Toots Returns Home For Tests Today -Head Injury Halts US Acoustic Tour

THE HEAD injury that Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert, who performs as Toots & the Maytals, suffered just over a week ago is affecting him more severely than it initially appeared. Hibbert has cut an acoustic tour of the United States (US) short and will return to Jamaica today for tests.

The tour started in New York a day after he was hit by a bottle flung by a patron at the Dominion Riverrock Outdoor Sports and Music Festival in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, May 18. It was slated to run until June 2.

A release from Hibbert’s management team said “Toots & the Maytals’ Toots Hibbert is reluc-tantly cancelling the balance of his US acoustic concert tour due to continuing medical issues stemming from the bottle-throwing incident on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at the Riverrock Concert in Richmond, Virginia, when he was struck in the head by a large vodka bottle thrown at him by an audience member while performing.

The blow to his head necessitated him being rushed to a local hospital for initial evaluation and treatment. Since that time, Toots has sought additional medical treatment while trying to complete his tour, given his medical condition.”

After the incident, Hibbert was treated at the VCU Medical Centre in Richmond.

The Gleaner reported last week Monday that Hibbert had started the acoustic tour and was at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Centre. He was then reported to be handling the incident, “taking it in good stride – as best as one can handle such a thing”. William C. Lewis, a 19-year-old of Henrico, Virginia, was charged with aggravated assault and public intoxication in relation to the incident.

There are intentions to honour the dates which Hibbert has had to miss, although a definite date cannot be set. The release said “All the concerts on this tour which have been cancelled will be rescheduled for later in the year after Toots has been given a clean bill of health from his doctors.”

Before this cancellation, there had already been plans for a second part of the acoustic tour. Hibbert is slated to perform in the US and Europe with his son Hopeton on bass, a pair of harmony vocalists and a percussionist.

The release ended with Hibbert expressing his disappointment. It read: “Toots regrets having to disappoint any of his fans but this serious head injury requires that he return home to attend to his medical issues.” He also spoke of his appreciation for the support he has been receiving from fans.

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