In the summer of 2003 a month or two after graduating from high school. I was talked into going to a Taproot concert with some friends at the Orbit Room. At the time I had been getting into more increasingly heavy music and was getting use to being apart of the mosh pits.

I didn’t really plan on Taproot having a pit.

One of the opening bands however was (I think) Boy Set Fire. It became very apparent that the lead singer was beyond wasted. Falling onstage and actually falling into the barricade. It became so funny they actually started to go with it creating a pit from the singer falling off stage. So I figured this was my only chance for the night to get in a pit.

Jumped in and almost immediately I was unintentionally headbutted in the center of my face. Staggering back I checked for blood and saw nothing so figured it was just a hard knock. Made my way over to my friends and jokenly said I may have broke my nose. They turned around to see me and their jaws just dropped. Their eyes went as wide as they could, I knew then something wasn’t right.

I felt at my face only to feel…..well nothing.

Where my nose was supposed to be, was concaved into my face, all along the bridge up to the eyesockets. I ended up with 17 breaks in my face and required plastic surgery. They were able to fix everything but had to re build my nose from almost nothing. Spent the summer in a noseface sling.

– Derek Zoerman


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