Rock singer Arno has postponed a number of dates on his upcoming tour, after being diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas.
Arno, less well-known as Arno Hintjens, is now 70 years old, and was diagnosed in November. He will now undergo surgery, and has postponed 13 dates on his planned Santeboutique tour in France, the Netherlands and Switzerland.
He will still appear in Paris at the Trianon on Tuesday, after which he returns to Brussels to be operated on. Since the diagnosis he has been undergoing chemotherapy.
“People who know I have cancer ask why I’m still performing,” he told Belga. “But you have to realise that it’s being on stage that gives me my energy. When I know I’m going to be playing it galvanises me.”
Born in Ostend in May 1949, Arno has always been – or portrayed – the epitome of the rock star. A denizen of the Brussels night, an habitué of the Brussels-Flemish Dansaert scene, friends with the likes of film-makers Marc Didden and Dominique Deruddere, unapologetic consumer of cigarettes and booze, babe magnet, he made it his aim to appeal to all sides, singing in French and Dutch, as well as venturing into other languages. He did however give up smoking 12 yars ago, and has since given up drinking as well.
“Music has always saved my life,” he said. “Concerts are as important to me as they are to the audience. Nowadays I do nothing without an audience, and that’s what makes me strong. I’m asking people to give me strength, and I will take that energy with me. And I will defeat this.”
And he went on to state his new philosophy of life – the same as the old one:
“Yesterday is dead, tomorrow doesn’t exist yet, I’m alive today. I want to be positive and profit from life – bearing in mind the situation.”
The Brussels Times