Former W.A.S.P. guitarist Chris Holmes has been diagnosed with a cancer in throat and neck. As a result, he 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.
The news of the 63-year-old's diagnosis was shared earlier today by his wife and manager, Cathy-Sarah Holmes. She wrote on his Instagram account: "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 rumours start to circulate and by 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 a good news . He will have to start as soon as possible a treatment of 7 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 7 weeks and we will reschedule the MORC for a future date. Thank You very much Larry Morand for your kindness & understanding in this matter, you are much appreciated and the world need more people as you . Thank you also to all the team who make a wonderful work following every band in each step.
"The bandcamp will still continue to run during this time but if 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 way shows us everyday 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 and 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".
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.
Last year, Holmes told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that W.A.S.P. was "a group, a band" on the first LP. "And after that, the second album, it wasn't a group — it was a one-man show," he said. "And it's been a one-man show after that ever since. It's the way it is. Look at the records. It's the way it is in that band.
"W.A.S.P. never played any shows until I was in the band, so where does a band start — when they record or when they do their first show?" he continued. "I came in before the first show, and it was 'one for all, all for one.' But then when money came into it and fame, people changed — they change real bad. And I never changed. I don't change. I haven't changed the way I think, the way I am. I'm not gonna change. I am what I am.
"During the [making of the] second [album], I was told the manager wants to use Blackie's [Lawless, W.A.S.P. frontman] image [on the cover], which the manager didn't tell me that — Blackie told me that."
According to Chris, he, guitarist Randy Piper, drummer Tony Richards and Blackie were all part of W.A.S.P. initial management contract, but Blackie was the only one signed to the record label. "Everybody thinks we [all] signed to the label, but it wasn't [like that]," Holmes told "Trunk Nation".
"I never learned about the business till about 10 years ago," he explained. "How do you learn about the business? You've gotta be in there with the manager and all that stuff, so I was always kept from that… I put my trust into somebody, and [I found out later that he was] sticking a knife in my back. I didn't find that out until 2010 or '11.
"Once [W.A.S.P.] became [all about] one person, [my attitude was] 'Hey, I'll just do my thing, and leave me alone. I'll play my guitar.'"
Despite the fact that he only got songwriting credit on a a couple of the songs on each of the first four W.A.S.P. records, Holmes was adamant that his input was essential to the band's overall sound.
"If I would have quit after the first album, the way I play guitar, the way I play is really important to writing those songs," he told "Trunk Nation".
"If I hadn't joined in the beginning, it would have never worked. Blackie told me that the first day, when he came and talked to me to play in W.A.S.P. He says, 'I've got this band. It's not gonna work unless you're in it.' He told me that to my face."
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."