Former Budgie Drummer Finds Success With Parkinson’s Treatment
Pete Boot, drummer for early British heavy-metal band Budgie in the early-70s, credits a ground-breaking treatment for Parkinson's disease as having helped improve his mobility by up to 90 percent.
“I have had this a year but it is still early days," Boot tells Wales Online. "The operation should give me another 10 years of continued mobility. It’s worth the risk because I have had it so long.”
Boot was diagnosed with the crippling disease more than two decades ago. In Feb. 2013, he underwent an operation that planted electrodes in his brain. He says that he opted for the treatment after not being too fond of the other options that he was offered in effort to afford the musician continued mobility.
“My choices were pretty limited," he continued. "I could have had the deep brain stimulation or I could have had something put into my stomach, which they put gel in, but that did not sound nice. The other option was huge injections that I would have had to give myself every day. I didn’t fancy that so I took the deep brain stimulation. They drilled two holes in my head and passed four electrodes through my brain, out the side of my head and back down my neck and into my chest. Embedded in my chest, a bit like a pacemaker, is a stimulator.”
Boot's wife Nancy says that she has seen definite improvements from her husband in the approximate 15 months since the operation.
“He was using walkers and a walking stick and wheel chair but now his mobility is 90 percent better really," she says. “He is never going to get rid of his Parkinson’s. But the operation should hold off any mobility problems for another 10 years. And then he will be 74. We all get a bit doddery then. And in 10 years time who knows what medical science will hold?
The drummer was only in the band for one album, 1974's 'In for the Kill!' The record, somewhat ironically in light of Boot's surgery, featured 'Crash Course in Brain Surgery,' which was recorded by Metallica on their 1987 EP, 'Garage Days Re-Revisited.'