Tour Dates — July 6, 2018 at 6:45 am

Elvis Costello reveals ‘very aggressive’ cancer as he cancels tour to recover from surgery

Elvis Costello today revealed he underwent surgery six weeks ago for a “very aggressive cancerous malignancy,” and while the procedure went well, he’s canceling the remainder of his European tour — beginning with tonight’s show in Manchester — as he continues to recover.

In a note to fans posted on his website and Facebook page, Costello, 63, writes:

“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. I was elated and relieved that our European summer tour could go ahead. 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. 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.”

Costello goes on to thank the fans at Thursday night’s concert in Amsterdam, and prior shows at Antwerp, Glynde and Newcastle “for bearing me up.” He writes, “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.”

The final six dates of Costello’s European tour, now canceled, included shows in Manchester, England; Pula, Croatia; Graz, Austria; Vienna, Austria; Tysnes, Norway; and Rattvik, Sweden. Still scheduled: a North American tour in November and December with the Imposters, supporting a new studio album that is due out in October (see those dates at Costello’s website).

Of that album, Costello, in his statement, adds: “We will return at the soonest opportunity to play that music and your favourite songs that still make sense to us all.”

Costello signs off with some advice:

“Take very good care of your loved ones, but gentleman, do talk to you friends — you’ll find you are not alone — seek your doctor’s advice if you are in doubt or when it is timely and act as swiftly as you may in these matters. It may save your life. Believe me, it is better than playing roulette.”

Below, read Costello’s full statement, and see reaction from peers and fans.










  1. Matthew Field

    I was at the CBS Records convention in London at which Elvis played outside to try to attract A&R attention. I’ve been a fan ever since. His live shows are amazing. Wishing you well you multi-talented man.

  2. I survived an agressive cancer through the excellent research done at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston. One major thing is that if after all the other treatments, the cancer is still there, there is still hope. My cancer was still there after receiving chemo, radiation, and more chemo. I actually survived because my oncologist offered a protocol. The protocol consisted of 2 experimental drugs. One drug cut off the blood supply to the cancer and the other drug calcified the tumor. My cancer was active in 2008. Now 2018, so good, so far. I hope that Elvis will be successful in his fight. I am 66. Just abit older. His music has been a part of my life for a long time. I still have a VCR tape of him and the band hamming it up. Also know that he has a very talented and lovely wife with whom he has 2 beautiful children. Be strong Elvis. May you have many more years with your family and many years without Cancer. Sincerely Jeannie Lawless

  3. Such a deluge of bad news of late. This is upsetting.

  4. P. Rachel Henderson

    So very sorry to hear about this. Aside from the fact that I have enjoyed Mr. Costello’s music for many years I saw him interviewed a while back and was very impressed by what a kind man he is. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  5. We are all pulling for Mr. Costello. He has provided so much joy to me and millions of others over the years. One of my first concerts as a teen where it was special since I felt it was MY music and generation he spoke to back in the late 70s when he was breaking in the US. Have followed ever since.

  6. All these years later, “This Year’s Model” remains one of my handful of most favorite albums. It got me through high school!

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