Gabe Rodreick rises above spinal cord injury to continue writing music

treading north 560.jpg
Rodreick is the band's lead singer, and writes most of the music.
Treading North frontman Gabe Rodreick has been making music nearly all his life. When he was a sophomore in high school, having played piano since age 5, Rodreick was accepted to the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley. But the summer before his junior year began, Rodreick traveled to Costa Rica for an exchange program, and suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while body surfing at Manuel Antonio National Park.

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Rodreick is now quadriplegic; his story is the inspiration for a bill introduced to the Legislature this week that would appropriate $4 million a year toward curative spinal cord research.

Though the injury put an end to Rodreick's piano playing, the 20-year-old recently found a way to get back into music by starting Treading North. Rodreick is the band's singer, and he writes the majority of its music and lyrics.

Check them out:

Here's another performance, from the band's show at the Fine Line last month:

The title of this week's cover story, "Stalking the Blue Demon," is a reference to one of Rodreick's songs. He wrote it about his accident, he explains, and his desire to get back to his old self.

An excerpt:

blue demon paces/ patiently awaiting my return/ the pain is endless/ cry out as i yearn/ pain becomes silence/ darkness consumes my life/ like a rabid dog behind a junkyard gate/ the demon persists in strife

i wait for him/ i stay for him/ left me behind/ i'll change for him / i'll take for him/ in my own mind/ my past it haunts me on my heels/ while i wait for a future revealed

"It feels really good to be doing music again," Gabe told us. "Because for the last four years, I didn't know what I was doing."



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