Sum 41's former guitar technician has detailed the frightening extent of frontman Deryck Whibley's alcohol abuse and health troubles on the road following the singer's recent hospitalization.
The star has spent a month under the care of doctors after his liver and kidneys collapsed due to years of excessive drinking, and now his former road crew colleague Brian Keith Diaz has opened up about the hard partying he experienced while on tour with the rockers. Diaz, who toured with the band for 18 months from 2010, reveals Whibley was a "functioning alcoholic" and life on the road was a "blur of Jack Daniel's and vodka, s**tty European cocaine, and non-stop partying". He also claims the frontman struggled with escalating health problems due to his drinking. In a post on his blog, Diaz writes, "He tried going sober at the beginning of a Japanese tour and passed out on stage in Sapporo (in Japan) several songs into the set. An Australian tour was cut short when he contracted pneumonia, no doubt exacerbated by his excessive drinking. Even a day or two after being in a hospital in Sydney, he was at the airport sipping wine at 9am as if nothing had happened. This was the first time I was really upset and concerned for my friend's health. Before that I was along for the ride and part of the circus."
Diaz reveals Whibley called him days before going public with his current health crisis, and admits crying when he heard his friend had come so close to losing his life. He adds, "Two days before Deryck went public with the horrifying story of what happened to him he called me out of the blue. I hadn't heard from him in a year, and the last time I had seen him in person he said he was cutting back on his drinking... I was in horrible shock hearing what had just happened to him... I got off the phone and cried. I was imagining my friend Deryck completely hitting rock bottom alone and it scared the s**t out of me."