Elvis Costello is resting up. In a lengthy Facebook post, the singer, 63, revealed that he had recently undergone surgery for cancer and has been ordered to take time off. He canceled his final six dates of his European 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,” Costello wrote on Friday, July 6, adding he was “elated and relieved,” thinking he’d be able to continue his tour. “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, whose hits include “Alison” and “Oliver’s Army,” continued to explain that with the amount of work he does on the road, there was no way he could finish the tour.
“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 but by the time we reached the Edinburgh Playhouse, I was almost fooled into thinking that normal service had been resumed,” he wrote. “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.”
The Grammy Award winner continued his statement, apologizing to fans and noting, “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.”
Costello also thanked his friends and family who have stayed by his side, and revealed that The Imposters and several friends of his have made a new record that they hope to release in October.
He ended his Facebook post with advice to “gentleman” – seek advice from their doctors if in doubt. “It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette,” he wrote.