In November 2008, Deftones bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident in Santa Monica, California. His injuries were so severe that he's been hospitalized almost ever since, with much of his time spent in a coma in intensive care. If there's an upside, it's that he is now at home with his family.
Deftones are a widely-respected group even outside their core audience of metal fans. This is not doubt do to their genre-spanning sound, which employs atmospherics, tension and release and a strong melodic undercurrent. To call them the "metal Radiohead" wouldn't be a stretch.
Since the band released its first album, Adrenaline, in 1994, they've steadily grown in popularity. Their most recent effort, Saturday Night Wrist, was critically well received, even garnering a glowing notice in The New Yorker. Deftones seemed primed to seize this momentum for their next record, until Cheng's accident put a halt on the proceedings.
Since his injury, Cheng's has been "minimally-conscious," but reports from OneLoveForChi.com -- a site created to help with medical expenses -- indicate that he's making some progress. That doesn't mean he's not still a long way from a full recovery, and the bills for his care keep piling up. Insurance does not entirely cover the overwhelming cost for his treatment, which is why friends and fans have been pitching in to help.
Deftones will play some of their first gigs since Cheng's accident to benefit the Chi Ling Cheng Special Needs Trust. The group will perform (with ex-Quicksand bassist Sergio Vega) at two shows at the Avalon in Los Angeles on November 19 and 20.
The band is also setting up a special fundraising auction to raise money for Cheng that will likely include donated items from other big-name bands. We're talking signed posters, guitars, drum kits, meet-and-greets, etc. Keep your eyes on the Deftones site for more info on the auction.
And just an FYI for all you musicians out there: FMC has a special program called the Health Insurance Navigation Tool (HINT), which provides free info to musicians seeking to learn more about their health insurance options. HINT doesn't sell insurance, but it does offer a wealth of information about an often-confusing topic. You can check out the HINT website to learn more about why even having basic coverage is a really smart idea. And if you want to know more about what your options are, you can fill out a simple online form to schedule an appointment with one of our two health insurance experts (who also happen to be musicians). They'll call you on their dime to go over your situation on a state-by-state, case-by-case basis. It's completely confidential and 100 percent free. Why not check it out?
And get well soon, Chi.