Tim Page: How I lost my fear of death

Tim Page: How I lost my fear of death


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2016

Our good friend Tim, America’s premier music critic, has described on Slipped Disc how he was struck down by a brain injury on a railway platform last summer, and his subsequent struggle to recover.

In an extended new interview on NPR he relates how the incident has changed his attitude to life – and to music.


[Music] requires intense concentration now, whereas for years it was something I could listen to but I could also do other things. Back in the day I never had any trouble multitasking. These days, I have a fair amount of trouble even uni-tasking. I’m finding myself often with my eyes shut listening to music that I know a little bit but not that well and becoming profoundly interested in where it will go. It’s kind of a way of putting the world together. It reminds me of when I was a boy and wandering in the woods and finding a road and then finding a path and then a road and finding, eventually, my way home.

Classic Tim. Read on here.

tim page

And here.


  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    A beautiful story of survival post-trauma, and re-evaluating life. Tim, I’ve known you for over thirty five years. You even reviewed me in the past. I will honestly say that I used to be fearful of how you would review! You were that good! You had wide open ears and a brain that took it all in and spilled it all out like a spot-on genius. I think you still own that genius, only in a reflective way now, taking in everything one matter at a time, savoring one thing at a time. There’s nothing wrong with that. If anything, you are probably a wiser person now and see things differently, which makes you a finer human being than ever before. I wish you a long life, and hope you will realise some of those left-over tasks you’ve wanted to do which will bring you and others joy.

  • PaulD says:

    Great to hear that his spirits are good, and he is recovering. He was a great critic for the Washington Post, and was sorely missed when he left.

  • Robert von Bahr says:

    May I differ completely? A music critic worth his salt cannot multitask, and I am horrified to read that one sentence.
    Unless he is one of the very few persons that can write one letter while dictating a completely different one, it is impossible to really listen to a performance with a view to review it, while doing something else at the same time, unless it is something totally automatic. It shows a total disrespect for the artists, the music and the producer. A reviewer can have a very big impact on the future of a record and, indeed, the artist(s). The very least one can expect and demand from a reviewer with that kind of influence is a total concentration on the task at hand, not having the record on in the background while reading the newspaper or washing the dishes.

    Having said that, I wish him the best of recovery.

    Robert von Bahr, CEO, BIS Records, Sweden