Van Halen Gets Clean Bill of Health

By | May 10, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Rocker Eddie Van Halen says he’s gotten a clean bill of health from his doctors, after a two-year battle with tongue cancer.

In a statement on his band’s official Web site,, he said, “I wanted to let you all know that I’ve just gotten a 100 percent clean bill of health – from head to toe. I wanted to share the good news with you immediately. And of course, I thank you all for all your good wishes and prayers along the way. Now it’s time to really get back to the music and fun… party on and you’ll be hearing from us very soon.”

Van Halen announced in April 2001 that he was battling cancer, after a year of rumors about the 47-year-old guitarist’s health.

Although he mentioned getting back to music in his statement, the future of his namesake band is unclear. With David Lee Roth as lead singer in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the band Van Halen racked up hits such as “Jump,” “Panama,” “Runnin’ With the Devil” and “Dance the Night Away.”

In 1985, their flamboyant blond front man’s antics became too much for Eddie Van Halen, his drummer brother Alex and bassist Michael Anthony. They hired Sammy Hagar as their singer and continued Van Halen’s commercial success with “Dreams,” “Why Can’t This Be Love” and “Right Now.”

In the mid-1990s the band replaced Hagar with former Extreme front man Gary Cherone, but critics and audiences alike failed to click with the newest incarnation of Van Halen.

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