Yo La Tengo’s Hanukkah shows are often a highlight of the live music calendar, with special guests and unexpected covers now a firm tradition of the season. The shows take place at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, which has come to feel like a second home to the band members over the years.
But it appears this year’s stint at the venue came under serious threat, as Ira Kaplan has left a message on the yo La Tengo website about a “pretty serious helath scare” he suffered earlier this month. Here’s the full statement:
Hi everybody, especially those of you with tickets to next week’s shows,
We strive to make our Hanukkah shows unpredictable, and in one unfortunate regard we’ve outdone ourselves this year. I’m going to be a little vague here, but I had a pretty serious health scare earlier this month. I’m well on the way to recovery, but I’ve not yet been deemed ready to Rock. The good news is . . . well, the good news is I’m on the way to recovery . . . but vis-à-vis next week, the good news is that I’ve been deemed ready to sit in a chair and play the concerts that mean more to me, Georgia and James than most anything else we do together. Our sets will undoubtedly be tweaked accordingly. In other words, if you were hoping to be in attendance for our annual airing of “Mushroom Cloud of Hiss,” I’m afraid that is now zooming up the Unlikely chart with a bullet. But we’re confident that it’s going to be a great eight days. We’re looking forward to seeing you all, and to not answering any questions about what happened to me!
As long as I’ve got your attention, I’ll let you know about one other change this year. We’ve filled the walls of Maxwell’s front room with a bunch of posters and other ephemera from our various closets. Some of it will be for sale (all proceeds to charity) and all of it will hopefully be entertaining.
Hanukkahly yours, Ira
Let’s hope Ira makes a speedy recovery over the holidays.