Jim Cregan, Rod's longtime collaborator, has had to cancel a month-long tour of England with his band Cregan & Co. due to the revelation that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The guitarist announced the news on the band’s Facebook page. In his statement, he stressed the importance of getting checked regularly for the disease.
‘We’ve found cancer in your prostate’.
And with those six words a whole new world opened up.
Like a lot of guys, my life is paved with good intentions. My dear friend Ian Wallace, who played drums for so many famous names (Bob Dylan, Don Henley, etc.) said to us all before he died, “Get checked out, before it’s too late”. And of course, true to form, I did absolutely nothing. I used to work on the principle that if I had a few stiff drinks each day, germs couldn’t live in my body. Fast forward to last year when another old pal, drummer Kenney Jones (the Faces, the Who) asked me to join him in a Charity Event called “Rock ‘N’ Horsepower” benefiting Prostate Cancer U.K.. Of course I said yes and then I realized Kenney was in treatment at the time for the disease. Happily he is recovering very well. But did I get checked? … not likely.
So here we are. As of today I’m waiting for the final results of an MRI which will tell the doctors how to treat it. How do I feel? Confused, worried, hopeful, and more in touch with what matters than a few weeks ago. The outpouring of love and kindness from so many people is an eye opener. It’s a time when you’ll find out who are your real friends…
Cregan expressed his optimism for a complete recovery, adding that his gigs booked for May and June — one of which, coincidentally, is a benefit for Prostate Cancer U.K. with Jones.
Originally the guitarist in British psychedelic prog band Family, Jim joined Rod's band in 1976 from the group Cockney Rebel, They have written many songs together, including the hits “Passion” and “Forever Young,” the latter of which won a Grammy, and Jim has served as Rod's musical director and co-producer.
It is also well documented that Rod credited him with helping revive his songwriting chops that led to 2013’s Time. “He’s my annoying mate I’ve known all me life” Rod said. “He’d always bring his guitar around, pestering me with his chords.”
Everyone at SMILER would like to send Jim all our Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.
Photo Thanks to Don Stewart