Andy Thorn goes down, but makes the gig!

Andy Thorn, fearless banjo player for Leftover Salmon, had a bit of a mishap last week while skiing on Colorado’s Copper Mountain. He took a tumble and his right ski failed to eject from the boot, and Andy’s right foot twisted all the way round.

Fortunately, his wife was with him, got to him quickly, and realized the leg was broken. She was able to get in touch with mountain rescue, who brought Andy down the slope and to the hospital where emergency surgery was performed.

After a day to recover, Thorn was on stage with Keller Williams, but in a seated, stationary position.

He gave us a play-by-play of his day on December 20…

“The idea of banjo players skiing is just asking for trouble. We’re trained to play fast and furious, whipping the crowd into a clogging frenzy.

I grew up a banjo player in North Carolina and somehow ended up in an amazing Colorado band, so I became a skiing banjo player – a terrible idea. Lots of people say don’t ski on a gig day, but that just won’t ever work for me. Also just like my banjo playing, I have trouble staying on the marked trails. I can’t help exploring new paths that end up getting me a broken leg on the side of a mountain at 12,000 ft. I wasn’t even listening to Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

Thank God for responsible people such as my wife Cecelia and the amazing ski patrol at Copper Mountain. They somehow got me on a sled, down through the high trees, then of course down the steep mogul run. Definitely punishment for all the out of tune banjo playing that others have endured through my life.

They rushed me to the hospital for surgery, and I was playing banjo in bed the next morning – which others in the hospital actually didn’t consider torture. Imagine that. I was onstage 24 hrs later with Keller Williams.

The next day the pain kicked in. Its gonna be the laziest Christmas ever – hope everybody has a great one!”

Heal up quick, Andy!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.