Getty Images Ray Manzarek of the legendary rock band The Doors has died at the age…
- Posted on Mar 29th 2010 4:00PM by Dan Reilly
To keep it brief, in the span of only a few days, Jollett's mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, his girlfriend broke up with him and he fell ill with pneumonia and an autoimmune disease that led to alopecia areata (sudden, random hair loss, including his beard and an eyebrow) and Vitiligo, which made spots appear on his skin. Jollett coped by writing, first attempting a novel then penning songs, which eventually made up the band's 2008 self-titled debut LP.
Now, years later, Jollett says he's healthy, or as healthy as a musician who spent a long time on the road can be. "Nothing really came of it. I thought it was going to slay me in some way but it just didn't," he tells Spinner. "Autoimmune disorder can give you like 80 different bad things and so far I only have two of them and they're only cosmetic. My hair's a little patchy, but I never thought of myself as being a proper rock star anyway, so that's alright with me. My skin never really turned bad so it just didn't matter when all was said and done."
Even though he's doing well, Jollett admits that the illnesses still have some effects on the band, though not in a direct way. "It all happened really quickly and weirded me out, so that's probably in the DNA of the band in the sense that we really work hard on songwriting, on meaning it and putting on a good show," he says. "It's not just about trying to be cool because we fail miserably at that."
While Jollett tries to take care of himself on tour, he and the band still bring a certain recklessness to their live show. "Bruises, black eyes, chipped teeth -- you name it, man. That's rock 'n' roll," he says. "If you're not in some kind of bodily danger, you're not doing it right. You might as well play folk music. I like folk music, but if you're in a rock band, be in a rock band."