Amis was immediately scheduled to undergo various cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and a successful stem cell transplant. However, the cancer did serious, irreparable damage to his spine — currently, Amis stands 4” shorter than he did before his illness.

Amis goes on to say that the Affordable Care Act "saved [his] life." Thanks to benefit shows in locales as far-flung as Oxford, Hoboken, Los Angeles and here in Nashville, Amis was also able to offset some of the expenses he incurred before he was approved for coverage. You can see a full list of the Jackets upcoming tour dates, as well as the video for their new tune "Space Mosquito," after the jump.

By the way, did you know that Amis was reportedly a co-founder of local record shop Phonoluxe Records? I didn't know that until Randy Fox pointed it out in that afore-linked feature. Just sayin'.

Los Straitjackets Tour Dates

8/17 Denver, CO @ Soiled Dove
8/18 Central City, CO @ Great Central City Beer Festival
8/30 Houston, TX @ Continental Club Houston
8/31 Austin, TX @ Continental Club Austin
9/1 Dallas @ Invasion by Them! Car Show Festival @ Tree's
9/12 Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up w/ Daddy-O Grande & Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/13 Los Angeles @ TBA w/ Daddy O-Grande & Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/14 Santa Cruz, CA @ w/ Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/15 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall w/ Daddy O-Grande & Big Sandy + the Fly Rite Boys
9/16 Winters, CA @ The Palms w/ Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/19 Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
9/20 Vancouver, BC @ The Fan Club
9/21 Seattle, WA @ The Tractor Tavern
9/22 Portland, OR @ Dante’s
9/25 Minneapolis, MN @ The Fine Line w/ Daddy-O Grande & Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/26 Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall Ballroom w/ Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/27 Berwyn, IL @ Fitzgerald’s w/ Daddy-O Grande & Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/28 Berwyn, IL @ Fitzgerald’s w/ Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/29 Cleveland, OH @ The Beachland Ballroom w/ Daddy-O Grande & Big Sandy and the Fly Rite Boys
9/30 Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
10/2 Troy, NY @ The Ale House
10/3 Troy, NY @ The Ale House
10/4 Wilmington, DE @ World Cafe at the Queen
10/5 Brooklyn, NY @ The Bell House w/ Daddy-O Grande and special guest TBA
10/6 Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's
10/7 Sellersville, PA @ Sellersville Theater w/ Daddy-O Grande
10/9 Greensboro, NC @ The Blind Tiger
10/10 Chapel Hill, NC @ Local 506 w/ Southern Culture on the Skids & The Fleshtones
10/11 Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle, With Nick Lowe, Dave Alvin, Chuck Prophet, Robyn Hitchcock & Eleni Mandell
10/12 Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
10/13 Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge w/ Daddy O-Grande

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