UB40's Brian Travers to 'live life to the full' after surgery


Brian Travers

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UB40 saxophonist Brian Travers says he will “carry on living life to the full” after having two brain tumours removed.

The founding member of the Birmingham band, who topped the charts in 1983 with Red Red Wine, added that he does not plan to give up alcohol or smoking.

In March, the 60-year-old had a seizure at his home and was later found to have two tumours on his brain.

He underwent surgery on 29 March, the day UB40’s latest tour kicked off, which he was forced to miss.

Interviewed by Birmingham’s Sunday Mercury, the musician said he had a new lease of life following the surgery.

“Kids, don’t start smoking. It’s a no-brainer,” he told the newspaper.

“But I told the docs I wasn’t going to give up booze, I wasn’t going to give up fags and I wasn’t going to give up recreational drugs.

“I love them all and they give me my serotonin, which makes me happy and creative to do my art. I’ll do anything that makes me happy. From scoring music to writing stuff, I’ll do anything to get my brain motivated.”

He added: “I haven’t got a bucket list like so many people who suddenly reach a point and reveal all the things they wished they’d done.

“I’ve got no regrets. I’ve lived my life to the full and I’m going to carry on living it to the full – I’m a rock ‘n’ roller!

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Image caption

Brian Travers performing with Ali Campbell and the rest of UB40 at Rewind Scotland last year

“I have never felt more alive, and I am bursting with ambition. I have never had a greater gift than this operation. I am going to make some great art, and I am so excited.”

Travers told of how he “wet the bed” during his seizure, the first one he had ever experienced, and that “all I could see was darkness” when he woke up later.

He was taken to hospital and had an MRI scan, where the double tumour in his frontal cortex was discovered.

He will now undergo chemotherapy in tablet form and he will have radiotherapy five times a week.

In a statement last month, UB40 said they were “deeply saddened that Brian, our lifelong friend and founding member of UB40, is unable to join us for our celebratory UK tour.

“We know he will be missed by all but his health and well-being come first, and we are sure our friends and fans will join us in wishing Brian a full and speedy return to health, and return to us.”

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