Bassist Billy Sheehan has confirmed that he was unable to join his SONS OF APOLLO bandmates on their South American tour in August due to the fact that he is unvaccinated against COVID-19. His replacement on the trek was ANGRA's Felipe Andreoli.
Sheehan discussed his absence from the SONS OF APOLLO South American tour during an appearance earlier today on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". Asked why he couldn't make the dates, the 69-year-old bassist responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "It was a vaccine thing. I didn't have proof, and I needed a… There was a situation in my family with a particular affliction, and I'd rather not get into that, if you don't mind. But I was advised to avoid this particular procedure, so I did. It was a tough decision, and I wish I could have been out with them. But it's a wild world, for sure, out there now."
He continued: "When it went down, I posted some photos of me getting vaccinated in Germany before we went to India [in 2009] with MR. BIG; I was required to have [vaccinations for] cholera, yellow fever and something else. I'm not against vaccinations, but this particular one triggers a particular syndrome that does run in my family, and I was advised against it. And also, I played by the rules. I stayed indoors. I wore the mask all the time. I played by the rules as best I could, stayed away from people and I do my best to ensure the health of people around me. But that's the way it goes. And I respect everyone's decision to do what they do. And I think now, as time is going on, we're seeing that some of the protocols that were enforced strongly weren't absolutely necessary. So I think people are lightening up on it, and I'm glad to see that. I'm glad to see we're mostly over it, for the sake of everyone's health, and for the sake of everyone's mental health too, because it has been tough."
According to Medical News Today, "there are very few medical reasons not to get a COVID-19 vaccine. They include a history of severe allergic reactions, pericarditis, or endocarditis following a prior COVID-19 vaccine.
"People considering a COVID-19 vaccine may worry about complications and side effects. Yet for almost all individuals, the known risks of getting COVID-19 far outweigh any potential risks of the COVID-19 vaccine."
Sheehan is an avowed member of the Church Of Scientology, which does not have an official position on vaccines, according to Time magazine. However, the church emphasizes the "harmful effects of drugs, toxins and other chemicals that lodge in the body and create a biochemical barrier to spiritual well-being," according to its web site.
According to the official web site of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil, proof of vaccine is required for most travelers to Brazil.
In addition to Sheehan, SONS OF APOLLO features former DREAM THEATER members Mike Portnoy (drums) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards),Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal (guitar; ex-GUNS N' ROSES) and Jeff Scott Soto (vocals; ex-JOURNEY, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN'S RISING FORCE).
SONS OF APOLLO' second studio album, "MMXX" (pronounced: 20/20),was released in January 2020 via InsideOut Music/Sony.