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Liver Transplant Needed for Former Canned Heat, John Mayall Guitarist Walter Trout

Walter Trout
Jo Hale, Getty Images

Walter Trout, a respected solo bluesman who also had stints with Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, needs his fans’ help to receive an urgently needed liver transplant. The guitarist has been hospitalized for several weeks, the culmination of a lengthy battle with liver disease.

Trout continued to tour until recently, and even released an album last summer titled ‘Luther’s Blues,’ when it appeared that treatments might reverse his medical issue. But then Trout took a turn for the worse, and since then he has been in and out of intensive care at UCLA – one of the nation’s most respected facilities for liver transplants. Doctors now say Trout, who is noticeably thinner in recent photos, has an excellent prognosis should surgery take place in the next three months.

Insurance, however, isn’t covering the cost of his medical expenses. Fans have been donating via a new YouCaring fundraising campaign for Trout. A message there says: “His liver has failed and doctors say his survival depends on receiving a transplant. The medical expenses are going to be immense. Walter will need to cancel much of the tour planned for 2014, leaving him and his family with little income.”

Trout was a member of Woodstock veterans Canned Heat, best known for their 1968 hit ‘Going Up the Country,’ from 1981–85. A stint followed with the Bluesbreakers, putting Trout in line with a string of famous Mayall guitarists that includes Eric Clapton, future Fleetwood Mac star Peter Green and Mick Taylor of early-1970s Rolling Stones fame, among others.

“Walter has lost a hundred pounds and most of his muscle tissue in the past year, and suffered much pain,” Trouts wife Marie says. “It has been heart wrenching to watch him go through this. He has reached the point where he is too sick to stand up or even hold a guitar.”

Next: Top 10 Woodstock Performances

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