Elvis Costello, the legendary singer-songwriter, announced via Facebook Friday that he has been diagnosed with cancer. As a result, Costello had to cancel the remaining dates of his tour.
“Six weeks ago my specialist called me and said, ‘You should start playing the Lotto.’ He had rarely, if ever, seen such a small but very aggressive cancerous malignancy that could be defeated by a single surgery,” the 63-year-old musician (born Declan Patrick MacManus) said. “I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead. Post-surgical guidelines for such surgery, recommend three weeks to four weeks recovery depending on whether you are returning to a desk job or an occupation that involves physical work or travel.”
Costello had been scheduled to perform in Austria, Croatia, Norway, Sweden and the U.K. “It was impossible to judge how this advisory would line up with the demands on a traveling musician, playing 90-minute to 2-hour plus performances on a nightly basis,” he wrote. By the time he reached the Edinburgh Playhouse, “I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed,” he said. “I have to thank our friends attending last night’s show in Amsterdam and those in Antwerp, Glynde and at Newcastle City Hall for bearing me up. The spirit has been more than willing but I have to now accept that it is going to take longer than I would have wished for me to recover my full strength. Therefore, I must reluctantly cancel all the remaining engagements of this tour.” Though he would have loved to perform for his fans through July 16, Costello added, “I would rather disappoint our friends there by not appearing than in pressing on with a show that is compromised and eventually puts my health at risk.”