Bobby Blotzer will undergo lumbar spine surgery at the end of March.
The original RATT drummer revealed the news in a Facebook post, explaining that one of the spine's five intervertebral segments has collapsed, with another one soon to follow.
According to Blotzer, he has been getting epidural spine injections for six years and had a nerve-burning procedure done, neither one of which has successfully ended his chronic pain problems.
Blotzer, who had a spinal fusion surgery for the C6-C7 vertebrae in his neck four years ago, said that he will go under the knife two days after his version of RATT performs at the Prairie Knights Casino & Resort in Fort Yates, North Dakota on March 18.
Blotzer did not disclose who will front his version of RATT at the North Dakota concert, having recently parted ways with singer Joshua Alan, who had been with the group since its late 2015 inception.
The drummer also promised that he would "mop up [the] litigation" he is currently embroiled in with his former bandmate over the rights to the RATT name and that he would return to the road "with RATT around late June."
Blotzer has spent the last year and a half battling the other three members of RATT's classic lineup in court. At the same time, he has been hitting the road with his version of RATT, which, in addition to Alan, most recently included guitarists Mitch Perry (TALAS, HEAVEN, STEELER, MSG, LITA FORD) and Stacey Blades (L.A. GUNS) and bassist Brad Lang (Y&T).
Back in November, a California judge ruled against Blotzer with respect to whether bassist Juan Croucier had committed trademark infringement by using the RATT name and logo to advertise his band RATT'S JUAN CROUCIER in the fall of 2015. The judge furthermore decided that the corporation WBS, Inc. — of which Blotzer and guitarist Warren DeMartini were thought to be the sole shareholders — did not have ownership interest in the RATT marks and that the name and brand was still owned by the members who were part of the original RATT partnership agreement.
In addition to claiming to have expelled Blotzer from the partnership following the November court ruling, DeMartini, Croucier and singer Stephen Pearcy said that Blotzer could now only refer to himself as a "former member of RATT," as per the partnership agreement.
Blotzer's attorney later filed a request for reconsideration, and a hearing was held on January 23 in a downtown Los Angeles federal courtroom at which point the judge took the matter under submission. Less than two weeks later — on February 3 — U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson issued an order denying Blotzer's request.
The RATT version featuring Pearcy, DeMartini, Croucier and later-period RATT guitarist Carlos Cavazo (ex-QUIET RIOT) made its first official return to the stage on February 11 at the Treasure Island Resort Casino in Welch, Minnesota.