Frightening Moment, as Stryper Guitarist, Oz Fox, Collapses on Las Vegas Stage

Frightening Moment, as Stryper Guitarist, Oz Fox, Collapses on Las Vegas Stage August 17, 2018

Ok. This one is hitting close to home, for me.

For those who haven’t seen me discuss this at any other point along the way, it always seem to leave a few shocked to learn that I am a devoted “headbanger.”

Back in the day, I was the front-of-the-stage, security barrier leaner, or the backstage dweller for bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Corrosion of Conformity, and a lot of others you may not have heard of.

I wrote for various heavy metal publications and kept the roads hot, traveling from one show to another, whether at arenas or those dark and smoky, hole-in-the-wall rock clubs (my favorites).

These days, I still love metal, but my listening habits are more focused on Christian metal.

*record scratch*

When I use that term, “Christian metal” it always gets a reaction.

The facts are, Christian metal is a thing, and has been for years. It’s the same as the traditional metal that most music aficionados are used to, except it is played by Christians, and quite often, the theme of the lyrics is Christian-focused.

Possibly the best known Christian metal band is Stryper.

They’ve been around since the 80s and are one of a few Christian bands to successfully crossover to the secular music market.

Tunes like “To Hell With the Devil,” “Honestly,” and “Soldiers Under Command” were in regular rotation on MTV, back when the “M” stood for “Music.”

I am a Stryper fan. I’m thrilled that Michael Sweet (lead vocals, guitar), Perry Richardson (bass), Oz Fox (guitar), and Robert Sweet (drums) are still out there, making music, and sounding as strong as ever.

The band took a 15 year break, from 1990, when they released the album, “Against the Law,” and reemerged in 2005, with the album, “Reborn.”

They’ve remained active since that time, releasing alums in 2009, 2011, two albums in 2013 (one of the alums, “Second Coming” was re-recordings of classic songs), 2015, and the latest album, “God Da*n Evil” (Don’t freak. It’s a play on words) was released this year.

They’ve also kept an active touring schedule, much to the delight of fans.

It was during a recent live show that tragedy struck the band.

While performing in Las Vegas, Nevada last Sunday, guitarist Oz Fox collapsed on stage and suffered a seizure. A CAT scan and MRI revealed two masses near his brain. One by his ear, and the other at the back of the head.

“After performing an MRI, doctors discovered an area of concern near his brain on which they will perform a biopsy. The doctors have instructed him not to drive or fly for 90 days,” the band said of the guitarist in an official statement.

As a result of the tumors and fears for his health, Fox will not be able to drive, fly, or perform for three months, as they determine the next steps.

Fox is married to Annie Lobert, the author and former sex worker who turned her life around and later formed the nonprofit group, Hookers for Jesus, aimed at rescuing women from the sex trade and bringing them Christ.

Giving an update on his GoFundMe page on Wednesday, Lobert wrote:

“The tumor by the ear is not as much concern as the one by the back of the right [side of the] brain. They are both inoperable,” she said, adding that the doctor recommended not removing them.

Fox was given two options: have a biopsy performed on the tumor located in the back of his head or wait it out.

“Please pray for this mass to NOT be cancerous, and that he will recover quickly!” Lobert wrote in the GoFundMe update. “Pray for the doctors’ hands to be steady and her mind to be sharp with wisdom and precision skill.”

“We don’t want to be in fear … we believe that God has a plan for this even though this is a serious and life altering trial!” the post continued.

I can’t think of a more positive way to approach what is surely a punch in the gut.

“The important thing right now is Oz’s health and well-being. Please continue to pray for him at this time. Pray for Annie and his family as well,” bandmate Michael Sweet wrote on Facebook Tuesday.

I agree. Pray for Oz Fox, his family, and his friends and bandmates, as well.

And if you feel so inclined, visit his GoFundMe page to help with the mounting medical bills, as it appears some of the care he needs is not covered by the insurance he has.

(No, I don’t know if he’s on Obamacare.)

You can find the link to his GoFundMe page here.

Prayers for health, strength, and peace are going up.

Hang in there, Oz.

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  • loveandcommonsense

    I’ve met a couple of those guys. Nice down to earth folks. Prayers for Oz Fox and his family.

  • Polarbearpapa

    “Please pray for this mass to NOT be cancerous, and that he will recover quickly!” Lobert wrote in the GoFundMe update. “Pray for the doctors’ hands to be steady and her mind to be sharp with wisdom and precision skill.”

    “We don’t want to be in fear … we believe that God has a plan for this even though this is a serious and life altering trial!”

    My wife and I agree in Jesus name…

    And as Christian’s we know that…” 15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,

    16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

    22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

    His name is above every name that is named..it is above these growths that have invaded his body ..and we declare healing over him ..In the Mighty name of Jesus…

  • Cousin_Ken

    Prayers for Oz Fox health and the better world to come.