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Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch has cancer

Oscilloscope principal calls illness 'treatable'

Adam Yauch, principal of indie distrib Oscilloscope Laboratories and a member of the Beastie Boys, has been diagnosed with what he described as a “very treatable” form of cancer.

Yauch’s illness has forced EMI to postpone the release of the latest Beastie Boys album, and the band’s tour that was to begin in October has been canceled.

Yauch will be undergoing treatment for a cancerous tumor found in his left salivary gland and a nearby lymph node. He is expected to recover quickly.

In a statement, Yauch called the illness “a good opportunity to dig through that pile of screeners. Maybe I’ll find a few gems.”

Oscilloscope has had a busy summer, announcing several new acquisitions (most recently Ben Foster-Woody Harrelson starrer “The Messenger”) and an exclusive distrib deal with Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.

Yauch’s Oscilloscope colleagues say no release dates have been moved, and business can be expected to go on as usual. With the tour sidelined, Yauch may wind up joining Oscilloscope staffers at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

“If anything,” said a spokesman, “he’ll be around more.”

Oscilloscope staffers were planning on their boss taking an extended absence while he toured with the Beastie Boys in support of their new album, “Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1,” which had been set for release Sept. 15. EMI did not specify a new date for the “Hot Sauce” release in its statement.

Yauch emphasized in a video message to fans posted on YouTube that neither the cancer nor the surgery would affect his voice. He apologized to those who were hoping to see him on tour this fall.

“It’s a little bit of a setback, it’s a pain in the ass, but this is something that’s very treatable,” said Yauch. “I’m actually going to have surgery probably next week, and after that probably have to have radiation done, localized in that area.”

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