I was raised in Italy until I was around four or five. My father was in the US military and ended moving to Huntsville Alabama to work on the deployment of missile systems with Wernher Von Braun. On 9 February 1964, two days before my Birthday, I saw the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. My father cut off the performance after about the first minute of All My Loving, but I was hooked. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. When I was 14 I picked up the guitar and in 1977 became obsessed with British Punk. Over the years down south I got to see the Ramones at Brothers BBQ in Birmingham, met the The Clash, saw Gang of Four and a very young REM in Atlanta and saw everyone from Elvis to Led Zeppelin. In 1982 My Girlfriend and I moved to New York City. My first night in NY I went to see The Sex Pistols great Rock and Roll Swindle at Roxies Roller Rink and I immediately knew I was in the right place. After two years playing gigs and getting ready to go on tour with a group called Velveteen, i was knocked on my ASS by Guillain Barre Syndrome and spent months in the hospital. My face is still paralyzed after almost forty years, After spending years playing NYC clubs like CBGB, the 308 and the living room, I had settled into working as a clerk at a law firm.

In August of 1999 New York was plagued by Mosquitoes. I remember that summer my son was bit on the eye lid! That summer I was bit by a mosquito and was diagnosed with either aseptic meningitis or West Nile Encephalitis(Doctors still aren't sure on that one). Around the same time psoriatic arthritis arthritis began to destroy my hands feet and spine. I worked in this hellish state until 2009 after rupturing a disk in my spine, i was finally forced to call it quits. After a few years retired, my Wife and I got divorced. It was a nasty process, with the wife and I separating almost a dozen times in our marriage. Shortly after the divorce went through, August 6th I went to a medically induced comma. Even though I hadn't had a drink in over a decade, I ended up with end stage liver disease and no one could tell me why. After some kind of crazy miracle I pulled through, to the surprise of everyone and here I am! I've been broken and beaten down but i am still fighting! Ask me Anything!

Here's a record I played guitar on with Velveteen (2)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyMrVV7Xhfk&list=PLNm8fdVUx5ZnMCXmnDejNDmoNvRbObfDW

Here's some medical paper work talking about the Disorders I have had

https://imgur.com/a/tjW4nW4

Verification Picture

https://imgur.com/qsN91Sy

Edit: Fixed medical picture link

Comments: 69 • Responses: 27  • Date: 

NoHacksReq29 karma

What was GG Allen like off and on stage?

MichaelEdenAMA55 karma

As you can imagine he and his band and were living breathing train wrecks. At the show we shared a bill he shit himself on stage and rolled around in it. Assaulted a girl with a mic stand. He then got into a fight with her boyfriend and shortly after the police arrived slipped out. I liked him and his brother, but they were waaaaay out there.

austraeoh12 karma

How the hell did you end up at a law firm?

MichaelEdenAMA7 karma

I moved to NY in 1982, and the biggest challenge was finding a place to live. This took me about a month. My girlfriend at the time and I found an apartment two blocks off broadway in Hell's kitchen, for the sum of $386 a month. In said apartment I met a kid from Florida who worked at this law firm. One thing led to another, I got an interview(keep in mind this was first attempt to find a job in NY). Amazingly I got the job and thus began my twenty seven year odyssey with one of the most powerful law firms in the country..... Lucky Me

slugzuki9 karma

What’s an underappreciated NY punk group from that era that you think more ppl should know about?

MichaelEdenAMA7 karma

I would say the Swans. I saw both them and sonic youth live a ton. The Swans early work was fantastic and they didn't get a chance to make it back then. Not from New York, but The Gun Club, who we kinda adopted. Their early work is raw, visceral New Orleans VooDoo meets no wave with blistering slide guitar. This was the era of New York Hardcore (Murphy's Law, Gutterball and others) which I never really got into.

MichaelEdenAMA9 karma

Thanks for the questions everybody and I'll check tomorrow to see if there are any more! I'll be back Reddit and all questions will be answered.

Eoiny5 karma

Tell us about your encounter with Dylan?

MichaelEdenAMA5 karma

In New York there where hundreds if not thousands of rehearsal studios for bands(Sometimes I think i may have played in all of them). Eventually I found what I believed to be the best in the city, a place called Montana. It was on the far far west side of the city, featured three rooms, one was equipped with a stage, lights and enough space for showcases or record company events. The place had a ton of equipment, including the first Vox Ac30 I fell in love with.

