Thank you Mr. Collins
Dear Mr. Collins,
My name is Gordon Bagshaw. I’m 42 years old and have lived with a condition called Nemaline Myopathy (NM) all of my life. In short, NM is a muscular disorder, but I won’t bore you with the details.
I was a young man when I picked up the drums and spent countless hours playing along to your music. Keeping up with your style was never very easy, but the inspiration that came from your music was a very big reason why I kept playing. I am convinced that playing the drums has kept me healthy despite of my condition.
Like every young drummer, I dreamt about making a career of it. That dream hit a major bump in the road when I had fallen down some stairs and broke my right humerus bone in two. In the process I had also damaged my radial nerve. In short, my right arm had become paralysed for over a year. But listening to your music, I could not stop playing. So I would get behind the drums and play with one arm. Often frustrated and always wanting to have both my arms back, I learned to be content playing drums with just the one arm (and I got pretty good at it too). After I had corrective surgery on my humerus, feeling and limited movement eventually returned to my right arm. I had a special apparatus made; enabling me to use my wrist again. With hard work and determination, I never gave up on playing with two arms. Later on in life, I went on to play in many musical situations, recording, traveling across the USA and Canada, performing in Jazz Festivals. I lived my dream. Today, I live in Sao Paulo, Brazil, teaching English as a second language, but I have this time in my life that I can look back on and say, ‘I lived my dream. There was a major obstacle in it, but I did it.’
Why am I telling you this? I just recently bought your Going Back CD & DVD. I saw the struggle you went through to make this CD and I identified with it.
I want to first thank you for your music in general. Thank you for sharing your creativity and passion. I’m convinced that you and your music played a major role in my recovery when I was younger.
And second, I want to thank you for not giving up. I saw how hard it was for you on that DVD, not just physically but emotionally. I get it. Thank you for not giving up, and for making what I consider your greatest work so far (Going Back). Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go strap on my apparatus and jam along with your CD.
With true gratitude,