At 71, Pepe Smith’s health is bound to deteriorate as is the natural course of life—but not without the living legend giving it a fight.
After having a stroke in 2015—which cost him the ability to speak, along with losing several endorsement contracts—the rock star recently required an eye surgery due to cataracts in its advanced stage. Before Christmas arrived, Pepe traveled to San Fernando, Pampanga to consult with an ophthalmologist, who urged him to undergo the process right then and there.
“The doctor said Pepe could go blind if untreated and got the rocker to agree to a surgery that same day,” wrote Pocholo Concepcion, who escorted his good friend Pepe that day, as told in his story for Inquirer.net [READ: Eye operation as rock opera: Led Zep plays as Pepe Smith goes under the knife].
Fortunately, the surgery was a success, and this was, for the most part, due to the eye doctor’s special treat for Pepe before and during the grueling procedure.
As Pepe was being treated, Concepcion revealed that the ophthalmologist‘s “driving music” played in the background, —a playlist consisting mostly of Led Zeppelin hits instantly recognized by his patient—all to help put the rockstar at ease.
“I cringed at the sight of the doctor’s instruments scraping off what looked like white scales from Pepe’s eyes. The music helped ease my own tension: another Led Zep track, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.
“Toward the end of the 20-minute operation, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” played and Pepe muttered that he again knew who was performing. Smiling, [the doctor] sang to the lyrics of the song that somehow expressed how the pain that Pepe felt was slowly melting away,” shared Concepcion.
Overall, the experience was worth it for Pepe—he had not only gotten rid of an eye problem, but lost himself to good music as well, just like the old times.