Back in April, while he was touring in support of his new album Eclipse, Twin Shadow’s tour bus got into a bad accident with a tractor-trailer outside Denver. Several members of the band and crew were seriously injured, and Twin Shadow himself — also known as George Lewis Jr. — had to have reconstructive surgery on his hand. Now, after initially canceling the rest of the tour for obvious reasons, Lewis and his band have just restarted it. In his first interview since the crash, he opened up about the harrowing experience to NPR’s All Things Considered.
“I was kind of tossing and turning all night, which woke me up before the accident actually happened. There were 12 people on the bus, but I was the only one awake and actually up and walking around,” Lewis told NPR. “I think my phone rang, and I reached for it — and right in that moment, I just was thrown across the room and kind of landed with everything that was in the back lounge on top of me. There was a couch that had flipped on top of me, a mattress had come off the bed and was on top of me … The first thing I realized was that I couldn’t pick myself up with my hand, then [I remember] looking at my hand and seeing the bones sticking, kind of making a teepee out of my hand.”
The entire front of the bus was smashed, so emergency responders had to cut everyone out of the bus. “I’ve never seen people show up that fast,” Lewis recalls. “With a chainsaw, they cut out the whole side of the bus and got everyone out. Almost everyone had some kind of injury where they couldn’t immediately walk. So everybody came out on these gurneys one by one. There was so many of us that the hospitals couldn’t take everyone, so we kind of got split up between two hospitals, which was really stressful for all of us, because that was everyone’s biggest concern: Is everybody going to be OK?”
Lewis’ injured hand ended up needing reconstructive surgery. “One of these Michael Jordans of hand surgery” performed the operation, but the seven pins that now reside in his hand don’t make performing easy. “I can play guitar for a song or two, and then my hand really starts swelling up,” he says. “It’s just frustrating right now. I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent, but I consider myself a songwriter, not a guitar virtuoso. Piano, guitar, drums — these things are just tools. I’ll still be able to create the music that I want to create.”
Lewis didn’t let these setbacks keep him from performing for long. Only a couple of weeks after the accident, he performed as the musical guest on Late Night With Seth Meyers. “I’m going to make a motorcycle analogy that a lot of people are gonna cringe at, but it’s so the truth: If you get in an accident where you’re not bleeding, motorcyclists say to just get back on and go ride for an hour,” he says. “There is something that it does to you. It kind of reverses this immediate fear of that thing. And it felt really good to do. It felt important.”
Read the full story here.