Festival photographer/artist uses music to heal - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Festival photographer/artist uses music to heal

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) --Rex-a-vison, it's what Louisville's Rex Thomson calls the life he leads at music festivals across the country. Thomson is known for his art, and the snap shots and videos he takes at concerts around the US.

"Filming them as they go, filming them on stage, taking pictures," he explained.

He gets a backstage pass that allows him unprecedented access to shows and people a lot of music fans could only dream about.

"The moments that you get to have are pretty epic. You know, I'm standing on stage watching Paul Simon play 'Bridge Over Troubled Water,'" Thomson said.

Those moments and those pictures that have become iconic for a lot of bands would never have happened without a life changing experience.

"My health is funky," said Thomson

In 2001, Thomson says an undetected, untreated thyroid issue affected a lot of his body, and threw his life into limbo.

"The damage to my heart and the damage to my system was such that I was probably going to be dead in a year. That was shocking," Thomson said.

Doctors were able to get him on the road to recovery, but Rex knew something still had to change. His pre-health scare lifestyle, running a couple of stores, wasn't cutting it.

"I was forced to sort of reprioritize my life. And, I decided I wanted to follow my loves," he said.

That he did, changing the rhythm of his world with music.

"My doctor asked me, what are you doing now that's different? Because you are so much better than you were. I told him, I'm just going to all these concerts. He said 'keep doing that,'" Thomson told WDRB.

People have certainly taken notice of Rex. A lot of music acts are more like friends, and the audience loves him .Those people are also pretty bummed out that Rex 's health is giving him trouble again, and that the long term prognosis could leave him in a wheel chair and with serious memory loss. A gofundme.com page has been set up in his name. Rex is also using "Rex-a-vision" as the premise for a documentary he's shopping around to places like Netflix. .

"I try and make every moment count as much as possible," he said. 

It's an upbeat look on life from a guy who will keep drawing, snapping pictures, and rocking out until he can't any longer.

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