STRATOVARIUS' German drummer Jörg Michael, who was was recently diagnosed with cancer and had his entire thyroid removed, has issued the following update:
"I hope this message finds everybody well and everybody is in an easy-peasy Christmas mood already.
"The first leg of the European tour with HELLOWEEN is over — time to have a few words with you.
"First of all, let's not forget the brilliant emergency rescue action and playing of Alex [Landenburg; AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA]. Thanks again for all what you did for the fans, the band and also for me.
"Surely I hate the idea of somebody is sitting on 'my chair,' but this special action needed some special treatment and I am proud and happy that it was you, Alex. Thanks again; we'll get together for a real drink, not like these other Scandinavian pussies in the band :-)
"I was overwhelmed by all the wishes, tons of emails and text messages I received from all over the world wishing me a speedy recovery. Thank you so much for supporting me, and it made me feel very strong when fighting these bastards inside of me.
"I have some good news to tell you and believe me — I really enjoy to tell the world:
"The surgery was done about six weeks ago and the first therapy is done as well. All looks good so far and as Jens [Johansson, STRATOVARIUS keyboardist] told me before: 'Do not worry, Jörg, nothing survives in your body after all what you did to it!'
"Finally he was right, there are only small bits and bobs left — I will fight those with another therapy in about four months' time.
"I think I have been very lucky that it was discovered by one of my friends in a very early state. Very good that my friend decided to become a doctor; he was very lousy when he tried playing the guitar.
"Besides preparing myself for Christmas, I am currently practicing the drums to be ready and kickin' again when the tour continues in the New Year. I will be back.
"Thanks again for everything and let's get alive and kicking once again.
"See you in Paris and everywhere else."
STRATOVARIUS will release its thirteenth full-length studio album, "Elysium", in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.