Gene Simmons On Why Eddie Van Halen Got Cancer

Recently, the KISS bassist Gene Simmons offered a different perspective on Eddie Van Halen‘s own belief about the origin of his illness. In an interview with Dave Ling of Classic Rock, Simmons suggested that Eddie’s lifelong smoking habit may have been a significant factor in his battle with tongue cancer.

The late guitarist’s battle began in the early 2000s when he was diagnosed with tongue cancer. The subsequent treatment led to the removal of about a third of his tongue. By 2002, he was given a clean bill of health by his doctors. However, Van Halen had a theory about the cause of his cancer. He attributed the condition to his habit of holding metal guitar picks in his mouth, a theory he made public in 2015 to NME.

Simmons, however, provided a counter viewpoint during his recent chat. He recounted his final encounter with Van Halen in Los Angeles, where the effects of the latter’s battle with cancer were evident. He spoke about how Van Halen was known for his persistent smoking habit, and in Simmons’ opinion, this was a more likely cause of his illness.

The bassist’s words on the reason Eddie had cancer:

“I had read that he blamed his condition on using a metal guitar pick, putting it in his mouth. In my view, that wasn’t the case. Ed smoked all the time.”

So, Gene Simmons seemed to dismiss the theory about the metal guitar pick being the cause of Eddie Van Halen’s cancer. While the late rocker himself believed it was due to his habit of holding metal guitar picks in his mouth, Simmons suggested that the guitarist’s smoking habit was a more plausible cause.