Slayer will be forced to abandon all tour dates due to singer Tom Araya’s upcoming surgery for a nagging back injury. While Slayer fans are no doubt bummed about the news, Araya’s energetic performances have at least aggravated, if not caused the injury; it also says something about Araya as a musician that he would rather postpone a highly lucrative tour than go out and offer a possibly inferior product. A healthy Slayer is one worth seeing, and fans will hopefully offer encouragement rather than focus on voicing their disappointment. Many wishes to Araya for a quick recovery, but this raises an interesting question: Who exactly do you pray to for the health of a member of Slayer?
The band’s official press release follows:
This difficult decision made by the band’s bassist/vocalist Tom Araya means the cancellation of Slayer’s immediate tour plans that include the American and Canadian Carnage Tour dates that were set to kick off on January 18, as well as the band’s UK/European headline tour scheduled for March and April. Booking agents for both Slayer and Megadeth are already hard at work rescheduling the tour dates; tickets already purchased for these shows will be honored at the rescheduled dates.
The headbanging Araya, known for aggressively swinging his long mane of hair while performing, began experiencing back problems while on the band’s Australian/New Zealand/Japanese tour last October. In spite of his rapidly increasing pain and discomfort, he carried on with the tour, but immediately upon returning home saw an orthopedic specialist who diagnosed a Cervical Radiculopathy. The rocker initially did not want to take the major surgery route, so the specialist recommended a series of minimally-invasive procedures. While those procedures have resulted in some improvement, Araya continues to deal with intermittent bouts of severe pain, numbness and muscle spasms. The surgical procedure that Araya will undergo, called an Anterior Cervical Discectomy with Fusion, is a relatively routine practice and the recovery rate is excellent.