Enlarge Laurence Faure via Wikimedia Commons

Report: Eddie Van Halen Has Throat Cancer


Amongst the Van Halen-related press that’s been bubbling up lately — including David Lee Roth stating that “Van Halen’s finished” — have been a couple tidbits indicating that Eddie Van Halen might be dealing with a serious health condition.

First came this radio interview, in which DLR offered the following when asked about Eddie’s health:

“I hear all the same rumors that you do and it’s not my place to guess.”

Roth and the Van Halens have a notoriously icy relationship so it’s not exactly a surprise to learn they aren’t in touch, although I’d have to imagine Roth has at least some privileged information regarding his bandmate of 40 years.

Then came Eddie Trunk’s interview with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, who is pals with Eddie and said this:

“I think they’re on a hiatus, there’s been some health issues that they’re dealing with and stuff like that. We’re older guys now, and to go on the road requires a lot of extra effort in terms of – as a human being. I don’t think there’s any drama issues that are keeping them from working. I’m not the guy to say anything, I love those brothers so much and we’ve always had a great relationship. I’m a big fan and also adore them as human beings.”

That brings us up to yesterday’s TMZ report, which claims “sources with direct knowledge” told them Eddie’s got throat cancer and has been flying back and forth to Germany for the past five years to get treatment. The report states that “for the most part” the treatment has been effective, which is great to hear.

Eddie was diagnosed with tongue cancer about 20 years ago and had part of his tongue removed in 2000 — this much was already publicly known — but cancerous cells have been migrating down to his throat in recent years. Here’s the kicker: Eddie blames his cancer on a metal guitar pick he used more than 20 years ago, which he used to hold in his mouth, despite being a noted heavy smoker for decades.

Whatever the cause, we wish Eddie all the absolute best in his continued recovery and we most certainly hope the band can get it together for one more live go-round in spite of DLR’s claims the band is done. If this is indeed it, well, it’s not as if Van Halen didn’t already change the world.

[via Ultimate Guitar]

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