Zombies tunes prove therapeutic for stroke survivor


Steve Cammett, 63, traveled from Atlanta to hear The Zombies perform at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Unlike many of those present, however, Cammett’s interest in the popular 1960s band only began in earnest within the past year.

About six months ago, Cammett was assisting his 37-year-old son-in-law, Chuck, with physical therapy related to the effects of a massive stroke he suffered in 2013.

“Chuck’s physical therapist would often use music during his therapy,” Cammett said. “During one session, I noticed Chuck was having trouble holding his head up and so I said, ‘Come on Chuck, do you know that (Argent) song ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and sang a bit of it for him.”

Cammett showed his son-in-law a YouTube video of the song, which led him to discover that Argent founder, Rod Argent, was also a founding member of The Zombies. He soon began watching YouTube videos of Zombies performances and immersing himself in the band’s recordings, including the now-classic “Odessey & Oracle,” which Rolling Stone named one of the Top 100 albums of all time.

“I became obsessed,” Cammett said. “I started playing Zombies songs and I’d say, ‘Listen to this guy’s voice!’”

About a month later, Cammett was amazed when his son-in-law, who had been struggling with his speech, suddenly began singing The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” virtually word for word after hearing the song only once.

“There’s something about singing,” Cammett noted. “You use your voice differently than you do when you speak,” he said.

Cammett has also used videos of Rod Argent playing keyboard as a motivator for his son-in-law, who has partial use of his right arm.

“I noticed that on his keyboard solos, Rod often plays with just his right hand,” he said. “So I jokingly tell Chuck, ‘There’s no reason you can’t learn to play that solo as well as Rod can!”

While Chuck was unable to make the trip to see The Zombies in person, Cammett recorded several of the band’s songs on his cellphone to share with him upon his return to Atlanta.

“After everything Chuck’s been through, hearing The Zombies sing ‘Hold Your Head Up’ and ‘She’s Not There’ just has so much meaning for me,” he said. “I can’t wait to get home and play these clips for him.”