New Interview with Classic Rock Magazine
Martin Kielty at 10:48am August 29 2013
Dan McCafferty retires from Nazareth
Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty has retired from the band as a result of the health issues which forced them to cancel two sets of live dates.
The veteran vocalist collapsed on stage in Switzerland at the weekend, resulting in rumours that he’d had a stroke. Last month he collapsed in Canada. Both incidents caused the band to call off further appearances.
Now he’s shouted down the stroke story – but admits a lung disease has brought an end to his 45-year live career.
McCafferty tells Classic Rock: “I’ve not had a stroke. That’s completely untrue – thank goodness and touch wood. I’m not in hospital in Switzerland at all. I don’t know how these things get started.
“I’ve got Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and it’s been getting worse over the years. You don’t know when it’s going to come on, but suddenly you can’t breathe.
“I was going on stage at Summerfest in Switzerland thinking, ‘This is great – our first festival in a few months and it’s a lovely day.’ We couldn’t have asked for better.”
Three songs in he suffered an attack of COPD, leaving him out of breath and unable to continue. He decided at that moment to retire with immediate effect.
“When I came off stage I said to the boys: ‘I can’t keep doing this to the band.’ I can’t embarrass the boys and the fans. If you can’t do the job you shouldn’t be there – Nazareth’s too big for that.”
McCafferty’s decision came after he’d taken a break following his collapse in Canada, which was caused by a burst stomach ulcer. “I thought I’d be fine,” he says, “But you lose so much blood when that happens.”
He admits he and his bandmates are “a wee bit emotional” and haven’t come to terms with the news, but he says: “The music we’ve made over the years is more important than any member of the band. We always felt like that, and I can’t see that’s changed just because I’ve left.
“I really hope they get someone else. I’m sure they can.”
Naz recently completed recording work on their 24th album, not yet titled. “To go into a studio and sing isn’t like doing a gig,” says McCafferty. “I could always make another record, but getting up to do an hour and three-quarters, and get people to pay money to come and see me – I can’t do that.”
He’s going to take time out to consider his future, but says a solo album might be a possibility. As to the chances of a farewell show, he jokes: “It could be like, ‘I’ll sing for ten minutes, everyone go for a pint, than I’ll sing for another ten minutes.’ I don’t know how well that would work!”
McCafferty adds: “Let everyone know I appreciate they’ve been there for all these years.”
Naz formed in Fife, Scotland in 1968, with McCafferty and bassist Pete Agnew the only members to feature in all lineups until now. Other members included Manny Charlton, John Locke, Zal Cleminson and TeamRock Radio Blues Magazine Show host Billy Rankin. The last lineup to feature McCafferty had been stable since 2002, with guitarist Jimmy Murrison and Agnew’s son Lee on drums.
We sadly have to tell you all that Dan has been forced to retire due to ill health.
He suffers from C.O.P.D. ( Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
It has gotten worse lately and after trying to play a festival in Switzerland last weekend Dan found it impossible to continue after performing only three songs.
In the dressing room afterwards he told the band that he couldn’t go on any longer.
We’ll keep you updated on further developments.
2012 has been a productive year, with the band managing to find time to record two brand new tracks alongside a very busy touring schedule.
The band will soon be releasing ‘God of the Mountain’; a fantastic high-energy cracker that is guaranteed to hit the right spot with rock fans young and old!
‘God of the Mountain’ has been adopted by the Austrian Ski Federation as their official song for the 2012/2013-ski season.
This will include the World Championships in 2013.
The perfect soundtrack if you want to throw yourself down a mountain at high speed or if you just want to kick back with some good music!
Soon everybody will be giving “Sky high praise” to the “God of the Mountain”.
The Austrian Ski Federation will host a big press conference in Vienna on November 5th in order to launch ‘God of the Mountain’ to the media.
Nazareth shall be special guests at this event.
‘God of the Mountain’ will be available for download in Austria, Switzerland and Germany from Friday 26th October on iTunes, Amazon and Deezer.
The track will then be available globally on hundreds of digital services from November 19th.
2013 should see the release of a beautiful new track titled
‘Clean and Clear and True’. Produced by RGL (Roots Gone Lost) this song has a great vibe to it.
The track shall be used to raise awareness for a brand new charity called
‘We Just Help’.
The charity aims to provide safe, clean water for people in third world countries and will be launched in the summer of 2013.
The band are currently working on new material whenever possible and intend to record and release a new album at some point in 2013.
And if you can’t wait until then, come and check out a show!
Peace and Love, Brothers and Sisters.