When Alabama’s Jeff Cook told the world about his multi-year battle with Parkinson’s disease on April 11, country music fans surrounded him with love and support.
However, that hasn’t always been the case.
In fact, in an interview with “The Tennessean,” Jeff’s fellow Alabama bandmates, Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry, spoke out about the misconceptions surrounding Jeff’s condition in the years when fans had no idea what he was secretly battling.
“That’s the part that hurts so bad, for people to think that he’s intoxicated or something,” Randy said in the heartfelt interview. “He’s not, and me and Teddy waited back … we wanted to say a lot of things to these people.”
“I did tell one guy one time it was none of his damn business,” Todd added. “I couldn’t help it.”
The signs of the disease began to show up in every day tasks for Jeff, including everything from having trouble fishing to difficulty playing his beloved guitar. “He wants us to go on,” Randy said.
“We want the music to go on. I’m going to be very honest. I don’t know if I have the fire. The only way I do, is knowing that Jeff is totally, ‘Go get it.’ Whenever he can come be there, he will,” Owen added. “And I think he will. I believe he will. I don’t see the future, but I feel the future.”
“If I’m healed overnight, I’ll be at the next show,” added Jeff. “I do believe in prayer and I’m not giving up.”