You just never know what fate will deal you.
Spirit of the West, now 31 years young, has been faced a quiet but profound challenge. It has taken us some time to reach the acceptance necessary to be able to speak of it publicly.
Founding member, lead singer and groundbreaking front man, John Mann, has been silently dealing with his diagnosis of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. John, his family, and all of us had concerns but were hopeful that there was some other cause for his problems.
Although we may never know what triggered John’s condition, it seems safe to conclude that his battle with cancer in 2010 was a contributor.
Throughout these difficulties, John has remained positive and proactive.
It is John and his wife Jill’s wish to make this announcement, at this time, in this venue, so that he can more honestly and openly go through life facing what to him is simply the ‘new normal’ of his existence. His diagnosis, while not a secret, has been kept low key and confidential between friends and family in the hope that he and his loved ones might have time to come to grips with ramifications, outcomes and eventualities.
We, his Spirit of the West brothers, have stood behind him, foursquare, in support as he has begun to learn new strategies for day-to-day living. Those of you who have seen us in the last while know that John’s glorious voice has not suffered, nor has his customary, traditional energy. He remains the same excellent man and consummate professional he always has been.
There is no way to know precisely how the future will unfold but we Spirits intend to make the most of it – it has been an honour and a privilege to perform together for you all these decades, and we shall continue. We wish to carry on a little longer for our fans, for our families, and for the sake of our own hearts.
To our faithful fans, we thank you for years of support & love. We ask you to stand with us as we turn the page to the next chapter in the long career you have so graciously given us.
Spirit of the West Band, Crew & Families