The leader of the Brazilian gang Paralamas was piloting a plane that suffered an accident. His wife passed away and he was prostrated. How he played again.
On February 4, 2001, the ultralight plane piloted by Herbert Vianna fell into the sea in Angra dos Reis. His wife died on the spot and he was hospitalized for 44 days, most of them in a coma, with little chance of survival. But he woke up and, although his body was paralyzed from the waist down, he was able to play again and he became an example of resilience.
The leader of the Paralamas had met British journalist Lucy Needham when she had traveled to Brazil to interview him for a documentary. They married and had three children: Luca, Hope and Phoebe. The family was broken by the tragedy. But, when there was little hope that he would survive the accident, he woke up: the news traveled the world and there was talk of a miracle.
“Mine is one more of the cases that defies practical logic. There is the possibility that such cases will be resolved by the energetic force of many people who want the cure and recovery of the patient. But I do not affirm. It is not a convincing explanation: otherwise, Ayrton Senna would also have been saved from a total coma ”, declared the singer and guitarist shortly after his incredible recovery.
Damage to his spinal cord condemned him to use a wheelchair. But at first, Vianna also suffered from amnesia and other brain mishaps. “When I started to wake up I only spoke in English and my father and brother had a hard time convincing me to speak Portuguese. This is how I communicated with my older children, Luca and Hope, who speak it perfectly for their mother and their English relatives, ”he said.
One of the puzzling consequences of her awakening was that she ignored her youngest daughter. “When Phoebe came with them to visit me, I didn’t remember who she was. I said ‘who is Luca and Hope’s little friend?’ And at that moment, God and the angels will know why, I started talking to her in Spanish. She had no reason, because the little girl did not speak Spanish. I would explain it in emotional terms. “
Despite his optimistic and positive spirit, his blame for Lucy’s death, since he was the pilot of the plane at the time it fell into the sea, haunted him for quite some time. Even, Vianna turned to mediums to try to communicate with her dead wife and that she forgive him from beyond.
“It occurred to me to try to know how she was,” confessed the author of Flooded. “Before the accident, I was already going to spiritual centers to find out what to do in the future. Something very Brazilian. So I saw people of absolute trust, who told me to let her go on her way and dedicate myself to taking care of my life, my three children and my music.
Vianna was reluctant to undertake prolonged psychological treatment to deal with the trauma of the tragedy. She went to a specialist’s office for a year and a half, but was not satisfied with the results and she dropped out. “It was getting me nowhere. What I needed was to sit on the terrace of my house and play my music. Why my musical memory was hardly damaged”.
In fact, now he plays sitting in the wheelchair. He even says that he found a positive aspect to the new position that he had to adopt by force. “At first,” he said, “it made me very nervous, because I knew that I could not express myself naturally as before, with so many movements, jumps, sweat. Now I discovered the advantage of sitting down ”.
And this is how he described the benefits: “It is a position that gives me the best balance of sound I have ever had in my life, and that allows me the maximum possible strength. And above all, look at people’s eyes and the expressions on their faces when listening to the songs that I wrote during all these years. Seeing the force with which they sing together, with which they indulge in the melodies, makes me better than medicine and physiotherapy. It is a heavenly drug ”.
Many of the lyrics in his compositions after the death of his wife reflect his sadness at the event. It begins so 2 A, the opening song of Today, the first post accident album: My destiny does not leave me in peace / of heart, I do not know if I can love / I loved so much so long ago / But I suffered, I cried, I got tired of crying / I do not know if it is the end, but a light of life still shines on me / For a princess I gave my heart / She made me laugh, sing, dream …
At 59 years old, Vianna continues to be a model of improvement. AND He continues to be active with Paralamas, along with his longtime companions, Bi Ribeiro and Joao Barone. Although her latest album,. Brazil Afora, dating from 2009, the trio continues to play. Their last presentation took place on August 29, at a concert on their YouTube channel in which they reviewed classics of the group.
The band knew how to have enormous popularity in Argentina during the ’90s. “Our hearts are broken: we are half Brazilian and half Buenos Aires, che”, joked the singer. Not in vain, once the Paralamas were called “the best Brazilian national rock band.”
Friends of Charly García, Sumo, Soda Stereo, Los Pericos, one of his biggest hits, Track Track, is from another of his fellow travelers, Fito Páez. They recorded an album in Spanish and several national rock hits in Portuguese, such as Friday 3 AM (Serú Girán), Stand up and watch (Los Pericos) and Light music (Soda Stereo).
Vianna, who also recorded four albums as a soloist, named her first child in homage to Luca Prodan: “I was looking for a name that had the same pronunciation in Brazil and England, because Lucy, my wife, was English. And Luca appeared, a name that occurred to me because of my enthusiasm for Sumo ”.