Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan thinks he contracted COVID-19 in Australia and we think we’ve figured out when this happened.
The musician sat down recently with The Joe Rogan Experience podcast where he confirmed that he got coronavirus whilst touring Australia and New Zealand in late February.
“I’m in Australia, we went out to dinner and immediately food didn’t taste right, but this is now, this is all hindsight, right – I didn’t know at the time,” Keenan mused. “We didn’t know that these are the things you’re looking for, like immediately…I had to get on an international flight the next morning, fly to New Zealand.”
He continued, “So we got there, I was, like, four days in the hotel, ’cause we have four days off before the shows.”
“So I was just drinking water, hot showers, taking care of myself, hot tea, just trying to get through it and it sucked. But you didn’t know yet how bad this thing could have been. If I’d have known how bad it could have been, I would have been freaking out.”
We’ve done some sleuthing and think we’ve worked out just when poor Keenan contracted the deadly virus.
Tool’s first Oceania show of 2020 took place in Perth on Valentine’s Day (we can think of no better soundtrack to that romantic day), February 14th.
Three days later, on February 17th, the band played the Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney. They performed at the same venue again the following night, giving Sydney folk a double opportunity to see them.
The Entertainment Centre in Brisbane was their next stop on February 20th. Their final two Australian gigs were in Melbourne, on February 22nd and 23rd at Rod Laver Arena.
Before returning to the U.S., Keenan and co. flew to New Zealand to play Auckland’s Spark Arena on February 28th.
In total, Tool were in the the two countries about two weeks. We know that coronavirus symptoms usually take five to six days to show symptoms but it can often take 14 days for them to show.
As Keenan informed Rogan, he really noticed the deterioration in his taste (a key sign of coronavirus) the night before his flight to Auckland, February 27th.
Working backwards, then, Keenan could first have been infected with the virus from the very start of his Australia trip, while in Perth. More likely though, as loss of taste is a more sudden symptom, we’re putting the location of Keenan getting the virus in Melbourne instead, five days prior to when he first noticed an issue at the restaurant.
The band had to play a reduced set in Auckland due to Keenan’s ill-health but fair play for powering through. What’s wild is that New Zealand’s first confirmed case was actually on February 28th, a woman in her 60s who had recently visited Iran. Can you imagine if Maynard James Keenan of Tool had been patient zero instead? Wild.
We’ll leave the last word to the metal icon as he told Rogan about the incredible reactions some had to his diagnosis: “Maybe I didn’t almost die, but I have friends who almost died. It was ugly. And then you have people going — apparently I’m being paid to say this. Eat a dick, dude.” Indeed.