Veteran Rock Singer Phil Naro Battling Cancer


Toronto-based rock singer and musician Phil Naro is battling tongue cancer.

“It’s going to be a long road to recovery for me,” the 62-year-old told, via e-mail, on Thursday.

Naro said he had a tumour removed from his neck after being diagnosed in 2013 and was able to put the cancer in remission through diet and alternative therapies like hyperbaric oxygen and intravenous high-dose vitamin C.

But, a year ago this month, Naro found out the cancer was back. “I could no longer hide it from family and friends always asking me ‘Why are you so skinny?,’ ‘Are you sure you okay?’ and ‘Why are you taking so much time off?

“I just couldn’t make up anymore stories about my health.”

Naro returned to his hometown of Rochester, New York, where he is going through an intense treatment regimen.

“I’m doing 33 rounds of radiation and two rounds of chemo and 33 rounds of laser therapy,” he explained.

Naro fronted Talas in the ‘80s and had a stint in Canadian hard rock band Coney Hatch. He was also the singer in Toronto progressive rock project Druckfarben.

Naro co-wrote several songs on Canadian singer Lee Aaron’s 1989 album Bodyrock, on which he provided backing vocals, as well as a pair of tracks on Cat #1, the 1994 album by former KISS drummer Peter Criss.

He also sang the Daytime Emmy-winning theme song to 6teen, the Canadian animated series that ran from 2004 to 2010.

Naro’s powerful voice can currently be heard on “JUST PUSH!,” the second single from a forthcoming album by DDrive.

He also reunited with bassist Billy Sheehan to record a new Talas album. “I managed to finish recording before I started my treatments,” he said. “It was painful at times to sing, but I managed to finish.”

The singer-songwriter and father of two adult sons hopes to be back on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario by March. “I miss all my family and my Canadian fans and friends,” he said.

This week, friends of Naro set up a GoFundMe campaign to help him “during this incredibly arduous journey.” By Thursday night, more than $12,000 had been raised.

“I’m not going down,” Naro vowed. “I’m going to fight this cancer right ’til the bitter end.”