News / Hot Issues / Accidents

James Lee Of Royal Pirates Laments Injuries That Nearly Cost Him His Life And Career

By Tamar Herman | January 08, 2016 11:24 AM EST

James Lee of Korean-American pop band Royal Pirates recently spoke about a life-changing injury.

On Jan. 6, Korea's Sport Donga published an interview featuring the band member, where Lee revealed that he nearly lost his life last June. Due to a serious injury, Lee lost the ability to play the bass guitar, which he played for more than a decade.

The interview was the first time James Lee revealed extensive details about his injury, which had been downplayed prior to the group's November comeback with "Run Away." Lee played the keyboard rather than the bass for that performance.

"I went to eat dinner with a friend at a restaurant in Seoul," James said. "I opened the door and looked around for my friend, who had arrived before me. Then the steel frame of the door and the glass wall crashed down on me. The glass fell on my head and the sharp frame crushed my left shoulder and wrist."

Lee said he lost conciousness and required an eight-hour surgery to reconnect his wrist. The doctors offered him the use of a prosthetic, due to intense pain from nerve damage if he didn't severe the wrist completely. However, James refused because it would mean he wouldn't be able to continue playing music.

Following the surgery, it became apparent that James couldn't play the bass. However, Royal Pirates' producer Jung Jae Yoon convinced Lee to take up the keyboard.

Lee described the pain from nerve damage being akin to a knife constantly cutting into his skin.

"I cannot forget the nightmare of that day," he said.

James has shared pictures of his injury and scars on Instagram, revealing the extent of his damages but showing an attitude of not giving up. He previously shared a picture of himself in hospital garb and described it as "hell." 

During the interview, James rolled a ball in his hand as a form of exercise to help him regain full use and feeling of the damage nerves.

The restaurant aimed to reach a settlement through a lawyer, but Royal Pirates agency refused and are starting legal proceedings.

"How can you compensate for the future of a musician who knows nothing except music?" an agency rep asked.

Royal Pirates is a Korean-American rock band that grew popular after posting K-pop covers on YouTube. The band made its last comeback in November with "Run Away." 

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Tamar Herman is a multi-media journalist and the co-founder of KultScene. She is a freelance writer and copy editor, and has written for MTV Iggy, Noisey, and Paste Magazine. 

Tagged :  Royal Pirates, james

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