Angels frontman Doc Neeson has told bandmates he will among the 20 per cent of patients who beat a form of aggressive brain tumour which resulted in him being hospitalised and all tour dates being cancelled.
Neeson, who turned 66 on January 4, was admitted to hospital shortly before Christmas complaining of pins and needles. He was immediately placed on a programme of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
His plight has ended plans for him to front a second version of the iconic Australian pub-rock band, which would tour in competition with a line-up fronted by former Screaming Jets singer David Gleeson.
Drummer Buzz Bidstrup told News Limited of the diagnosis: ”On a scale of one to four it’s a four. But he’s incredibly stoic and accepting; he’s in great spirits.
”Doc’s looking at it as he’s one of the 20 per cent that can make it, which is the only attitude you can have.”
Neeson was in February to tour with a version of The Angels, best known for songs such as Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again, Marseilles and Face The Day, which includes former members who had never all played together before.
That tour has now been cancelled while the version including Rick and John Brewster will press on with their own plans in February. Bidstrup said he hoped Neeson’s illness would end the feuding.
John Brewster told AAP: ”All we can hope is Doc makes a complete recovery and nothing else matters.
Together we’ve done some incredibly hard yards and we formed a very long-term association. Whether we’ve seen things the same ways or not in the last few years is completely irrelevant to what’s going on right now.”
Bassist Chris Bailey, who is in Brewster’s Angels, has recently battled jaw cancer. Neeson has been in constant pain since a 1999 car accident.
Bidstrup told The Australian: “It’s very intense treatment but once he’s done the first lot of chemo he’ll know how he’s travelling and then he’s got another long road after that. But there is a period of time in between and if he’s feeling good and wants to play then we’ll be there with him.”
– Steve Mascord
-Classic Rock magazine