Sole remaining original member Jeff Becerra (vocals) of the reactivated California death metal pioneers POSSESSED became very ill while touring in Europe. The group, now featuring Becerra backed by members of California's SADISTIC INTENT, was playing shows on the European continent in preparation for Norway's Hole In The Sky festival, which took place August 27-30 in Bergen, Norway.
Jeff has been wheelchair bound for more than 18 years — ever since he was shot and paralyzed in a street robbery. A pressure sore became infected on the trek, which was described as "a very ambitious tour" for a healthy person, let alone someone with a number of special needs, but Jeff felt compelled to follow the rigorous schedule. The infection spread to his bones, and soon he was unable to move. The band rushed him to a Helsinki hospital which then had him flown to Paris for medical care, but Parisian doctors did not want to deal with such a sick American and they had him flown to Los Angeles where he spent nearly 20 days in a hospital on a strong course of antibiotics. Jeff is now resting in his family's care until he can beat the illness.
Send your cards, letters and gifts to:
c/o Dark Realm Records
8210 Firestone Blvd,
Downey, CA 90241
To show online love, go to www.myspace.com/repossessed2112.
Jeff and his family will be checking the site daily.
In the October 2008 issue of Guitar World magazine, POSSESSED frontman Jeff Becerra talked candidly about the 1989 shooting that left him paralyzed from the chest down, his battle with drugs and alcohol, the early days of the Bay Area thrash metal scene and his future as a wheelchair-bound frontman for the death metal legends.
Regarding the robbery that left him paralyzed, Becerra said: "The first bullet went into my chest about six inches above the nipple, went through the lung and stuck on the inside of my spine. I put my hand up as I was going down, and the second bullet clipped the top of my ring finger off. But at least it didn't hit me in the head. So I was on the ground, and the first guy put the gun to my head and pulled the trigger, and the gun jammed — luckily for me, some criminals don't know how to clean their automatic weapons."
On performing at the 2007 Wacken Open Air festival in Germany, Becerra told Guitar World: "The show was amazing, and it was a great way for me to get back into the scene — but I was terrified, just shaking onstage in front of like 60,000 people. It was really emotional for me to be back out there, and I was really hoping that people wouldn't look at the chair and see 'poor Jeff.' I just didn't want to make a fool of myself and of the POSSESSED name — I didn't want to lose the only thing I ever was, you know?"
Guitar World has posted exclusive interview outtakes and new photos of Jeff at this location.
Fan-filmed video footage of POSSESSED performing the song "Tribulation" live at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City in 2007 can be viewed below (courtesy of AngryPit.com).