Amputee drummer, Vinnie gets a 'leg up' from music mates

News 22/09/2017

Vinnie Buchanan was the go-to drummer for some of New Zealand's most successful bands - but he's had to give it all up, after becoming an amputee seven months ago.

In February, he got out of bed and discovered he couldn't walk.   

"This leg didn't function anymore and I toppled over and hit my head on the wall, and knocked myself out," he told Newshub.

When he woke in hospital, he was surprised when a doctor asked him, "How's your stump?"

"It was a day later that I put my hand down there and realised that he wasn't just saying something - and it was gone. Shit!" 

A disease called cellulitis had claimed his leg, meaning traditional drums were now impossible.

The legendary drummer got his break with The Legionnaires in 1983, then became the go-to guy for many of New Zealand's most successful bands.

Now his old bandmates have rallied together to help, organising a fundraising concert this Sunday at Auckland's Kings Arms. 

Twelve acts, including The Gunsmiths and Midge Marsden, are hoping to raise enough money to buy Vinnie a more comfortable and electric wheelchair.  

"I'm just really, really pleased I got taken care of," Buchanan said.

The gig also means he gets to catch up with his friends and play old tour-bus games, something he's looking forward to.