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Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes diagnosed with throat and neck cancer

‘Chris will come back stronger than before,’ his wife and manager says

After several years out of the public eye, former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes resurrected his music career over the past decade with a series of hard-rocking solo records, including 2012’s Nothing to Lose, 2015’s Shitting Bricks and last year’s Unbearable Influences.

Holmes, who has lived in Cannes, France since 2014, was scheduled to appear on this year’s Monsters of Rock Cruise with his current backing band, Mean Man. But on February 5 his wife and manager, Catherine Sarah Holmes, revealed that Chris has been diagnosed with throat and neck cancer and will be dropping off the cruise to begin a treatment schedule. 

Catherine Sarah Holmes’ post (edited for language) reads in full:

“This post is not easy to write because of the personal nature of it, and we would rather you hear it directly from us before stories and rumors start to circulate. Out of respect for all of you who love and support Chris, we feel that this is exactly what we need at this time. Recently Chris was diagnosed with a cancer in throat and neck, but the medical team have assured us there has been no metastasis, and this is good news. He will have to start as soon as possible a treatment of seven weeks.

“I know how important the Monsters of Rock Cruise is for Chris and the band, but the health of Chris is what we have to focus on right now for the next seven weeks and we will reschedule the MORC for a future date. Thank you very much Larry Morand for your kindness and understanding in this matter, you are much appreciated and the world needs more people like you . Thank you also to all the team for their wonderful work following every band. [Chris’] Bandcamp will still continue to run during this time but there might be some delays. Please forgive me.

“The best way to keep Chris positive is to continue to focus on the upcoming Canadian tour, shows we have in September and the UK tour in October. Don’t forget, Chris is strong and he is a fighter and he will come back stronger than before.

“Many of you in your own ways show us every day how much you care. We are lucky to have you as friends – your strength keeps our spirits high to continue to fight another day.

“Please. we just ask for some privacy while we deal with this at this moment. Chris will come back to you stronger and ready to burn the stage with Stephen, Ollie, Lex and Florian.

"Keep rocking,

"Chris and Catherine Sarah Holmes"

Not long after Holmes' announcement, W.A.S.P. main man Black Lawless issued a statement of support for his former band mate. Posting on the W.A.S.P. Nation Facebook page, Lawless wrote: "The entire W.A.S.P. family are all optimistic of a positive outcome concerning the diagnosis for Chris. I certainly wish him the very best."

Holmes has not played with W.A.S.P. since 2001, following an acrimonious split with Lawless.