Standing on His Own
Innervisions was released in the summer of 1973. Stevie toured to promote the album. On August 6, Stevie slept in the passenger's seat while his cousin, John Harris, drove their car from Greenville, South Carolina, to Durham, North Carolina. Harris tried to pass a logging truck on the highway. Suddenly the truck swerved into the car. A log fell off the truck and onto the car's roof. Stevie was hit by the log and lay in the front seat bleeding from his head.
Stevie was in a coma for three days. The log cracked his skull, and his head swelled. His long-time publicist, Ira Tucker, sang to him one day. “Nobody could get through to him,” Tucker recalled. “I got right down in his ear and sang ‘Higher Ground.’ His hand was resting on my arm, and after a while his fingers started going in tune with the song. I said, yeah! Yeeaah! This dude is gonna make it!”
Stevie woke from his coma and his recovery began. He had lost his sense of taste and smell. This was terrible for Stevie, as he was already blind. But luckily, both senses returned after many weeks. Stevie was worried about his ability to play music. A friend had brought in a clavinet for Stevie to play. Stevie did not touch it for several weeks. Finally, he picked it up and began to play. His relief that the head injuries had not harmed his musical talents made him smile. He'd be able to go on.