I believe it was 92 or 93, My band and I went to Montana to play. We immediately knew something was up, because security was tight. As we waited in the vestibule tuning up, shooting the shit and partaking of a soda machine that was loaded with beer. I was tuning my 73 Telecaster I had picked up years ago for fifty bucks. When a figure emerged from the main studio, wearing a battered butterscotch telecaster. He looked at my guitar, I looked at his, he went about his business and went back into the room. Never being a real big "Dylan guy" I was far more interested in his telecaster. A short time later I had went to the bathroom while waiting for our room to open up, when walked in Bob Dylan(Keep in mind this place only had two Urinals). Then I was taking a piss next to Bob Dylan. "Nice Tele" he said and I told him I liked his too. We chatted about our guitars while finishing up in the bathroom, washed our hands and that was that. I saw him throughout the evening and we nodded at each other the way telecaster people do.

spacedropx5 karma

How have you changed your diet to help your autoimmune? Thanks for sharing your story!!

MichaelEdenAMA22 karma

No doctor has ever addressed it. With my plethora of problems, my diet took a back seat for a long time. My son has put a lot of effort into cooking healthier home cooked meals for me in the last year. He tires to keep my saturated fats low and make sure I get some vegetables, but it doesn't seem to help with the inflammation from my arthritis.

greeneyes858 karma

My fiance has an autoimmune disease called Hidradenitis suppurativa and he's been trying to follow the aip diet which takes out any and all foods that could cause inflammation and he's had a noticeable difference in his skin and arthritis. Nightshades are bad news. I hope you find something to give you relief.

MichaelEdenAMA8 karma

I'll have to look into that. I would do anything to soothe my joints.

Yotsubato1 karma

Go to a rheumatologist. You’ll thank me. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and taking biologics has changed my life. No more side effects from drugs and no more pain or swelling.

MichaelEdenAMA9 karma

I've tried, I can't take biologics due to my liver. I went through two rounds of chemo over a decade ago to slow the arthritis, and it didn't help me unfortunately. And its hella expensive.

swvagirl3 karma

I myself came close to liver failure a few years ago after my youngest son was born. I was diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis, and thankfully I manage it with low dose prednisone. My AST and ALT have been normal for the past 2 years. I also have crohns disease as an added auto immune issue, but was diagnosed with it in 2007. To keep the crohns in check I am currently on remicade and luckily my liver enzymes have stayed stable.

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

One of the most frustrating things with my liver has been that my blood work has always looked great. Shortly before I went into a coma, I spent a week at Lenox Hill hospital and received a battery of tests, but nothing foreshadowed my liver problems, go figure.

sp4cerat3 karma

Which medications did you get to treat the conditions ? Were medications the reasons your liver has a problem ? (I am struggling with nephrotic syndrome myself after being floxed by levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin)

MichaelEdenAMA3 karma

Keep in mind I was hit by Guillain Barre Syndrome in 1984. At the time there was NOTHING to to treat it. All was I was given were anabolic steroids, after I forced them to release me from the hospital after three months (which was probably a mistake). Unfortunately the Hospital bungled my West Nile experience, which hit me like a ton of tractor trailers, and continues to affect me to this day twenty years later. All I was given for West Nile was fistful of pain medication to try and battle the horrific head pain. The only way I can describe the pain is as a molten lava icicle being rammed into your brain repeatedly. I went through Chemo twice in an attempt to treat my psoriatic arthritis, neither seemed to do much except drain the life out of me. I think the medications I was given over the years played a role along with my auto immune problems in relation to my liver damage. I was a never a heavy drinker outside of my teenage years, and I had stopped drinking about a decade before all these liver problems popped up. I haven't gotten a straight answer about where the damage to my liver came from. I think the doctors just don't know. Good question, I hope you have better luck getting treatment than I did!

ldylion43 karma

Were you at all depressed when you were ill? Do you feel like you were born during a time where music shaped the future of what we now listen to? Also you are a real trooper!

MichaelEdenAMA7 karma

  1. Yes, kinda unavoidable with long lasting illness. Unfortunately permanent damage to my body has cost me the ability to enjoy most of things I love in life. The Arthritis has destroyed my hands to the point where playing music is a distant memory and evening using the computer or playing video games is a challenge (my son is typing this out for me). I've had some dark days in my life and daily living has become a challenge, but I am still fighting.

2) Not really, I hear it in some artists these days, but so much of todays music sounds the same and is overproduced to the point of choking the life out of it. I like some modern artists like FIDLAR or the Arctic Monkeys, but so many bands have to sell out immediately due to the death of record sales. There seems to be an inability for small bands to reach a broader audience. I think the music industry just has to adapt to the times in order for creativity to make its way back to the forefront.

ldylion43 karma

  1. I'm really sorry to hear that! Sorry to ask another question. But has there been any improvements to your life from all this? (Hello AMA's son)

  2. I honestly hadn't thought about the decline of original music and bands surviving today.

  3. I have two more questions I just thought of, if you dont mind. What inspired you to do this AMA? If there were technology that could create music from your brain waves or eye movement would you create your own music or play your favorite song first?

