A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes, who has been diagnosed with a cancer in throat and neck.
The campaign was organized by the 63-year-old musician's wife and manager, Cathy-Sarah Holmes, who first shared the news of his diagnosis in a social media post on Saturday (February 5).
In a message on the GoFundMe page, Holmes's drummer Steve Jackson wrote: "Hi Everyone, this is a tough message to write. You probably won't know me but for the past 4 years I have been playing drums for Chris Holmes or you may know him as the 'Mean Man'. In the time I've spent getting to know Chris, I can assure you this is so far from the truth, as many of you who have met Chris will agree. He has a lot of time for his fans and I wanted to do something to help out after his recent Cancer diagnosis. The medical bills are coming in quickly, as they are working to get Chris the Cancer treatment he needs, as soon as possible.
"As he is unable to tour during this time and he is going to have 7 weeks of extensive treatment, he is gonna need a little extra support to help to get himself back to full health and to kick cancers ass!! This is where hopefully you can help out! If you feel you can afford to donate something, I'd be very grateful and I know both Chris and Cathy would be too. Anything you can give would be a massive help, while he is undergoing his treatment.
"Please feel free to share this to anyone, you know is a fan or friend of Chris, or of the music he has been a part of during his 40+ year career.
"I thank you for all of your kind words that you have sent Chris so far. I know he has seen many of the messages and the extra positivity will help him and Cathy during this tough time. We will keep you updated as treatment progresses."
Launched earlier today (Monday, February 7),the GoFundMe campaign has only raised €690 toward its €20,000 goal as of this publishing.
As a result of his diagnosis, Holmes has canceled his appearance aboard this year's Monsters Of Rock cruise. However, Holmes still expects to be able to complete his previously announced Canadian tour, which is scheduled to launch in Quebec City on May 5 and wrap up in Vancouver on May 28.
Holmes joined W.A.S.P. in 1982 and remained with the group until 1990. In 1996, the guitarist returned to W.A.S.P. and stayed with the band until 2001. Chris has not played with W.A.S.P. since.
In October 2020, Chris said that he would never consider returning to W.A.S.P. unless Lawless agreed to pay him the publishing royalties that he allegedly owes him. He told Canada's The Metal Voice: "A lot of people think I made money from W.A.S.P. I've never gotten my royalties, or even my songwriting. All the stuff that I wrote, I've never gotten paid one penny. And you know whose fault it is? It's my my fault for not knowing the business, how it is. I trusted somebody.
"After every album, when the album is done, how they split up the publishing with the publishing contracts, the publishing companies — that's where the money comes from," he continued. "I was never told about when that meeting was. Because the other guys in the band never wrote — I was the only one [other than Blackie]. So I'm the only one that they have to screw over to get all the publishing. So I was never told. Then when I dug into it in about 2006 or , I went into Sanctuary Music, had a lawyer go in to find out where all my publishing is, and I was written in as a session player into all the records. And if you don't know about it, and you're not told, and you don't see, you don't know. So I trusted Blackie Lawless about that. And when I found out, it really kind of yanked me wrong. It yanks me wrong — it makes me see he was sticking a knife in my back from the first day, from the first album, and not telling me, and being my best friend."
Last month, Lawless shot down Holmes's claim that the guitarist was "screwed" out of receiving royalties on the W.A.S.P. albums that he performed on. Lawless discussed Holmes's tenure with W.A.S.P. in an interview with "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk". Asked to respond to Holmes's assertion in Chris's recently released documentary "Mean Man: The Story Of Chris Holmes" that he was financially taken advantage of during his time in the band, Lawless said: "I don't really know much about… I spoke to [former W.A.S.P. guitarist] Randy Piper a couple of years ago. I don't really know what's going on with the rest of the guys. And I'm not sure exactly what you're talking about with Chris about not being paid.
"Chris, at two different points in his musical career, received settlements from this band; he signed documents as such," Blackie explained. "And he was paid quite well.
"I haven't seen what you're talking about. The answer I'm giving you right now is based on what you just said to me."
The W.A.S.P. frontman went on to confirm that he hasn't seen Chris's documentary and was once again asked about Holmes's claim that there is money and songwriting credits that he didn't get that he's due. Lawless said simply: "That is not true."
During a November 2017 press conference in Moscow, Russia, Lawless was asked what he would say to those W.A.S.P. fans who continue to call for the band to reunite with Holmes. He responded: "People get divorced for certain reasons, and there's times when the kids want the parents to get back together, but sometimes it never happens. And this is one of those [times]. Sorry."