After last week's shocking statement and photos from Sum 41's Deryck Whibley detailing his brush with death due to years of "hard boozing," many friends and fans sent well wishes to the alcoholic pop-punk singer/guitarist in his road to recovery, including his ex-wife Avril Lavigne.
But as much of a surprise as it may have been when Whibley posted his "Rock Bottom" message last Saturday, in which he says drinking caused his liver and kidneys to collapse, Deryck's health issues were a long time coming.
Sum 41 roadie Brian Keith Diaz posted his own lengthy blog entry on his site which revealed a musician who was not in the best of shape back as far back the fall of 2010.
The post, simply entitled "Deryck," stated Diaz received a call to work as Sum 41's guitar tech in October 2010 for the start of their European tour. "My first calls with their management team warned me, 'Be prepared for a lot of shenanigans. I suggest you watch the videos they post online. They like to party. A lot. Just be prepared. They party. A lot,'" Diaz wrote. "After being in a band for almost 15 years they still worked hard and had thousands upon thousands of fans the world over. Sum 41 made their career by being on the road constantly, and that same work ethic would eventually unravel them a bit when coupled with all the partying."
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Diaz, who admitted he "spent a lot of that time shitfaced" himself, said it "wasn't uncommon to go weeks at a time drinking until we blacked out with out a break. "The party animal in me loved it but it had already started to take a toll on my body after several months," Diaz wrote. "I couldn't believe how far Deryck could go, though. I couldn't get myself to walk from the bus to the venue some days, and here this guy was playing shows every single night for an hour or more, sweating, running like a maniac, and killing a bottle of whiskey. It was insanity."
Diaz also says by the time he met Whibley in 2010 for the tour, the musician was "a functioning alcoholic" but Diaz saw it as somebody who worked hard and played hard. Diaz also said Whibley attempted to go sober at the start of the Japanese tour but "passed out on stage in Sapporo several songs into the set."
Whibley contracted pneumonia which also aborted an Australian tour with the musician ending up in a Sydney hospital. After trashing a hotel room hallway in Spain which caused "a few hundred Euros in damage," Diaz realized something had changed. "As much as I love the guy, I started to realize that this was incredibly destructive," Diaz wrote. "It had become the opposite of fun, regardless of what face everyone put on for the public."
The roadie also revealed Whibley contacted him two days before going public with his ailment. "As you can imagine I was in horrible shock hearing what had just happened to him," Diaz said. "He told me pretty much the same thing he eventually went on to tell the world. I got off the phone and cried. I was imagining my friend Deryck completely hitting rock bottom alone and it scared the shit out of me."
Diaz closed by saying he hates seeing Whibley go through this ordeal and that he's "going to remembered, at least for the time being, as a cautionary tale rather than the talented, good person that he is." However, he was glad Whibley is still alive.
"I wish Deryck well and hope this is the beginning of something new and better in his life."
Here are some other people who tweeted their get well wishes to Whibley:
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