MichaelEdenAMA4 karma

  1. Well, the numbness in my leg caused me to fall and fracture my spine back in October. I celebrated approximately ten days later getting out of bed to shut my door, my leg muscles shattered my right femur in two places. Falling to ground I had to readdress my concept of pain(not really an improvement I know)
  2. It was always a tough road, it now seems even tougher with no income streams available to most bands. There is some hope with many bands reaching new fans through the internet, it is just hard to be recognized with the flood of content out there. Bands that can sell 2,000-3,000 seats at a venue have made it by todays standards. But if you can only pull in two or three hundred, good luck.
  3. My strange bizarre implausible life inspired me to do this AMA (and my son made me do it) I would create my own music of course! I can listen to my favorite songs anytime.

ldylion43 karma

  1. That's such a rollercoaster of pain! Do or did you have issues with your muscles atrophying at all? I'm also guessing you have a really good health plan. Are you still recovering from the shattered femur?

  2. Theres this venue called the crocodile where I live. I've noticed that a lot of the people and bands that are able to get booked there generally do more successful down the road. I've even seen a few kpop performers there. Maybe if more local venues like that were around, the smaller bands would have somewhat of a foothold in gaining support and income?

  3. You have a wonderful son and a very informational life that I'm honored to ask about. That's very true. Well I hope when that technology becomes available that reddit will be able to hear some of your works of art!

MichaelEdenAMA7 karma

  1. Yeah after the comma I couldn't walk. The leg breaking wasn't as hard to recover from. I do not have a good health plan. I have medicare, I guess i'm just too stubborn to die.
  2. Absolutely, that is what is needed for grass roots music. Artists need a place to start small and grow organically.
  3. Thank you very much, I am honored to answer and Yes I do have a wonderful son, the light of my life. Unfortunately music has been lost to me, and was the single biggest devastation out of all of this. But with technology maybe one day i'll be able to do something!

ldylion42 karma

  1. Nah you're too good and amazing to die.
  2. If you ever have the chance, you should check bumbershoot in Seattle. It's a massive music festival that ranges from a list to blue grass jazz. Its during labor day weekend.
  3. I hope it happens soon. Thank you to you and your son for answering all my questions. I wish you both the very best in life and an as healthy life as possible!

MichaelEdenAMA4 karma

Thank you very much, unfortunately I am pretty far from Seattle, but maybe one day.

pighalf3 karma

All of your immunological conditions seem to be linked. Have doctors identified any particular genetic mutations that you may have in regulating type I interferon responses? Out of curiosity, do you tend get less colds compared to your colleagues?

MichaelEdenAMA4 karma

1) Not yet, don't think anyone has looked into it so far, but an interesting question I have thought about

2)I used to get Chronic Bronchitis. Since the Guillain Barre and West Nile it has virtually disappeared. I never tended to get colds it went straight to Bronchitis. I had Bronchitis for a month straight or longer when the Guillain Barre first hit me.

pighalf-4 karma

You definitely have some sort of auto-inflammatory dysfunction. A unifying theme In several of these states is the mislocalization of self DNA species, which consequently drive an inflammatory immune response. EGCG, a natural compound found in green tea extract as well as aspirin may be beneficial in reducing disease pathology. Mechanistically, EGCG inhibits the formation of a receptor complex which detects those aberrant DNA species which appear under sterile conditions, and aspirin plays a role in facilitating a post-translational modification on the DNA sensor, leading to the inhibition of inflammation.

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

I am very sorry, could you simplify your statement a little bit? (I also can't take aspirin, but I love green tea)

pighalf1 karma

Sure, green tea or aspirin may minimize the inflammatory process that is causing pain associated from arthritis. Btw, how was seeing an early REM? Was Michael Stipe always awesome from the get go?

MichaelEdenAMA5 karma

Michael Stipe had full blown acne and kept his back to the audience the entire show! But he could really sing. I got the chance years later to hang out with them at a theatre gig in Jersey. They were really cool, but it could have just been that I was friends with there coke dealer.

Jboi253 karma

How was NY's punk scene? Did you dislike it or like it?

MichaelEdenAMA3 karma

I loved it! The east village was our town and was an amazing place to be. I am so glad I got to experience it.

PocoChanel3 karma

Did you ever see the documentary New York Doll? What did you think of it? (Question applies whether or not you knew the Dolls.)

