On Wednesday, February 16, Nevermore bassist Jim Sheppard reportedly underwent brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. While benign tumors are generally non-cancerous, they can still cause major damage such as compressed brain tissue. In addition, Sheppard has previously battled Crohn’s Disease, which forced him to miss a handful of shows back in 2006 to undergo surgery. However, according to a post made by Nevermore on their Facebook fan page, Sheppard “made it through the surgery and is in the recovery room already cracking jokes.”
However, while it would appear that Sheppard is already starting to recover well, his status in the band is currently uncertain. As metalsucks.net points out, Sheppard was absent from Nevermore’s set during the 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise, though he performed with Sanctuary (singer Warrel Dane, guitarist Jeff Loomis and Sheppard’s band pre-Nevermore) on the same cruise. Reportedly filling in for Sheppard during Nevermore’s 70,000 Tons Of Metal Cruise set (as well as other shows late last year apparently) was Dagna Silesia, bassist for Warrel Dane’s solo band. It is quite possible that Sheppard at the time was simply not healthy enough to pull two band sets at the time, and he simply didn’t want to miss out on Sanctuary’s “reunion show.” We will keep you posted when more is revealed, and our best wishes go out to Sheppard. Hopefully he will make a full recovery soon.