JOURNEY drummer Deen Castronovo will undergo spinal surgery for herniated discs later this week.
On Tuesday, Deen took to his Instagram to write: "Hey all! September 23rd is the day I'm FINALLY getting surgery on my back! L-4 & L-5 discs are herniated! Grateful I could get it done with ample time to recover before JOURNEY's [Las Vegas] Residencies in December! Say some prayers!"
Castronovo officially returned to JOURNEY in July and is now sharing the drum duties in the band with Narada Michael Walden. Walden, bassist Randy Jackson and keyboardist/backing singer Jason Derlatka all joined JOURNEY last year following the band's acrimonious split with drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory.
This past March, Castronovo revealed that he was on opiates for over a year while waiting to get his back surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 57-year-old musician, who had been sober for nearly five years after being fired from JOURNEY, shared his ordeal in an Instagram post. He wrote: "Opiates are evil and the withdrawals are murder."
Deen was dismissed from JOURNEY in 2015 following years of alcohol and drug abuse that led to him being sentenced to four years' probation for a variety of charges involving his now-wife (including physical abuse, coercion, and unlawful use of a weapon).
Castronovo had been arrested after a 24-day methamphetamine binge, and later publicly accepted responsibility for his actions, saying, "Domestic violence is a choice."
In a 2016 interview with Ultimate Classic Rock, Deen said that his heart sinks when he hears of musicians' deaths as the result of drug addiction.
"Every time I see one of those, the first thing that comes to mind is, 'That could have been me,'" he said. "The way I was using and drinking would have killed a rhinoceros.
"It hurts — you see these guys and they're so talented. It could be me. The next time, it will be me. If I do this again, it's just a matter of time. I've done the jail, I've done the institutions. What's next?"
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