Former Rigor Mortis and current Warbeast vocalist Bruce Corbitt announced earlier this week that he will be retiring from performing after being diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He explained in detail on Facebook, “I was just told an ago I more than likely have stage 3 Esophagus cancer. Still a chance for stage 2. I get into more details on what that means and our plan of attack soon. But after much discussion with the doctors and specialist. ..they’ve told me there’s no chance within in any reasonable time that I’ll ever be able to perform again. So it breaks my heart at this time that I’m forced to announce my retirement from singing.”
A lot of people would stop fighting, but that’s not Bruce. After going through several treatments this week, he announced on Friday that the doctors agreed to allow him one final moment on stage, and it happened last night in Fort Worth, Texas.
As you’ll see in the video, and read in his statement below, it was an emotional, and truly inspiring moment for all of those in attendance. No one expected him to be able to perform like he did, but he absolutely killed it. For a final bow, it was perfect, and we wish him all the best as he continues to battle this cancer. Long live Batman!
Here’s what Bruce had to say on his final performance: “I want all of you to know that my love for all of you is bigger than the universe itself. Last night I felt that same type of love in return from all of you… and for the first time since this demon tumor awakened inside of me last weekend… I actually felt good again.”
“Honestly, when I was able to leave the Hospital at 2:30pm yesterday… I still felt so bad… that I wondered if this was a mistake to even try this. Then when I arrived…. No AC…. I can’t breathe right, I feel weaker than I ever have in my life, and I’m nauseous and dizzy. I honestly don’t think I will be able to pull this off. But nothing was going to stop me from at least trying…. figuring if I had to stop after a few lines… everyone would understand.”
“So I’m sitting on the side of the stage waiting for the time to come… and I realize again that this is the final time I’m going to do this. But also that this is the most important show of my life. Because just 2 days earlier I was doing radiation and there was no hope that they were going to release me to even attend the show. Then by some miracle… here I was at the club that I helped get going for their grand opening weekend, the club where I lost my best friend and the club where I married my best friend. I look into the crowd all my friends and family, some that rarely come to shows anymore. It was surreal…. All of their eyes were focused on me. I see they are so happy to see me out of the hospital, I see in their eyes that they are worried about me and I see they are all there to support my last hurrah. I have to fight from breaking down… and I’m more nervous that I’ve ever been…. And I realize this night means as much to them as it does to me. But still I’m doubting if I can do this… I felt so bad and kept getting weaker by the moment from the heat.”
“Then the time finally came… with the emotional words about me from my brother’s Scott Shelby and Thrashin’ Alan Tuggle… I heard a crowd roar for me like I have never heard before. I prepared myself in my stool right in the center of the stage. This was really it… this was really happening… this was really the end of 35 years of doing my dream. I noticed the smiles and the tears… I felt the emotion all come together at the same time.”
“Then I felt all of that emotion go inside of me…my spirits were lifted… and all the pain, weakness and shock of my week from Hell went away. Before we started the song… I got to speak to my metal family. It was then that I knew I could get through this. I was once again where I always felt the most comfortable…. I was where I loved to be more than anywhere else… I was on stage with my band. That is my world… that is who I am…and I was blessed to have this one last time to go out on my own terms.”
“Once the song started…. The crowd erupted… the pit got insane and once again I could see everyone was there to send me out the right way. My strength came back… I said to myself “fuck sitting in this chair!” Against doctors orders… I came to my feet…. And I tried to savor every second…. I looked into the eyes of everyone that was there. I wasn’t going to waste any of this final chance. Then I knew I was going to have to do more songs… I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. I noticed in my text that Ed Neal had made it there just in time. So I knew I had to sing “Hitchhiker”…which will be our new music video. Then I was really surprised to find out… my Mom was actually there watching this the entire time.”
“Then it was down to the last song in our set… “Centuries Of Poisoned Soil”. The song I wrote with my brother Philip Anselmo and the opening track of our new album. It then hit me… this wasn’t just my final song. This was the final song for the band Warbeast as a band. Yes they will play one more time without me on our CD Release Show in July 14th at this same venue. But this band of 11 years that I helped create was also sadly coming to an end because if this damn tumor. So the 5 of us pulled together one final time to put one of our best performances for any song we’ve done in the history of this band. It truly was mine and this band’s perfect ending.”
“Then after our set…. I was feeling so good that I surprisingly got to stay until it the entire show over. I hugged and got love from everyone. Thousands of pics were taken. Stories and memories were shared all night. I got to meet Max Cavalera….and he was so cool. I also couldn’t believe how appropriate it was that my final show was with 2 of my favorite bands… Goatwhore and Cattle Decapitation. I love Sammy and Ben from Goatwhore… and Travis from CD like my own brothers.”
“In fact I felt so good and like myself all night after I got on stage… that for those few hours I felt like there was nothing wrong with me. Maybe this was all it took to beat this cancer. But sadly, that hope faded away once it was over. I write this feeling like shit again… and knowing the real war starts this week. It really was the best night of my career… and not many can say that about their final performance. It was the perfect end of the end… and the start of a journey to a much better place.”
“So I want to thank all of you for taking all this pain and shock away last night. I titled this story with a line from a Beatles song… and I will end it with a couple more. I promise all of you that I will beat this cancer “with a little help from my friends”…. Because “all you need is love… love is all you need!” Batman Lives!”
For more information on how you can help out Bruce, click here!