Exclusive interview with Fran Cosmo, former lead singer of the legendary band BOSTON. AMFM finds out why he’s so passionate about organ donation.
AMFM: We’re so glad that you’re coming to Austin, thank you for coming to sing for Tammy Miranda. There are a lot of people looking forward to this. A lot of bands are dependent on her for their income, she books between 55-60 shows per week for them.
FRAN: Yes she’s a good person, a pleasure doing it.
AMFM: What I heard is that your brother is the recipient of an organ transplant.
FRAN: Yes, a double lung transplant.
AMFM: Wow I didn’t even know you could do that.
FRAN: Me neither, it’s almost like a miracle. Ralph was getting so bad, five years straight of suffering. He had no donor and we didn’t even know if he could get on a list in time. There were so many last minute things. He couldn’t even walk 10 feet or eat dinner without getting out of breath.
All of a sudden they called and said your lungs are here, you have to get to the hospital right away. So he drove to NYC, they did it, and he had a couple of little complications after that. but After 8 weeks he was walking around, eating three meals a day, and he was laughing with his family.
AMFM: How long ago was that?
FRAN: Just recently, only been out about 14 weeks or so.
AMFM: That’s amazing, how old is he?
FRAN: He’s 60
AMFM: Why did he need a lung transplant?
FRAN: He’s been a musician with me for years. He played with me since he was 12 years old. He quit music, had another job, sandblasting, and they think that’s where it came from. It started affecting his lungs and he couldn’t breathe, they gave him only one more month to live.
AMFM: I am shocked, double lung transplant, this is a very complicated procedure.
FRAN: You have to understand, the heart is out the lungs are out, everything’s disconnected. To me it’s a miracle. He’s on rejection pills but he’s fine, he was just out at the restaurant with his wife last night.
AMFM: Any pain?
FRAN: No, he’s fine, he walks two miles a night. It’s a miracle, amazing. They wanted me to sing a benefit for the hospital to raise money, so I want to get Ralph, my brother to play drums with me on “Living For You,” a song I recorded for the “Walk On” record with Boston. From one month to live to the stage with me playing the drums, can you believe it?
AMFM: What hospital?
FRAN: New York Presbyterian.
AMFM: Was his process easier than Tammy’s dilemma or was he caught in the same Catch 22 – makes too much money for medicaid and can’t buy insurance because of the label “catastrophic?”
FRAN: No he had insurance. He’s lucky. That part worked out well for Ralph. I went to see him for the first time last week because he was allowed no visitors for awhile. I was in awe, he’s gained weight back and he’s running around the house all excited, his color is back, he’s pink, and his weight is back, so excited. No pain, and his breathing is fine. He has a whole new respect for life all due to the transplant.
AMFM: So you have a close personal connection with donor awareness.
FRAN: To be honest, I didn’t know what to think about organ donation. I never gave it much thought, but since Ralph, it’s become a major thing in my mind, it hit me very, very hard.
Nowadays, the younger people donate their organs because they think it’s the right thing to do. His lungs came from a younger person, you understand. It’s something you never think about, but all of a sudden, wow. To be an organ donor, It’s a magical thing to do for each other.
AMFM: So what projects do you have coming up?
FRAN: I have a brand new record that will be released worldwide in the winter, my first solo album and it will be coming out on Frontiers Records. They just did Journey’s new record, Yes’s new record, and Whitesnake. Frontiers is distributed through EMI in America and Europe. They’re doing a video for me out in LA. I don’t have the title yet, because I’ll have to see which song I like best. I just got started, the record producer’s coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m very excited about it.
AMFM: After that are you going on tour?
FRAN: A couple of record release parties, one in Boston, one in Minnesota, and also Europe…not sure what part yet. I”m looking forward to that. There are many fans waiting for this, I get emails all the time about it. After singing in Boston for 20 years, and being out of it for about five years now, it’s time.
You know what’s really weird? I just found out they’re still playing my hit song “So You Ran” in Europe, from 1984. We were Orion the Hunter then. They’re still playing it in Europe, and they just re-released it. Can you believe it?
But let’s talk about Tammy, I don’t want to overshadow what I am coming to Austin for. It’s very important that she does well, it’s more important than anything right now for her.
AMFM: Right! It’s going to be at a brand new venue, called the Stage on 6th. I heard there’s going to be a great silent auction too. We’ll see you there. Thanks Fran.
For more information or to buy tickets, go to TEAM TAMMY MIRANDA