OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Bassist Marc van Wageningen spoke to KTVU for the first time on Tuesday, one day before he is set to perform at Yoshi’s in Oakland for the first time since a train accident nearly killed him.
Van Wageningen, known as Marc VW, said he feels at home behind a bass guitar and is excited for his returning performance Wednesday night. He noted that he has already crossed the train tracks a couple of times with his family about a month ago in the same area where he was hit to “get it out of his system.”
On Jan. 12, 2017, van Wageningen and Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi were hit by a train in Oakland as they were crossing Embarcadero before their scheduled performance at Yoshi’s. Marc was set to fill in with the band that night.
The 59-year-old spend two months in intensive care and continues to recover.
“I have to give credit to Highland Hospital because they literally saved my life,” van Wageningen said. “Apparently I was bleeding to death. They found the cause of it. It turned out to be my spleen, which was ruptured. It was just bleeding.”
He does not remember much from that night.
It has been a long road to recovery for van Wageningen and Garibaldi. Close friend and fellow musician Peter Michael Escovedo calls van Wageningen’s recovery miraculous.
“I would not call it anything else because nothing else makes sense for two people to get hit by a train and both survive,” Escovedo said.
Escovedo held a benefit concert for Marc VW a week after the accident and formed The Marc VW All Stars. The band recorded a CD called “Raise the Marc” to help cover the cost of medical bills. The group will perform for the songs on Wednesday night.
“It's a welcome back to Marc,” Escovedo said. “This is his first time playing these songs and its actually all of our first times playing together, and live, so it's going to be a special event.”
As for Tower of Power drummer, David Garibaldi, a message is posted on the Tower of Power website, announcing his official return to the band. Part of the message reads:
“The entire TOP Organization along with the Garibaldi and van Wageningen families wish to thank all of our fans and friends for the outpouring of love and support.”
Garibaldi and the band is currently on tour in Europe. Tower of Power will kick off their 50th anniversary tour in January 2018.
“We were friends before that, but the accident kind of bonded us for life,” van Wageningen said. “All I can say is thank you [to the fans]. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the thoughts and help for the both of us.”
The Marc VW All Stars is set to perform at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Tickets are still available here.