Eddie Van Halen Undergoing Cancer Prevention Treatment

Van Halen guitarist faces another health setback

May 30, 2000 12:00 AM ET

At the end of last week, Eddie Van Halen was not in the studio laying down tracks for the band's upcoming album, or plotting the next tour with -- or without --David Lee Roth. Instead, he was at a Houston's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center undergoing cancer prevention treatment.

Jane Brust, a spokesperson for the center, said that Van Halen visited the facility last Thursday, but she denied reports that he has tongue cancer. "He does not have cancer," she said. "That has been inaccurately reported. After visiting with M.D. Anderson doctors, he is planning to begin an outpatient clinical trial to prevent cancer ... He did not have an operation at M.D. Anderson." Brust would not offer any details about the program other than to say that Van Halen will "be able to come in and go and won't be admitted to the hospital. Clinical trial means it's a protocol under study; it's not a standard treatment."

Warner Bros. Records would not confirm anything about the musician's reported illness and declined to make any comment concerning Van Halen or the band's future. The band's official Web site, www.van-halen.com, was equally vague, only stating that the guitarist had visited the medical center on May 25 as an outpatient.

This is Van Halen's second health setback in a year. Last November he underwent surgery to replace his right hip.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »