Beastie Boy Adam Yauch has cancer
Summer tour canceled; Oscilloscope expects 'brief absence'Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boy who recently launched a second career as an indie-film exec, said Monday that he has cancer and will undergo surgery.
Yauch posted a video announcement on his Web site saying that he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his left salivary gland. (Yauch's video is available below.) While the condition is not considered life-threatening, it does require immediate surgery.
"It's a little bit of a setback, it's a pain in the ass, but this is something that's very treatable," he said. "The good news is that they did scans of my whole body, and it's only localized in this one area, and it's not in a place that affects my voice."
The Beastie Boys have canceled their planned summer tour and delayed the release of their album "Hot Sauce Committee Part 1" to allow time for his recovery.
The development, however, likely will only minimally affect Yauch's nascent film business, Oscilloscope Pictures, which has been buying up distribution rights at a time when many indie companies have been scaling back. The company recently acquired the Woody Harrelson war drama "The Messenger," which played at Sundance, and Michel Gondry's "The Thorn in the Heart" out of the Festival de Cannes.
The company said that despite its co-founder's health problems, all would continue apace. "Oscilloscope Pictures wants to let the independent film world know that its business as usual at the company," it said.
Although Yauch has been very hands-on, Oscilloscope was co-founded by ThinkFilm veteran David Fenkel, who had deep relationships in the business and handles much of the day-to-day.
Oscilloscope's statement went on to say that "founder and company head Adam Yauch expects to be back at work after a brief absence" and offered a lighter, more upbeat thought from Yauch. "This will be a good opportunity to dig through that pile of screeners," he said. "Maybe I'll find a few gems."
In his sojourn so far in the indie film world, Yauch has tried to bring a maverick attitude to that business. He told The Hollywood Reporter recently: "What we do is find what we really like, buy it and then think, 'Is there a way to market this?' I guess that's the opposite of what you're supposed to do."
On the music front, the Beastie Boys had planned for a busy summer, including headlining slots at many of the major U.S. festivals -- Lollapalooza, All Points West, Outside lands and Austin City Limits -- and a Sept. 24 date at the Hollywood Bowl. The group performed last month at the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, Tenn.
Steven Zeitchik reported from Los Angeles; Billboard's David Prince reported from New York.