Report: Rock musician Jesse Malin is paralyzed from the waist down after spinal stroke

Jesse Malin is posing for a closeup photo wearing a gray top with his bangs flowing down his face.
Rock musician Jesse Malin is known for his energetic performances where he leaps from the stage and performs among the audience.
(Jim Cooper / Associated Press)

Rock musician Jesse Malin, who is best known for leading hardcore and punk bands in the 1980s and ‘90s, suffered a rare spinal stroke earlier this year, causing him to be paralyzed from the waist down, according to a report.

While out to dinner with friends on May 4 at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village, Malin suddenly collapsed to the floor, according to Rolling Stone. The group was commemorating the one-year anniversary of the death of Malin’s best friend and former D Generation bandmate Howie Pyro.

Malin was hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital where he learned that he suffered a spinal cord infarction — a rare disorder when the main arteries supplying the spine with blood close off — affecting the use of his legs. After two weeks of undergoing spinal tests at Mount Sinai, he was transferred to a neurological care center at NYU Langone Hospital where he continues to recover, according to a fundraiser set up in his name, adding that the condition is inoperable.


Jesse Malin is not what he once was.

March 8, 2003

“This is the hardest six weeks that I’ve ever had,” he told Rolling Stone in a phone call from the rehab center. Malin announced his diagnosis with a screenshot of the Rolling Stone story onto his Instagram account Wednesday morning.

“I’m told that they don’t really understand it, and they’re not sure of the chances,” he continued. “The reports from the doctors have been tough, and there’s moments in the day where you want to cry, and where you’re scared. But I keep saying to myself that I can make this happen. I can recover my body.”

Malin is known for his energetic performances, during which he often jumps down from the stage to perform among the audience. Setting the tone for such raucous performances, Malin, as a teenager, crowd-surfed during the “Saturday Night Live” set of the band Fear, who were invited by comedian John Belushi. The performance prompted a mosh pit among the audience, which included Malinand led to the crowd breaking production equipment and someone throwing a pumpkin at a show producer. The band was later banned from performing at the sketch comedy show.

Jesse Malin strutting on stage with a microphone in his hand while wearing a black leather jacket and hat.
Jesse Malin performing benefit concert in New York in 2014.
(Stephen Chernin / Invision / Associated Press)

Malin became the lead vocalist for punk rock band D Generation throughout the 1990s. After going solo in 1999, Malin started recording and performing folk-rock, which The Times once described as “somewhere between Paul Westerberg and early Bruce Springsteen.” His most recent success has come as a songwriter, co-writing with Lucinda Williams a sorrowful ballad to a New York of the past, “New York Comeback,” which charted at No. 1 on the Americana Music Association singles chart.

In his interview with Rolling Stone, Malin called his rehabilitation “very humbling,” though he remained hopeful that he would eventually regain use of his legs.


“Even though I really believe it’s a temporary state, I’m not going to walk out of here tomorrow with a leather jacket and a cane and go hang out at the bar,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of being in a wheelchair.”