“I go into days where I go into funks… and the pain gets so bad. I go and I grab my guitar and I can put an old CD on and just jam along with it, and I just zone out and go into another world. And pain, pain goes away,” says Tom Urbanski.
Urbanski was shot four times while working as a bouncer outside Minxx strip club on the early morning of Feb. 19, 2007. The former pro wrestler and life-long guitarist was paralyzed from the waist down.
“Music is everything to me. The night I got shot I knew I was paralyzed… My first thought was I’m not gonna walk again. My second thought was I’m not gonna be able to play guitar or hug my wife again, either.”
But Urbanski regained the use of his arms. And last weekend he played guitar on a Downtown Las Vegas stage, as part of his classic rock cover band, Four Bullets Later.
It was the realization of a dream he’d had since the shooting.
On Saturday night the crowd of longtime friends and bar-goers rocked with the band to hits from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s at Hogs and Heifer’s Saloon. And there was an air of encouragement and excitement to see Urbanski on the stage performing again, and loving it.
In addition to Urbanski, the band is Las Vegans EB Gearhart on bass and vocals, EL Rundus on rhythm guitar and vocals and Jeff Weikel on drums. Four Bullets Later will take the stage again this weekend, in addition to Stickman Shadow, for the Downtown bar’s 5th Annual Hog Wild for Kids charity event benefiting Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation and Camp Cartwheel.
Related stories on Tom Urbanski from the Las Vegas Sun.