Ace banjo player Eddie Adcock was kept conscious during his brain surgery as surgeons probed about to find the cause of a career-threatening hand tremor.
Adcock, 70, who was only given a local anaesthetic, played his banjo while the surgeons watched for signs leading to the hand tremor.
The bluegrass legend had electrodes placed in his brain to pinpoint the problem, and when it was discovered, a pacemaker was implanted in his chest to control his "unconscious tremor".
The pioneering op was later declared a total success, and Adcock is as normal as before.
"It was risky but playing means that much to me," the Sun quoted him as saying of the op.
"I never went through hell like this. But I couldn't bear giving up the banjo," he stated.
Adcock, who is famous as a bluegrass virtuoso thanks to his livewire plucking style, feared his days as a maestro were over.
But thanks to the op, which was filmed by docs at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre near his Nashville home, he is lining up fresh gigs.