Did you ever cross paths with Richard Thompson or Richard Lloyd or Peter Holsapple or Tom Robinson?

What about Kathleen Hanna--she seems like someone you could trade stories with (as someone suffering from serious Lyme disease).

Is there a movie (doesn't have to be a documentary) that best represents the New York you knew in the '80s and '90s?

What are your thoughts on mind-altering substances and creativity? Help or harm?

Are you creating (any kind of art) these days? I suspect you'd be a great writer--I'd read or go hear your memoirs, like Patti Smith's (I was listening to her on Alec Baldwin's podcast recently...just wow).

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

  1. Yes I have seen New York Doll. I thought it was very interesting and also sad. It was hard to see all the misfortune that followed everywhere. I personally had a long though long distance relationship with the New York Dolls. I remember when I still lived in Alabama I rode my bike ten miles to get their first record. One night years later, in I think ultra sound studio, I had the chance to Jam with Sylvain Sylvain and Dee Dee Ramone. Sadly my memory of it isn't to clear(some substances were involved).I loved the Dolls and was saddened to see they never got the push they deserved.
  2. I auditioned for Richard Lloyds band way back in 82, I had a great time, but sadly didn't make the cut. It was the oddest audition I ever did. He had two guitar players going up at the same time. Television was one of my favorite bands and the fact they never made it still crushed me.
  3. I kinda missed Bikini Kill. Sounds like she's had it rough.
  4. Taxi Driver represents the New York I moved into. I lived within ten blocks of where all the scenes where filmed and most of the locations in the movie where still around at the time . Also Story of a Junkie for the ambiance of when I lived in the lower east side.
  5. I would go with help. Just look at people like John Lennon, Paul McCartney Hendrix, Syd Barrett, Brian Jones and Keith Richard. I think it comes down to the ambiance you want to create. It certainly helped me.... I think....maybe
  6. Well thank you, high praise indeed, but sadly no, my hands are trashed and mind isn't to far behind. (side note I am OP's son and helping him type this out, I hope he does one day he just doesn't think it would be very interesting.)

spacedropx3 karma

Do you find CBD or full spectrum cannabis to be useful for management of your condition?

MichaelEdenAMA9 karma

Since coming out of my coma I have smoked weed with my son a handful of times. Unfortunately the effect seems to be significantly stronger than normal. I typically would lose 100% of my balance and one time vomited pretty badly. I plan on trying CBD oil, my son actually just order a container of Amazon, so hopefully it helps. It doesn't help that at the moment I live in a state that has possession laws where four ounces can get you life in prison!

Rambonics3 karma

I’m so sorry about your chronic medical conditions. I have to admit when I saw this post I initially thought you shared the (medical) bill with...

You have a good son. I’m glad you have a good relationship & that he appreciates your cool life. I’ve always been a fan of the Black Crowes. I had a couple of their T-shirt’s in 1990 & have seen them live at First Avenue in Minneapolis in the 1990s. What was Chris Robinson like in real life?

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

I can't say I got to know him very well. i can tell you that they could play them some Zeppelin. And being a zeppelin guy myself, they could do no wrong. Unfortunately I met them at Montana studios the night they waited in vain for Jimmy Page. He didn't''t show up because this was the infamous time he just injured his back.

makafre2 karma

Have you heard of the Coimbra protocol? It works with all autoimmune diseases this by putting them in remission only after a short while. Since you got 3 of them my brain tilted right away....and it's better than any diet you will find out there.

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

Doctors have recently been experimenting with high doses of vitamin D but high doses can damage the liver, so myself and the doctors have been a little hesitant.

curiousexperiments2 karma

Did u try switching to an all-meat diet like Jordan Peterson to see if that solves your health ailments?

MichaelEdenAMA3 karma

I haven't, but that diet sounds very enticing.

Otistetrax2 karma

My Grandfather also worked on missile systems with Van Braun at Huntsville. Was your dad in the Army Corps of Engineers?

MichaelEdenAMA3 karma

I don't think he was involved with the corps of Engineers, my father worked for the United States Missile Command(I believe, documentation is very thin and he died very young).

Otistetrax1 karma

Do you think he may have been exposed to something that might have caused or contributed to your illnesses?

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

I think that is definitely within the realm of possibility, considering his own death is shrouded in mystery.

rickmuscles2 karma

Did anything from North Alabama’s music history influence your career?

MichaelEdenAMA2 karma

Maybe some blues, I honestly don't know too much about North Alabama’s music history.

rockhammer_0-5 karma

Why’s the sky blue?

MichaelEdenAMA3 karma

Because it's not green